One of the things most important in the hiring process is whether or not a prospective hire will be a good cultural fit. It is also one of the most difficult things to measure and predict. But there are certainly some steps any good hiring manager can take to make a new hire as close to a perfect cultural fit as possible.
It All Starts With The Job Description
Believe it or not, like so much about hiring, the first step to finding cultural fit is in the job description itself. Not only does a well-written and accurate job description set expectations of the kinds of work a new hire will be doing, but it can also communicate a certain tone that can shape a candidate’s expectation of corporate culture. Does your company offer free lunch everyday? Do you do happy hours? Is travel or work outside regular business hours required?
All these set up a job seeker for a good culture fit – and weed out bad ones. Furthermore, for a recruiter or talent acquisition professional who needs to find a candidate for a different hiring manager in the company, getting together on the details of the job description, tasks of the team, and even certain tools used all communicate cultural aspects of the company and job to a job seeker.
A Good Match Leads To A Good Culture
Once you have a good job description, another step in ensuring a good cultural fit is finding a good match. While there are many ways to advertise your job across the web, there is really only one quality job board (ahem, ahem) that ranks and delivers qualified prospects to employers directly. If you think about it, it makes sense that someone who is a bad fit for a job will be a bad fit culturally.
That person may not be able to meet performance expectations. This creates stress on the rest of the team, who may have to pick up the slack. This then snowballs very quickly. At the end of the day, this snowball started by hiring someone who just was not a good qualified candidate.
Leadership Begets Culture Begets Leadership
When you get into the meat of the interview process is where you can really tell if someone will be a good fit or not. Any company wants self-starters and creative thinkers, even if you are just filling data entry positions. This is because these characteristics illustrate passion and leadership. While a prospective hire might have these attributes, it is also important to communicate how the company will foster these talents, thereby creating a positive cultural environment.
HR expert Sharlyn Lauby aka HR Bartender says, “Organizations need to take an active role in creating their leaders. It doesn’t seem practical to assume that one activity alone can prepare future leaders.” So while it is key to make sure that new hires will be good cultural fits, it is just as important for HR to stress the importance of creating a positive culture, and specifically one that fosters leadership.
Your first performance review question: Do you like me?
Another way to make sure that a job candidate will be a good cultural fit is to learn about his or her preferred management style and if that runs parallel to the manager’s style. While similar to and certainly an off shoot of leadership, management style can make or break a team – or even company culture. Does the hiring manager want to be involved in every decision or is he/she ok with delegating responsibility and decision making? Does the candidate prefer to work alone or in teams? How does he/she deal with self-management? Or does the job seeker prefer more of an interventionist as a manager?
Lauby says that finding this out might “sound like a no-brainer but, in the workplace, layers of bureaucracy have created cultures where employees have to go to a manager to solve a problem or to resolve a conflict.” While one assumes the current digital revolution the workplace is undergoing would suggest that most employee-employer relationships are better off in more of a self-managed style, it is important to communicate between the job seeker and the hiring manager what the management style expectations are.