by Jo Geraghty and Derek Bishop

Hiring for cultural fit

Much has been written about hiring for cultural fit and it continues to be an important element, both of employee engagement and of driving organisational culture. And hiring for cultural fit is a two-way street. Prospective employees need to be sure that they are going to be happy working for the organisation as much as the organisation is happy that those individuals will step up to meet the expected cultural standards.

It’s time here to pause and bust another myth. Hiring for cultural fit is not the same as hiring clones. Diversity is a powerful enabler and businesses ignore it at their peril (for more information, see the topic on Diversity and the importance of organisational culture). But increasingly, businesses are starting to realise that high-level qualifications mean nothing unless the individual is able to positively contribute to the organisation.

Businesses may not want to go as far as companies such as Amazon and Zappos, which offer new employees a cash sum to quit in a bid to weed out the misfits. But by flexing the recruitment process to identify beliefs and behaviours, organisations can save themselves a lot of internal strife as well as a potential derailment of culture.

But it’s not enough simply to hire for cultural fit. The first few days with an organisation can make or break engagement in organisational ideals. It may be tempting to point to a desk and tell someone to get on with it, but taking time to plan, manage and deliver the induction process will pay dividends in the future.