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5 Ways to Screen and Hire for Culture Fit

Sep 21 , 2021

Group having a discussion around a table.

If at all possible, most companies want to hire workers who share their values and are a good cultural fit for them. When employees feel like they fit into the larger organization and can work toward a shared purpose, they tend to be happier and more engaged at work, making them more productive and reducing turnover.

Companies who want to screen and hire for culture fit should look at doing the following:

1. Add cultural fit to job descriptions.

Job descriptions usually list qualifications and skills needed for the job, but they can also list qualities or traits the employer wants to see as well. These can include characteristics related to culture fit, such as open communication style, thinking outside the box, or whatever traits your company values in its approach to its employees. Adding these traits to the job description will attract candidates who also value these traits and are more likely to be a fit for your company.

2. Screen applications, resumes and cover letters.

Whatever screening process you have for resumes, cover letters, and applications should include screening for words the hiring team has identified as being associated with your company culture. Screening in this way will increase the likelihood of finding employees that are a good cultural fit, although it could also include some chameleons that look up your corporate values on your website and just use those words in their CV. 

Skills, experience and culture fit.

3. Ask oblique questions.

Once you decide on candidates to interview, you want to come up with some subtle questions that will help you identify cultural fit without coming right out and asking about it. Here are some examples:

  • Describe the atmosphere of your former workplace. What did you like? What would you have changed?
  • What qualities do you value in your fellow employees? What qualities do you see as negative?
  • Describe your typical ideal workday. 
  • What makes coming to work worthwhile for you (besides the paycheck)?

Questions like these are open-ended enough to give definite clues about the candidate's values and whether they align with the company culture. 

4. Interview with your team.

Another great option for the interview process is to involve members of the team in which the candidate will be working. These team members can assess the candidates specifically as to whether they would be a good cultural fit for the team and the company overall. Team members will have a unique perspective from management or HR, and their insights can be valuable regarding the fit of potential employees. 

5. Assign values-based task.

Many hiring processes now include a task that can show a candidate's skills in real-time, rather than only relying on their own and others' assessment of those skills. This task can also be used to show cultural fit. For example, you could assign them to write an "About Me" description for the company website or to create a social media post. Observing both the process by which they complete the task, and the results can reveal a great deal about whether they will be a good fit for your company. 

GDH provides recruiting services that consider aspects of hiring like cultural fit. Contact us for more information on our services.