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Screening Candidates for Cultural Fit - 5 Rules

Posted by HRM Direct

Feb 5, 2013 9:27:00 AM

Everyone knows how important it is to hire for credentials and job experience, but a new measurement for potential future success is on the rise: corporate cultural fit. However, unlike scanning a resume, interviewing for cultural fit can be difficult and mind boggling. In this post, we’ll enumerate some of the ways that you can assure that you are incorporating your company’s culture into your interviews.

1.) Make Sure You Understand Your Culture

A common misconception is that corporate culture is similar (or the same as) personal culture--just because someone doesn’t play tennis does not mean they won’t be an ideal candidate for your company. By asking current employees what they think are some of the most valuable and important traits to the company, you will get a better understanding of what core competencies make up your company’s workforce. Make certain that you work from the top down and the bottom up to have a better grasp of which competencies are integral to which role, and which ones may be overarching themes for your company as a whole.

2.) Brand Your Culture

Make sure that the things your company finds important--conflict management or perseverance, for example--are made evident in any media your interviewee might encounter. That means that your website, any training information, and even the email communications you have with that individual should all be reflective of the competencies your company values. Some companies provide welcome letters, booklets, or sheets explaining the key competencies on some of their later interviews in order to give candidates a visual understanding of exactly what the company is looking for. By branding like this, candidates will be able to self-evaluate and better determine whether they should apply, or if they would not be a good fit. 

3.) Let Them Demonstrate Existing Competencies

Give the candidate the opportunity to exhibit their key personal competencies by engaging them in role-playing activities or asking behavior based questions. By asking them what they have done in past work experiences, or allowing them to exhibit what they would do in work experiences with your company, you can see what competencies will serve as opportunities as well as which ones are part of their core.

4.) Don’t Give Up Your Hand

Above we mentioned that sometimes companies will share their competency sheets with candidates, as well as branding their existing media with competencies they’re hiring for. Although it’s important that you and everyone else has a strong understanding of your culture, make sure that you don’t tell candidates on the first interview exactly what you find most important. By opening up to them in that way, you enable candidates to fabricate answers in order to fit into the culture that you are hiring for rather than actually answering honestly in a way that fits.

5.) Monitor Metrics and Statistics for Ongoing Competency Evaluation

An online applicant tracking system is incredibly helpful for perpetuating a strong sense of corporate culture. Hiring managers are required to track employee disposition codes in order to make better sense of why one candidate is a fit over another, and having them all accessible via computer streamlines the process. Similarly, this allows for Human Resources specialists and other individuals within the company to track ongoing competency hiring trends via recorded disposition codes.

Topics: Recruiting, Interviews, Culture

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