The most talented employee in the world could be a cancer to your company. So when you’re hiring for an open position, you can’t choose someone based solely on what appears on their resume. Instead, you have to determine whether a qualified individual would also be a cultural fit at your organization.
According to the Society of Human Resource Management, hiring someone who is a poor cultural fit can cost businesses anywhere from 50% to 60% of that person’s salary. Beyond those sizeable expenses, folks who don’t agree with your organizational culture could create a toxic environment for their coworkers by complaining about things and always being in a miserable mood.
Employees who don’t fit in with the company culture also tend to exert less effort, meaning they don’t produce high-quality work. In a team setting, this can be even more troubling. If six employees are busting their tails and the seventh is slacking and bringing a terrible attitude into the mix, overall team morale can get crushed and a group project can fall apart.
Gauging Culture Fit
So how exactly can you figure out whether an employee will be a culture fit before it’s too late? The folks at Harvard Business Review put together a list of great questions you can ask prospective candidates during the interview process to best gauge whether or not they will make a culture fit:
- What kinds of environments do you work best in?
- What values would describe your ideal company?
- Why are you trying to work here?
- What words would you use to describe our culture from what you’ve seen?
- What best practices would you try to transfer to our company?
- Did you ever have a job where there was a bad culture fit? Explain the situation.
Do your due diligence, and you should be able to assess whether or not a candidate would thrive in your environment if they were extended an offer. While employees who don’t fit in with your culture can have devastating effects on your company, those that do fit in with it can move mountains for you.
These are the benefits when you hire for organizational culture fit:
They're More Likely to Believe in the Work They’re Doing
Since they are on board with your values, employees who are culture fits are more likely to take pride in the work they’re doing. This is important, because as a recent LA Times article notes, millennials are really interested in finding work that is meaningful.
We’ve all worked at jobs where we basically just went through the motions. This isn’t exactly the recipe for reaching one’s full potential. When you hire for culture fit, you weed out employees who would just go through the motions in favor of folks who are ready to pour their souls into their work.
They're Great Ambassadors of Your Brand
Everyone has at least one friend who works at a job they hate. Think about who that person is in your life. Odds are you don’t think too highly of their company.
On the flip side, when employees are a great cultural fit, they become ambassadors of your brand. Instead of telling their friends how much they dread going to work and how awful and unfair their bosses are, they spread good news. When you hire for culture fit, your employees’ friends are more likely to think positively about your brand because they won’t have any reason to think otherwise.
They're Way More Motivated
Employees who fit in with your culture are likely to be enthusiastically engaged. They take pride in their work and are always willing to lend a hand whenever they can. This motivation results in a significant uptick in productivity.
They Motivate Their Coworkers
In addition to increasing their own output, employees who fit in with your culture will also help motivate those that surround them. By focusing on culture fit during the hiring process, you increase the chances you’ll put together teams consisting of workers who are all pushing each other toward their full potential.
They're More Likely to Stick Around
According to our Employee Retention Report, workers are more likely to stay put when there’s a high fit in company culture. When asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely they were to keep working for the same company for the next six months, employees who had a high fit in company culture gave the average score of 9.3, while than those who had a low fit gave the average of 8.2.
This makes sense, because employees who fit in with a company’s culture are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. Why would anyone go looking for a new job if they love the one they have?
Because it costs a lot more money to hire a new employee than retain an existing one, you’re shooting yourself in the foot by hiring someone who may not fit in with your culture. Increase your odds right off the bat that your new hire will stick around by hiring for culture fit.
They Deliver Stronger Customer Service
Employees who fit in with your company’s culture are also more likely to provide your customers with the caliber of service you hope your brand delivers every day. These workers are all about the companies they work for. Just like they don’t have anything bad to say about their employers when they’re with their friends, they’ll have nothing but good things to say to customers during various interactions.
The last thing you want is a disengaged employee taking out their frustration on one of your customers. The good news is that such situations are largely avoidable when you keep culture fit top of mind during the hiring process.
If your company hasn’t considered culture fit when interviewing prospective candidates for open positions before, it’s time to put your procedures under the microscope to see what changes need to be made. Hiring for culture fit may extend your interview process just a bit, but in the end it’ll be totally worth it. You’ll end up with new blood that is excited to join the team and thoroughly committed to your cause.