Picture this. You’ve just onboarded a new hire, they ticked all the boxes on paper, communicated their abilities well during their interview, and had glowing reviews of their performance from their referees.
It may take weeks, or months, but you soon realise that, as much as they’re capable of the job, they’re not a good cultural fit.
Cultural fit is a term we hear used a lot when it comes to the hiring process and new employees. But what does it actually mean?
What is cultural fit?
To some, cultural fit is misinterpreted to mean hiring a homogenous group of employees.
Whether that relates to race, gender, age, socioeconomic level, personality or simply personal views and interests, this can lead to decreased diversity in the workplace.
Workplaces with a diverse mix of genders, races and sexual orientations are better for innovation, creative output and performance, so hiring based on this definition can not only perpetuate racism, ageism and sexism, it can lead to discrimination.
It’s not good for people, and it’s not good for business.
So how do we define cultural fit?
Cultural fit is not about hiring someone like you (or someone you like).
Instead, it’s about hiring people whose personal values and behaviours are aligned with your organisation’s.
A good cultural fit enhances your organisation’s shared purpose and vision. They work well with their team and cultivate a positive atmosphere that helps everyone feel they’re part of something great.
The benefit of hiring employees who are aligned with your organisation’s values include:
- The employee becoming a welcome and integral part of the team
- An enhancement to their team’s motivation and productivity
- Positive contributions to workplace culture
- The protection of your brand’s reputation, credibility and profitability
On the other hand, employees who are not a good cultural fit are more likely to cause disruptions in the workplace, negatively affect other employees and lead to the many costs associated with a bad hire.
Why does cultural fit matter?
It can only take one bad hire to throw off the balance of your organisation’s culture.
Every organisation wants high performing employees, but should it come at the expense of trust?
In his presentation How Do You Measure Success, author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek explores how high performance and low trust employees are often toxic leaders and toxic team members.
Simon points out that while performance is easily measured, there are few metrics available to determine trustworthiness, which often results in those toxic employees being promoted and ultimately ruining organisational culture.
Trust in your employees matters. The good news is, we do have metrics to measure trustworthiness; by assessing your candidates’ cultural fit.
What are the indications of cultural fit?
At CheckSocial, our digital footprint checks use cultural fit indicators to highlight the likelihood of a candidate being a good fit.
The indicators highlight any discriminatory behaviours, criminal history and unprofessional behaviours of the candidate, which allows you to assess them against your values, code of conduct and social media policies.
For example, in organisations with strong values around diversity and inclusion, a candidate who is found to engage in racist, sexist or homophobic content online will clearly not be a good cultural fit. By gathering these insights during your hiring process, you’re not only preventing the wrong hiring decision; by protecting your current employees, culture and brand, you’re proactively strengthening your organisation’s values.
Modernise your hiring process with digital footprint checks
Assessing whether your candidates’ personal values and behaviours are aligned with your organisation’s will allow you to determine their cultural fit.
While traditional background checks, like reference checks, can help you get an idea of your candidate’s values, they often miss important indications of cultural fit.
By incorporating digital footprint checks, you can improve your hiring process to help you build and protect a strong internal culture, and avoid candidates who pose a risk to you, both financially and reputationally.
If you’re interested in learning more about how digital footprint checks can be used to assess cultural fit, download a free sample report today.