5 Characteristics of a Culture Fit Candidate

Culture Fit

Choosing the right candidates for your company is all about prioritizing what truly matters to your organization. These days, companies have a well-defined corporate culture and many believe that finding employees that best fit that culture is the secret sauce to better productivity and lower employee turnover.

But what does it mean to find applicants that are aligned with your corporate values? It means adding culture fit assessments to the hiring process so you can best determine if a potential candidate shares a company’s belief and behavior system.

In this article, we’ll find out the benefits to hiring a culture fit applicant and what attributes to look out for during the recruitment process.

How Does Company Culture Work?

Companies craft their corporate culture carefully because it will become the governing character of the entire organization. The company culture determines how a company works, recruits new talent, handles team management, interacts with the clients, and more.

Culture affects your employees every day. It determines what they prioritize, how they work together, and how they interact with management. If a company has a strong culture that is communicated well, employees use it as the North Star that guides their work decisions.

This is why it’s important to ensure that your organization’s culture is well defined and aligned with your company’s goals. If you want to constantly innovate, your culture must encourage out-of-the-box thinkers. If you are more focused on creating future leaders, you have to ensure there are enough training and development opportunities for your people.

At the end of the day, however you define corporate culture it will greatly impact how you look for new talent. If you want to find employees that are already aligned with your values and beliefs, then culture-fit candidates are the applicants you need to find.

Benefits of Culture Fit Applicants

There are varying opinions when it comes to which applicants are the best hires for a company. While some feel that culture-fit is the right way to go, others believe that culture-add provides more diversity. In the end, it boils down to company priorities and how you want to shape the future of your workforce.

Human Resource professionals understand the impact of company culture and, for many of them, one guiding recruitment principle is to find people that fit the company’s culture best. This way, applicants will easily assimilate.

Here are some significant benefits to hiring culture-fit applicants.

1. Onboarding is easier

When you hire employees who already share the same goals, values, and work ethic as your company, it will be much easier to get them on board. While they still have to be trained on company procedures and systems, this training will go smoother and faster because they already understand how the organization works. Even if they don’t possess the technical skills needed yet, they will pick them up quickly. Teaching a person new skills can be hard, but it can be done. Changing who a person is, on the other hand, is far trickier.

2. Better job satisfaction

When an employee is part of an environment that is aligned with their values and meets their needs, they become much more invested in the work that they do. The opposite is also true. An employee might do their job well, but if they hate the environment they are in, they will still be unhappy. When you hire culture-fit applicants, you are assured that they will love their environment, inspiring them to achieve more—positively impacting their job satisfaction.

3. Lower employee turnover

When employees are happy with their work, they are also that much more satisfied with their jobs. This means fewer reasons for them to leave. There is strong evidence to show that workplace culture satisfaction is just as relevant as job satisfaction. If employees like their job but don’t like their environment, they will still most likely depart.

4. Better job performance

Happier employees mean more productive employees. If you hire employees that don’t fit in well with your company culture, this can sometimes lead to poor quality of work and overall dissatisfaction. Hiring employees that reflect a company’s core values, attitudes, and behaviors makes it easier for them to commit to their work and be invested in the company’s success.

Attributes of Culture Fit Candidates

There are many benefits to hiring culture fit candidates. But how do you find them? What are some of the attributes you should look out for during the hiring process?

For most companies, finding culture-fit employees is about truly knowing the existing company culture and finding professionals best suited to their work environment. There is no one answer to define a culture-fit candidate because this changes per company.

For example, a highly skilled worker who achieves great outcomes but works best alone is not suited to a company that prioritizes team collaboration. Even if they are very good at what they do, they won’t work well in a team setting.

If you are looking at an employee who needs flexible working hours because she prioritizes family and work-life balance, then she is not suited to a company that requires strict work shift compliance.

At the end of the day, culture-fit candidates are those best suited to your company’s already-existing work environment. When looking at potential applicants, culture fit standouts are those who:

1. Align with the company goals

One of the most important aspects of culture fit candidates is that they are aligned with your company’s goals, work ethic, and business practices.

2. Enjoy the company work environment

Culture fit candidates can appreciate your company’s existing work environment and find it conducive to productivity. This is especially important because employees spend a lot of time at work and will not flourish if they’re simply not comfortable.

3. Match the company’s level of interaction and collaboration

There are team players and there are solo stars. Each type has its pros and cons, but it’s important to assess if applicants match the structure with the company. This ensures that they are happy with the level of interaction expected.

4. Appreciate the company’s management style

A good boss can make or break an employee’s work experience, while a bad boss doesn’t always equate an ineffective one. Sometimes it’s just a matter of not matching an employee’s management expectation. If your company prioritizes collaborative leadership, you need to invest in employees who feel the same, otherwise new hires will feel they are not getting what they need from their leaders.

5. Share company’s long-term goals

When you hire employees, you are looking for long-term partnerships. You need to know if your potential hire feels the same. If their long-term career development goals and future plans are aligned with your company’s then you already have the beginnings of a lasting relationship that has both parties mutually invested.

Strong Company Culture Attracts Culture-Fit Candidates

Finding culture fit candidates is not an exact science. To find these types of employees, foster a deeper understanding of company culture within your recruitment team and translate that into your hiring and interviewing procedures. This will make it much easier for you to spot culture fit applicants during the recruitment process.