Should you hire for “job fit” or “culture fit”?

In a perfect world, the process of recruiting people for any given position would be very simple. All the candidates applying for a given position would have all the required skills, and their personality would allow them to fit into the cultural fabric of any company seamlessly. 

Unfortunately, the world is not perfect, and therefore, it is very hard to find a candidate with every quality that you are looking for – this is the whole essence of the recruitment process. Whichever approach you decide to take, you will simply be trying to pick the candidate that is most suited for a given position. To this end, recruiters have to consider several factors to make the most appropriate recruitment choices.  Among the most important are job fit and culture fit.

How To Make Sure That you Are Hiring The Right Candidate

As mentioned above, there is nothing like a perfect candidate for any given position. So what exactly should recruiters consider? A debate has been raging for many years on the importance of job fit versus cultural fit. A lot of recruiting managers tend to lean towards job fit. However, the truth is that hiring a person with the necessary skills without considering their ability to fit into your company’s culture can have detrimental impacts on your existing team of employees and your company at large. 

Therefore, while skills and experience levels are important considerations to make in the recruitment process, especially if you do not have time and other resources required for training, you also have to think about cultural fit for you to pick the best candidate. Remember that training a person to learn new skills is much easier compared to trying to alter their attitude or personality.

What is culture fit?

The concept of culture fit is not easy to define. However, it is very easy for people to know when it’s missing. For you to understand the concept of culture fit, you have to first understand the concept of business culture. 

Business culture can be understood as the values and beliefs that define what an organization is all about. Just as personality varies from one person to another, business culture also differs from one organization to another. This is basically why some people may not fit in your existing team even though they have the necessary skills and experience to perform a given task. 

Cultural fit has to do with matching candidates with company culture or values. In other words, hiring cultural fit is all about extending offers to a candidate who is more likely to get along with your team, embrace your company’s culture, and consequently thrive in his or her role.

What is hiring for job fit?

Job fit is a concept that has to do with how well a candidate is suited for a specific position. By picking candidates that are the best fit for their positions, you can significantly enhance employee retention and minimize both voluntary and involuntary turnover. 

Generally, it is believed that employees who are well suited for their positions are likely to be happier and more productive, and therefore, they are going to benefit your company’s bottom line. 

Many factors can influence job fit. An example of such a factor is personality. For instance, if a person is not assertive, they may be uncomfortable with holding a managerial position. Similarly, if a person is an introvert, it may be difficult for them to thrive in a position that involves a lot of human interaction.

Why you should hire for culture fit

From the foregoing discussions, it is apparent that the importance of considering culture fit in the recruitment process cannot be overemphasized. It comes with benefits such as quality work, higher job satisfaction, and lower turnover. 

This can be explained by the fact that when people are working in an emotionally fulfilling environment, they are more committed to their job, and therefore, they can bring more to the table. Besides, hiring people who believe in your company’s values implies that you will have a team of employees who are intrinsically motivated to help your company achieve its long-term goals and objectives.

How to hire for culture fit

Hiring for culture fit can be quite a daunting task. This is because qualities that determine culture fit cannot be easily picked from a resume in a world where job seekers are advised to avoid including “unnecessary” personal information, not related to the position in question, in their job applications. In any case, understanding how well a candidate’s personality fits into your company’s business culture is more difficult than determining their levels of skills and experience. However, you can rely on these simple tips to get the job done:

  • Create and publicize your company values and let applicants understand how these values translate to the role in question.
  • Have a “company values” page on your company’s website
  • Ensure that you reference your company values in job advertisements
  • During the interview, ensure that you discuss your company’s business culture and ask questions related to your company values. Also, remember to ask the question, “Why are you a good fit for this job?”
  • Create a solid induction program and ensure that cultural induction is an integral component of the process
  • Meet the recruit within the first month to have further discussions about their new role. During this meeting, you should discuss the position’s responsibilities and assess if the recruit is comfortable with what they will be doing.  

The Bottom Line

Overall, it is apparent that although skills and experience are important factors when it comes to recruitment processes, they should not be given prominence at the experience of culture fit. This is because, while you can easily train new employees to learn new skills, it is very hard to change the values and the personality of a person to conform to your company’s culture. Therefore, if you would like to recruit a person that is committed to the long-term goals of your company, culture fit is the way to go. You can try our talent matching engine to make your work in this regard easier.

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Angela

Angela

Angela Hood, a serial entrepreneur from Austin, Texas, developed Ai4JOBS after years of research, development, and incubation at the University of Cambridge ideaSpace in England. Now operating across the world, ‘Ai4JOBS by ThisWay’ provides employers, recruiters, and staffing agencies with a suite of solutions that delivers unbiased job-to-candidate matching technology. ThisWay’s acclaimed technology and ethics-based methodologies help both businesses and individuals find greater success in the job world, through matching that matters. Hood’s passion around building unbiased technology was born from her own experience working as a field engineer and project manager in the construction and land development industries. She is a business and recognized thought leader in the fields of artificial intelligence, entrepreneurship and the ROI of diversity. Her groundbreaking work in artificial intelligence and de-biasing is often referenced in international research and is featured in a Simon & Schuster book being released in August 2019.