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Recruiting and hiring for culture fit increase the likelihood that a job candidate will conform to the organization’s values and culture and remain with the organization. A better approach is hiring for cultural fit. Culture fit can become a limiting idea, leading the organization to recruit and hire people who look, act, and think the same and may not add to the organization’s diversity of people, thoughts, and ideas.
Cultural fit is a more dynamic term with implications concerning employee engagement, positive employee relations, diversity and inclusion, and labor relations once the person is onboard. It’s also important to your efforts to make unions unnecessary. A single person you hire can positively or negatively impact your team depending on their beliefs, values, behaviors, communication style (culture fit), perspective about the purpose of work, the interactions in the workplace, and unions (cultural fit).
A job candidate can seem like a great culture fit based on their language, past work experience, and values, but what if you’re looking for an employee who also brings diverse, creative ideas and dynamism to the workplace and is willing to utilize employee voice in a positive relationship with leaders? Is the culture ready to engage and support the person?
A job candidate may be able to do the work, but one of the reasons people give for quitting organizations or joining a union is feeling like a cog in a machine making profits. Hiring only for culture fit also can perpetuate unconscious bias, leading to employee disengagement and unionization. Business.com surveyed workers and found that 38 percent were looking for new jobs because of work environment or company culture issues. Only 30 percent felt valued by their colleagues or leaders.
Surely the hiring managers believed the new employee would fit into the culture, only to discover the culture is not what it’s believed to be. So here is another perspective on cultural fit. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s CO discussed surveys exploring the reasons people quit. Pew found that 57% leave because they feel disrespected, and Gallup found that 50% of employees quit to get away from bad management. Staffing agency’s Hays CEO Dan Rodriguez said attracting and retaining employees requires strong leadership and open communication, among other things.
If your organizational leaders don’t have employee engagement and communication skills and cannot develop positive employee relations, hiring for culture fit will not produce good results. You will recruit and hire candidates who perpetuate the wrong culture or quit within a year. It follows that recruiting and hiring job candidates who are an excellent cultural fit begins with leadership development, ensuring they have the right resources and skills to support the culture.
Before assuming you are effectively recruiting for a culture you understand, do a cultural assessment and make sure it supports your perception of the organization’s culture. Culture fit vs. cultural fit may seem like a fine distinction, but there’s a difference. Strive to make the organizational culture you want a reality through effective leadership and then recruit the talent that is a cultural fit.
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