Evaluate Candidates with Your Company Culture in Mind

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on April 19, 2013

When you’re evaluating job candidates, your first consideration is typically the job-specific skills they bring to the position and when you’ve found a candidate with great skills and experience, it’s tempting to stop there. However, recruiting and retaining top talent relies on more than just a skills match. Candidates who will stick with you for the long term and function well in their positions must also have personalities and values that fit with your company’s culture.

Knowing your company culture inside and out can help you identify candidates that will be a good fit now and in the future. What are your company’s key goals and values? How do your current employees work together? Is the atmosphere casual, family-like, or all business?  Questions like these can help you identify the key parts of your organization’s culture, which can, in turn, help you identify candidates who will thrive in it.

Once you know who your company is, how do you determine whether a candidate will mesh well with your current culture?  Consider the following ways to assess fit:

  • Use referrals and internal connections.  During reference interviews, ask questions about the referent’s company culture and how the candidate fit in there. The answers can reveal a great deal about how a candidate might perform in your own company.
  • Use fit tests.  Testing can organize candidates by goals, values, and work habits, which can then be used to identify those who will work well within your own company’s culture. These tests can be valuable prescreening tools that may save time in the recruiting process and produce a better fit.
  • Offer realistic job previews.  The opportunity for a sample day on the job can help both you and a candidate assess whether the candidate and the culture are a good match. For best results, these previews should be as realistic as possible; merely job shadowing for a day will likely provide only limited information.
  • Ask the candidate.  Probing questions that focus on environments in previous companies and how the candidate fit in can be very revealing.  Candidates who can describe a previous employer’s culture and their own fit within it demonstrate a sense of self-awareness when it comes to culture and fit. The information they provide can help you both assess whether your own organization will fit the candidate’s preferred work environment.

At TERRA, our selection process includes behavioral interviewing as well as validated testing to ensure technical proficiency as well as culture fit. Our goal is the “Right Fit” – every time. Contact us today to discuss how we can help make the right match for your organization.

Categories: Employee Engagement Ideas, Staffing Tips & Recruiting Trends

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