How to ensure a candidate is the right cultural fit

Recruitment Strategies
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Finding the right candidate for a role can involve a lot of time and resources from a recruiter. Make sure that cultural fit is a key part of your recruitment process.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the result of poor culture fit due to turnover can cost an organisation between 50 – 60% of the person’s annual salary. This can pile a lot of pressure on these recruiters. On paper a candidate might be the perfect for the role, but until you are in the room with them, it’s always hard to tell if they’re a cultural fit.

Here are our top tips for making sure that the candidate is the perfect match for your company:

Bring Them In

After perhaps meeting at a neutral venue, for a second or third interview it might be a good idea to bring them into the office environment and get a feel for how they operate with their potential colleagues. You will know the best candidates from how they introduce themselves to the team and how they ask questions as they walk on their tour of the office.

Exposing them to the bigger picture of the business can help you uncover if they would really be a good cultural fit. It gives you another touch point with the candidate where you can hopefully get a more accurate picture of how collaborative they are.

Read more here on how you can take your candidate interview to the next level.

How to Ensure a Candidate is the right Cultural Fit

Image: Adobe Stock Library

Set the Scene

How much can you tell about the right candidate-or a person for that matter-within the confines of conference room walls? As a recruiter, it’s a good idea to think about your interview environment and what it can do for you in terms of coaxing out personality in your efforts finding the right candidate.

Perhaps meet them in a busy café or restaurant, to get an idea of how they interact with the people around them. It may seem quite a clinical way of assessing people, but if they are rude to the waiting staff you can pretty guarantee that they won’t fit as a manager in your team. Meeting them in a neutral setting can also help put your candidate at ease, encouraging them to give more natural answers and talk more freely.

Curveball Questions

These can strike fear into the heart of a candidate, but for recruiters it’s about thinking through which questions will really help you understand if they are the ideal candidate and a right cultural fit for a business. Many standard interview questions can be well rehearsed by candidates so thinking about how you can mix them up is important.

This article offers a few examples on the types of curveball questions you can ask, plus their hidden meanings.

The idea is never to embarrass the candidate, as you are not looking for them to get the rather ‘out there’ questions right, but test their responses to see if you are really finding the right candidate or just an illusion.

Online Presence

What is your favourite hobby? This is a typical interview question and is generally asked to find out a bit more about the personality of a candidate. Typical answers can include ‘reading’ or ‘exercise classes’. Sometimes however, these can be a case of telling the recruiter what they want to hear.

Many of your best candidates now, are likely to have an extensive social media presence from Instagram to LinkedIn. If these are publically available, you should feel free to take a look and get to know the candidate a little more. This could help you understand whether they are more introverted or outgoing and how you would see them fitting in with a team.

How to Ensure a Candidate is the right Cultural Fit

Image: Adobe Stock Library

Think About On boarding

Whether you have found the right candidate who is a great cultural fit or not, it is not decided in an interview. You need to think about how the on boarding process brings your new employee into the culture of the business. A mentorship programme can help with nurturing the employee both in terms of their day-to-day work and about how they behave and interact with colleagues.

In essence, an on boarding programme should set the tone about what is expected from that candidate at the company so it’s important to ensure the programme is in place, all your hard work at interview stage may for nothing.

Don’t Panic

Once in the role, give the candidate time to settle in and adjust to the company culture. Often people react differently to new environments, so it is unfair to make a judgement on their first day, week or even month. Give them space and time to grow into the role before making an assessment.

Whether a candidate is a good cultural fit can be easily overlooked at interview state when faced with a glowing CV and flawless responses. It is important that as a recruiter you look at the whole package, or you could be costing the business more than just a vacancy listing.

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Curveball interview questions for recruiters to ask candidates

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