Hire for the role, stay for the culture: why hiring for cultural fit matters

In 2019, 22% of Arbutus Search Group’s placements were promoted within 18 months of hire. We believe this is due to our unique customer-centric recruitment approach that highly values the culture match between companies and candidates. 

If you are not familiar with the recruitment industry, many of our competitors in the space tend to focus on who makes probation or who outlasts the guarantee period. Not our recruitment agency, we want to see our clients’ promotions and engagement scores. 

But what does culture fit really mean? Oftentimes people have a misconception of this term, so let me start with clarifying that culture fit does NOT mean thinking the same way, looking the same way, or sharing the same background.  Hiring for culture fit does not have to undermine diversity. We are not trying to clone the current workforce but to choose people who share the same values and can engage with the company creating a sense of belonging. If anything, diversity should be one of those shared values! 

That said, it’s no secret that some companies struggle to find quality hires and with that, employee engagement drops. When filling those key roles and selecting employees who will grow with your organization, it’s important not to solely focus on the technical skills but to consider the candidate holistically. Finding a potential employee who fits with and adds to your organizational culture is more important than you might think. Over the last few years, we have been asked countless times “how do you know someone is the right hire?”

A 30 minute interview  isn’t enough time to determine if the cultural fit is  there. Although a candidate might appear great on paper and interview well, it’s important to take the time to learn more about their other qualities, such as their passions, values and interpersonal skills. We are also looking for transferable skills. 

 At Arbutus Search Group, we do this is by asking behavioural questions to see what their thought process is:

  • Present them with realistic problems they may have faced on the job to see how they reacted. 
  • Ask them to describe the work environment in which they perform best and inquire about their goals and passions. It’s important to hire people that are motivated not only by success but also by purpose.
  • We always like to ask the question “Why this job and why this company now?”. I find it’s a great way to get a sense of whether or not they are interested in this role.

You should also pay attention to their questions. You can learn a lot about someone by the questions they ask. Take this opportunity to initiate a dialogue that will help you determine if you are on the same page.

Ask the right questions during the reference calls, be specific to the areas that are important to the role and the company. 

Finding a candidate that is passionate about your company mission and aligns with your values is essential for talent retention. Spend some extra time and resources on the hiring process and it will pay off. 

Want to know more about hiring for cultural fit? Email us at: info@arbutussearch.com