Job seekers and culture fit

Companies screen for culture fit and job fit

Companies screen applicants on at least two levels–job fit and culture fit.

First, they evaluate a candidate’s fitness for the job. To evaluate for job fit, companies consider these questions:

  • Does this person have the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for this job?
  • What past experiences have prepared the applicant for the job?
  • Do the applicant’s strengths match the requirements for the job?
  • Will this person be sufficiently challenged doing this work?

More and more, organizations now add a second layer of questioning to evaluate how a candidate fits their culture. Companies think about these questions in the selection process:

  • Is our organization’s work meaningful to the applicant?
  • Are the applicant’s values in harmony with the core values of the organization?
  • Will this person naturally perform in ways that are consistent with how we do things here?

How well a job candidate fits the culture of a workplace can make the difference between job search success and failure. Candidates who are selected on the basis of culture fit—in addition to job fit— contribute faster, perform better and stay longer with the organization. When hiring professionals neglect culture fit, the company and the employee share the burden. Working at a company whose guiding principles and values are inconsistent with yours can be difficult, stressful and unrewarding. As you experience situations that conflict with your values, you discover how important those values are to you as a person.

Your values are difficult to change. When you don’t fit the culture of an organization, even training and development cannot easily alter the mismatch. It’s just not the right place for you and not the right life for you to live.

Discover how to screen for culture fit

Job Seeker Manual, culture fitEmploy the information and activities in the newly published Job Seeker Manual. This step-by-step guide will help you better understand yourself and the culture of a potential workplace and to decide if the organization is right for you. Then, using your knowledge of the company’s culture, you can effectively demonstrate how well you fit.

Find a workplace where you will thrive

Begin the journey to finding a workplace that is right for you. Discover how to find a meaningful workplace where people are making a contribution and practicing the principles and values that matter to you. Use culture to get hired because you are a total fit.

Culture is a competitive tool

Culture–your organization’s hidden asset

culture as competitive tool

According to Fortune and its latest research on the 100 Best Companies to Work For, culture is “the secret to business success.” This Fortune issue reinforces the importance of workplace culture and the trend that culture is a competitive tool.

Steps to make culture your competitive tool

Similarly, based on my research and practice, making culture your competitive tool doesn’t just easily happen. It involves a few key steps and an ongoing and unwavering focus.

First, you must clearly define and communicate the principles and values that your company holds as core to the culture. This culture assessment process must be an organization-wide process. Yes, everyone must be involved, to some degree, in participating. Yes, leadership can make the final decision, but smart leaders listen to employees. Therefore, a culture assessment collects employee views so they can be incorporated into the decision-making process. Defining core principles and values includes not only defining your organization’s Purpose, its distinctive Philosophy, and its strategic Priorities, but also identifying the universal Priorities to focus on in order to have an engaged workforce.

Next, is alignment. You must align all Practices–internal and external–and the images you Project to the public with the core culture. Alignment hinges on a key area: hiring. You must hire for culture fit. If your employees are passionate about your organization’s core principles and values, you have a better chance that they will practice those principles and values. The Purpose of the organization must feel meaningful to the employee. Additionally, there must be harmony. Harmony between the organization’s core principles and values and the employee’s principles and values.

Alignment of Practices and Projections is an ongoing process. The never-ending aim is to embed the core culture principles and values deep into every facet of the organization.

These steps are critical for culture to successfully be a competitive tool. It’s not a simple process, but those companies that get it and live it excel.

Make culture your competitive tool. Be true to your core values and ensure that your universal Priorities incorporate a climate that is engaging and humane to its workers. Let your culture be your secret to business success.