The Importance of Cultural Fit

It is believed that most recruiters hire employees based on their skills and abilities to effectively fulfill a job function. However, many fail to understand the importance of hiring an individual based on their ‘fit’ over and above their skills and abilities. When searching for an employee one of your main priorities should be to find someone who you feel will fit in well with the corporate culture. This will help in encouraging a positive working environment and reducing employee turnover.

Improving employee fit

 Hiring a misfit can have a huge detrimental effect on workplace productivity. Not only will you be faced with numerous problems that have to be resolved by human resources, but you could ultimately end up having to lay off the individual to replace them. This can cause major upheaval to any department, and of course the costs involved in firing and hiring are enormous.

Steps to take:

The vacancy posting

Understand the exact corporate culture your company possesses by objectively assessing the workplace environment. This will make finding a cultural fit much easier. When writing the job application be sure to specify what you are looking for in the candidate. Many job adverts fail to take the next step by including some personality requirements in the posting.

Assessing applications

Upon receiving applications you will be able to begin the assessment process. Does the candidate’s personality shine through in the cover letter? Cover letters are a particularly good way to gauge the cultural fit of an employee; if the candidate has done their research, they will usually explain why they believe they are the right candidate for the position and for the company. Unfortunately many of these factors are difficult to discern from reading a resume. 

The interview stage

During the interview you should look beyond their skills, qualifications and experiences. Instead, you should look at how they achieved their results in their previous jobs, what they enjoyed the most and what difficulties they encountered in their previous roles.

Following the interview


If you felt that the interview went successfully but would like to research further, request some references from the candidate. Contact the references and have a set of questions ready that will provide you with further information about the candidate’s personality and attitude to work.