What is cultural fit?
The organizational culture is the puzzle and its employees are the much-needed pieces that make it up, that is, the union of all employees of a company results in its culture. However, to assemble it, we need to ensure the fit between them. So, it’s time to understand the cultural fit!
“Cultural fit is the likelihood that someone will reflect and be able to adapt to the core beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that make up your organization.”
The fit, or cultural fit, is the alignment that an employee has, in addition to soft skills and personality traits, with the values of the culture and with the company’s mission. By considering these elements, you can find candidates who are more likely to be motivated, involved, and more likely to stay in the organization.
Imagine the immense satisfaction that is felt when we instantly “click” with another person, as does a candidate aligned with the organizational culture. When his beliefs are in tune with the culture, a synergy is created and he will certainly be more willing to achieve his goals described in the vacancy.
The result of this scenario, in the future, is an employee who can not only have an above-average income, but also act more intelligently, making decisions that will benefit both the company and his own career.
He ends up, therefore, having a strategic vision of the company, in addition to the willingness to execute it, as he wants the company to grow and wants to actively contribute to this development.
Another offshoot of the cultural fit: future and current employees are a reflection of the organization and, therefore, ambassadors of the company’s brand. If she promotes a certain culture and a set of values, but they are still acting in a totally opposite way, it causes dissonance between how she is seen and how she wants to be presented.
For this reason, the better the cultural fit between the two, the stronger the employing brand will be, a requirement that is so important in the acquisition of talent.
What are the benefits of evaluating cultural fit?
Having a team aligned with the company’s values generates enormous strategic advantages in conducting the business. See the main ones below.
1-Accuracy in hiring
Evaluating the cultural fit increases your chances of hiring a professional that is 100% consistent with the job requirements. In addition to contributing relevant experiences to the team, this person has everything to get along with colleagues and adapt to processes without major problems.
In this way, it is possible to build a mature and cohesive team, in addition to favoring a positive organizational climate . Hiring with precision also has long-term benefits: the company’s DNA grows stronger, which guarantees the institution’s opportunity to stand out from the competition and build a coherent and successful story.
2-Increased performance and productivity
When a professional identifies with the organization’s values, he “wears his shirt” and feels proud to be part of the team. This satisfaction makes productivity increase, as the employee is motivated to give their all in their activities.
Imagine the benefits of having an entire team with these characteristics. Worrying about cultural fit makes it possible to assemble high-performance teams that deliver results outside the curve. When developing projects relevant to the market, everyone wins, as there is mutual growth between the company and the professionals.
It is important that employees feel connected in the workplace. Therefore, the greater the satisfaction and identification with the company’s practices, the longer their permanence in the organization will be .
This drastically reduces turnover, which contributes to the maturity of teams (in addition to reducing absences and delays) and reduces expenses with recruitment and selection , generating talent retention.
When your employee’s beliefs are in line with your company’s, he is more likely to be committed to it, delivering greater results. This level of involvement is critical to business success.
5-Increased Team Cohesion
A team that works in concert with the company’s core values is aligned with the same goals. Professional and personal differences are much easier to resolve in teams where employees are committed to similar values.
Step by step for cultural fit
Before hiring, there is a very important step, which involves developing a culture that attracts the best talent. Therefore, you need to rethink: what are the values, beliefs and behaviors that your company has today?
If they are not very clear or need to change, you need to have a better understanding of that culture before moving into cultural fit. Check how in the following steps:
Step 1: Examine the organization’s key attributes
See and analyze current company characteristics, such as the type of:
- leadership (if it demonstrates behaviors that reflect the values);
- decision making (whether employees have a voice or something more centralized);
- internal communication (whether it is more open or closed);
- openness to innovation and change (how the organization approaches risks and evaluates new ideas);
- learning and development (whether employees and leaders seek opportunities to acquire new skills and knowledge).
Step 2: Define what values your organization wants to achieve
What elements would you like her to develop and achieve? With the help of leadership, employees and market references, research the characteristics that represent the desired culture.
Step 3: Map and identify gaps
This step helps provide new insights into attitudes and beliefs that may have previously been unknown or misunderstood. So, once you understand your culture, make a comparison with the practices pursued in the previous step and see what improvements are needed.
Step 4: Document your culture
Create a culture code (or culture code) document that describes all organizational culture practices. It can be in any format (such as a manual or a presentation), but it must contain:
- Mission statement;
- Core values;
- How to work and live in accordance with the company’s values;
- Too many traditions and shared beliefs.
A culture code simply makes your mission and values statement more accessible and achievable, guiding the cultural fit and thereby helping with recruitment and selection (See How to Build a Culture Code ).
Step 5: Implement and Reinforce the New Values
To make changes a reality, you depend on the behavior of the organization’s members. Therefore, it is essential to have the support of the leadership in this implementation, as it is capable of directing and influencing others. Conquering these people means having, on a daily basis, promoters of the company’s values.
