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When hiring, not only is it important to ensure the applicant’s ability to do the work, but that they fit well within with the team and company. A cultural evaluation assesses all of the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of a company or team that shapes how work is completed.

What is company culture?

In essence, a company’s culture encompasses the values, beliefs, and personality of a company. Some promote a community, like Google, while others stick to the typical corporate office culture, think traditional Wall Street. When a worker fits the company culture they tend to work better, as they have similar values to the mission.

The Importance

If an applicant is a good cultural fit with the company they are more likely to stay for an extended period and they are more likely to share corporate values. If a new hire fits into the company culture, or even the team’s culture, they’re going to be more productive and conducive while ensuring the uniqueness they will bring. If they share the same business goals as the team or company they will want to aspire to be a part of the mission. At the same time, if they do not fit into the culture a new employee might not get the work completed in the desired fashion and may even lead to their termination.

Not only is it important for the employer but also the candidate. When they are aware of a company’s culture they can make a more informed decision of whether or not it is somewhere they would want to work. If their values align with the companies, they may become more passionate and hard-working.

Not the End-All-Be-All

Commonly referred to as the beer-test, deciding whether or not you would want to get a beer with a job candidate is a classic test for determining a cultural fit. However important office relationships are, it should not be the end-all-be-all when it comes to hiring. When you look for just that you may get distracted by which candidates you want to be friends with over how well they can do the job.

A new employee shouldn’t be a carbon copy of a current employee. They should bring something new and unique to the table but still fit in.

determining if an applicant is a cultural fit

Figuring out if an Applicant “Fits”

Figuring out if an applicant is a culture fit for the company can be completed in a variety of ways:

  • Ask questions that may spark creative answers surrounding the culture at their previous company.
  • Alert applicants what characteristics the company looks for in an employee, in addition to the skills needed for the job. They want to make sure the company is a fit for them as well.
  • When contacting their references, see what their thoughts are on the cultural fit at places they currently or used to work at, as well as what the culture is like there.
  • When interviewing a candidate, expose them to the culture, let them experience firsthand what it might be like to work there and if it is somewhere they would want to be. This can be a shadow experience, a trial hire period, or just some exposure to the office space.
  • This doesn’t fall solely on the shoulders of the hiring manager. An applicant’s potential manager and the team. Think about whether or not they would fit in with their co-workers and whether or not they would work well with the people.