Should you hire for culture fit?

Why do top organizations care about company culture? Quite simply, it is directly related to success. Organisational culture is what people do and how they do it. What and how things get done can make or break a company. But there is also a less noticeable force - the why. Why do people act? Shared values, mindsets and beliefs influence how people in an organization behave, shaping how we work and communicate day-to-day 1.

Why should companies invest in their culture?

Culture correlates with profitability - Studies show companies that rank high for organizational culture are more likely to post a return to shareholders 60% higher than companies with an average company culture 1.

Culture gives companies a competitive advantage - It's easy to copy a brand's tone of voice, but almost impossible to replicate their culture. Organizations with a solid workplace culture are more likely to attract and retain the best talent.

Strong company culture creates resilience - Unhealthy cultures don't respond well to change. It can lead to underperformance and sabotage productivity. A healthy culture sees colleagues and peers pull together in the face of change, united by their shared mindset and beliefs.

Should you hire for culture fit?

Let's be clear, hiring for culture fit is not about hiring someone that'll easily simulate. Innovation requires diverse people with different ways of thinking. Hiring for 'culture fit' is rife with biases. Companies must ensure the culture "itself is supportive and adaptable enough to embrace all kinds of talent" 2. Hiring Managers should assess candidates on whether their mindset, beliefs and background will be a 'culture add', not a 'culture fit'. Instead, ask whether the person will positively drive your company values, team culture and corporate culture forward.

Who's responsible for company culture?

Everybody. Shared responsibility means different people in different roles put each put the work in to cultivate a strong culture. Each person is accountable for delivering results. HR leaders, the CEO and middle managers are responsible for providing direction, resources and support for culture-building initiatives, while others provide employee feedback on existing initiatives and ideas for new ones - aligning their attitudes and behaviours to support the desired culture 3.

Employee advocacy matters

A strong, and inclusive workplace culture leads to more engaged employees and better advocacy. And what happens when you've got happy employees who love where they work? They make others want to join you. They attract the best in the industry. They boost productivity and drive business success, growing your reputation as an industry leader - and that's not something that can be easily dismantled.

References:

  1. Culture: 4 keys to why it matters, McKinsey & Company
  2. Competing in the New Talent Market, Harvard Business Review, October 03, 2022
  3. Company Culture Is Everyone’s Responsibility, Harvard Business Review, February 08, 2021