3 Questions to Assess Candidate Fit with Company Culture

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When acting as the professional recruiter for an organization, one of the most challenging steps in the recruitment process can be determining what attributes the candidate must possess to fit with the employer’s company culture.  The employer knows they need help and that they need someone to complete work, but they are often unsure exactly what  types of people work well with their team and
culture.  It can be difficult for employers to see beyond the day-to-day tasks of the job to assess cultural fit.  Some questions I ask employers to determine the types of individuals that thrive and fit within their particular company cultures are these:

1. What do the best people in your organization do
better than the rest?

Interestingly, almost every time I ask this question of an employer, their response is related to personal attributes rather than technical skills. Typical responses include the best people:

  • are self-starters
    – an indication of an independent organization that is free of micromanagement
  • have the ability to mentor and teach – an indicator of a learning culture
  • are strong communicators – a signal of an open and transparent workplace

Dependent on answers, I can further nail down the company culture as well as those who are successful within it.

2. What are the characteristics of the most
influential leaders within the workplace?

The characteristics and behaviours of the leadership team will cascade down throughout the organization and inevitably will mould company culture. Certain people can be more successful than others under the leadership that is moulding the company culture. Once I know the desirable leadership characteristics within the company, I can gain an understanding of the types of candidates that will be successful in working under those leaders.

When asked about the characteristics of the organization’s leadership team, answers like:

  • Inspiring,
  • Decision-makers, and
  • Visionary.

Indicate a culture of empowerment and one that self-starters will thrive in. Answers like:

  • Creative, and
  • Futuristic.

Indicate a culture of innovation and one that those who are imaginative and accepting of change will be successful in. Answers like:

  • Providers of feedback,
  • Resilient, and
  • Positive.

Indicate a coaching culture, one that people who are eager to grow and develop will thrive in.

3. What are the most positive aspects of your work
environment?

Different people thrive in different work environments. In understanding what is considered positive, and therefore desirable in the work
environment, I can see what candidates also need to consider favourable in their workplace.  In short, job candidates must agree that these workplace aspects are positive.  For example:

  • A work environment that is considered positive because it fosters friendships will be found favourable by someone who doesn’t
    necessarily want to remain strictly professional at work.
  • A workplace that considers “fun on the job” important and positive will work very well for individuals who prefer a less
    formal workplace.
  • A company that considers the coaching abilities of its leaders a perk will allow those candidates who are accepting of feedback
    to thrive.

Assessing company culture and, therefore the fit of job candidates within the culture can be challenging.  This will help with this assessment.  If you remain uncertain, please call me at 306.848.0042  Ext 1 or email dawn@sourcingpeople.ca, and I will help guide you through these questions and more.

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