How to get the cultural fit right first time

culture shutterstockIn our last post we talked about how here at Talent Gateway cultural fit is what many of our clients consider as our strength. It’s not something you want to get wrong too often. Managing the fall-out when someone turns out not to fit is a costly and time consuming process that is best avoided.

With that in mind we work with in partnership with our clients throughout the recruitment process, and beyond if required. Our aim is align both the selection and induction process with a robust audit of the culture.

As our lost post observed, understanding culture is key to getting the right person on board – it’s not something that can be done at arms length from a job spec.

So it’s not just ‘over to you’ once we introduce you our carefully selected candidates. We work hand in hand with our clients to make sure you not only recognise the right candidate when you meet them, but also convince them you and your organisation are right for them too.

What questions should you ask? How should you prepare? And indeed how should you try to accurately portray your organisation and its culture to potential employees.

We found a summary document by Culture Builders that describes all the key steps to recruiting an employee that fits with your culture, and what you can do to enable them to make an impression on your business as quickly as possible.

Here are the key points:

  1. What messages does your environment give? If you’ve got a slick website and branding but work out of a shabby building, what impression does leave with candidates? What does the room your interviewing in say about your culture?
  2. Help candidates get an accurate impression of the working environment. Let them see it’s open plan or that teams share hot-desks. Show them around the various work areas and use that as a chance to chat more informally so you can pick clues from the candidate about how they like to work.
  3. Consider letting other key people in the team get involved in the interview process, or arrange for them to meet the candidate for coffee as a follow-up. Not only does the candidate get a better feel for the team, but a trusted colleague’s second opinion can be invaluable.
  4. Ask questions that explore cultural fit such as:
  • Describe the working environment that enables you to work at your best.
  • What do you look for in a business and culture?
  • Describe your ideal working day.
  1. Be prepared for searching questions about how they will be managed, and what you think makes a member of the team successful.
  2. It doesn’t end when someone is appointed. Follow-up on actions promised at the interview, and ensure there is a strong induction process in place that enables new staff to quickly find their way around the business , get to know people and find out how things are done. All these touch points leave new employees with a strong impression about the organisation’s culture and how well, or badly, they fit in.

Download the full summary document here

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