Hiring new employees is one of the most important tasks of any organization, especially a small business. Hiring for cultural and organizational fit has been an HR buzzword for a while. In brief, it means hiring someone with the same goals, values and practices that define the business. If teamwork and collaboration are considered necessary for success, a lone wolf wouldn’t fit in or, in all likelihood, be happy in the job.
What Cultural/Organizational Fit Is Not
Let’s get this out of the way immediately: hiring for “fit” by no means should be used as an excuse to hire people who all look alike or identify in the same ways. In fact, a broad spectrum of opinions and backgrounds is essential for the growth of any business that hopes to succeed and scale beyond a small segment of customers. To put a fine point on it: cultural or organizational fit has nothing to do with the innate characteristics of who a person is, but is rather defined by their personal goals, strengths, and passions.
It Isn’t All About Hard Skills
Resumes detail an applicant’s skill set. In some professions, this information is critically important. If you’re hunting for a surgeon or lawyer with particular skills and experience, for example, that skill set might outweigh all other considerations.
More often, however, you’re facing a stack of resumes from people who appear to possess the necessary skills for the job you’re trying to fill. However, your company is unique. No one is going to walk through the door knowing everything necessary to excel at your business.
Anyone new will have a lot to learn. You accept that. You’re looking for more than the skills a person learned at college or at a previous job. You’re looking for cultural fit, that special something that isn’t on a resume. In fact, including personal interests unrelated to the job is typically considered irrelevant and a resume blunder.
Defining Your Business’s Culture
The culture of an organization can be stated from day one or develop over time. At some point, however, it needs to be clarified so that everyone clearly understands what the business believes in. Talk it out and put it in writing. You may discover that the goals and values of the business are not as well-known and observed as you’d like.
In interesting survey found that management doesn’t always practice what they preach. Teamwork and collaboration were considered “very important” by 75% of employees, but apparently not so much by management. Communication evaluations were only included in 18% of performance reviews.
Cultural Fit Reduces Turnover, Improves Productivity and Saves Money
Employees who possess the same intrinsic goals as the business are happier and more productive and are more likely to remain with the company. High turnover can cost the business up to 60% of the employee’s annual salary, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
Ask the Right Questions to Define the Intangible
It’s not easy to find that one person who fits right in and will become an outstanding team member. You’re trying to identify those qualities of character and values that will mesh with and strengthen your business.
A few possible interview questions include:
- What type of business culture do you prefer? (Does this match your business culture?)
- Take the prospect on a tour of the workplace and ask the applicant for their impression of the culture and if they would be comfortable in that environment.
- What worked well in another organization? Would you want to implement that practice here?
- Did you ever work someplace where you didn’t think you were a good fit?
- Why do you want to work with us?
At BXP Creative, we put a lot of time and effort into finding the best new team members. We’re strong believers in teamwork and collaboration and have found that the strongest, most creative teams share the culture of our organization and do the most outstanding work for our clients.
How can we help you grow your business? Let’s connect today!