Step 6: Recruitment and selection by cultural fit
Now, it’s time to select the pieces for your puzzle. In order for you to work on cultural fit in the acquisition of talent, focus on the strategies to be followed and ensure greater adherence with your candidates.
Once the culture has been worked out and defined, the next step is to share it on the careers page . She is the main connection between vacancies and candidates, and it is there that we begin to build talent’s interest in the company. In addition, it is with it that the candidate understands whether or not he is suitable for the company, when seeing the vision, mission and values.
So, do your best on your page! Use your “work with us” to demonstrate the organization’s culture via testimonials, videos and other content that works to your potential as an employer brand.
The compatibility of the candidate profile must also be well worked out in the job description . Therefore, focus very carefully on which soft skills (also known as behavioral skills or competences) are essential for the job to ensure greater cultural fit.
There is no talent development without adherence to the culture, so take time to list and prioritize the skills that are desired, both with regard to the company’s most generic values, as well as those specifically in the area in which the candidate is applying.
If, for example, your company has a strong “teamwork” culture, this may manifest itself differently in the sales team than in the technology team.
Based on this exercise, make a short description of what it means to demonstrate competence for the position in question. That clarity will be critical.
Applying, for example, the online behavioral profile test is a great filter for the first step of the selection process. This tool consists of a questionnaire to assess the candidate’s behavior patterns. The results serve to analyze whether he has a dominant, cautious or influential profile, among other classifications.
Based on this, it is possible to choose the professionals with the greatest potential to continue in the process, according to the organization’s needs. If the opportunity is to be a leader in a startup, for example, the ideal is to select people with a bolder and more creative profile.
To facilitate this analysis, today there are already several tools that rank the profiles most compatible with the vacancies.
This is the case of recruitment and selection systems , which use artificial intelligence to recommend the best candidates based on data, probabilities, skills and competences, rather than personal characteristics, in an impartial way.
Want to know the best way to identify if a candidate’s characteristics and motivations match the behaviors sought? A behavioral interview, also known as a competency assessment , is the best tool to identify the traits and characteristics of each profile.
Competence is usually defined as comprising the acronym CHA: Knowledge, Skill and Attitude. To have a certain competence developed, a person needs to have knowledge about that subject, have the ability to be able to develop activities related to that competence and have the attitude to exercise the behavior that demonstrates the competence.
It is important to emphasize that, when putting together the interview questions, unconscious bias should be avoided as much as possible.
In other words, don’t ask questions where there is an implicit answer already expected, such as: “Do you work well in a team?”. Most will answer yes, but that won’t make you sure that that candidate really has that competence.
Therefore, it is always necessary to structure questions in a neutral way, in order to extract real information from candidates.
How to assess the candidate’s cultural fit?
1-Apply behavioral tests and interviews
Applying an online behavioral test is a great filter for the first step in the selection process. This tool consists of a questionnaire to assess the candidate’s behavior patterns. The results serve to analyze whether he has a dominant, cautious or influential profile, among other classifications.
From there, it is possible to choose the professionals with the most potential to follow the process, according to the organization’s needs. If the opportunity is to be a leader in a startup, for example, the ideal is to select people with a bolder and more creative profile.
Ideally, you should explore situational questions , looking at past experience to see if the candidate has any examples that could be considered a manifestation of that competence.
At this point, it is important to “dig” more responses from the candidate to really make sure that within what is being told there is no “treasure”.
Another important tip: Keeping in mind which competencies are important to your company, you can begin to better define what translates that competency into action.
For this, predicting which types of actions that a candidate may have already manifested in his/her professional life would be proof that he/she has this competence.
So, enjoy and be prepared with some examples of what you expect to hear to help make it quicker to identify what the candidate is talking about and better develop other questions from that.
However, these tests do not provide a sufficient basis for a final decision. Therefore, it is essential to also conduct a behavioral interview. In this conversation, it is important to expose the organizational culture and assess how the candidate reacted to real situations in previous jobs.
This makes it easier to understand the values of the professional and confirm the results obtained in online tests.
2-Perform group dynamics
In group dynamics , it is possible to assess how professionals behave in specific situations, which simulate the obstacles they will encounter in their daily work. As it involves several candidates at the same time, it is the ideal strategy to analyze characteristics such as teamwork, respect for colleagues and acceptance of diversity .
These activities also reveal a lot about one’s personality. Amidst the chaos, does the candidate behave like a planner, doer, or analyst? How does he handle pressure situations? Does he have leadership potential ? All this can be observed in the midst of group dynamics.
Take a job history assessment
Look at the profile of the companies the candidate has worked for. If their values are similar to those of your organization, that could be a positive point. However, this should not be the only criterion. If the person worked in a public agency, but your company has an innovative streak, assess how the professional dealt with bureaucratic processes.