What is cultural fit and why is it important?
Studies dating as far back as the seventies have revealed useful insights on the impact of job-person fit. For example, between two groups of employees, the one formed on the basis of congruence performed better than the group with employees placed more traditionally. Those with a higher cultural fit were more productive and happier at work. This would boost overall performance of the organisation.
Fast forward to today’s organisations that are using enhanced technology, such as AI-enabled search tools like Yoono, to upgrade their recruitment practices. Cultural fit is now thought of as the glue that holds a workplace together, and it is fast becoming a key consideration for hiring. But what exactly is cultural fitness and how does it impact your business?
Workplace culture is the set of values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours that make up the unique environment of an organisation. Just like personality traits of people, workplace culture varies from place to place. It can manifest in a number of ways – through communication, language choices, degree of hierarchy, daily interactions, focus on cooperation versus competitiveness, etc.
Cultural fit is the likelihood your employees will reflect or adapt to the culture of your organisation. An employee stands to be a good fit when their personal beliefs and behaviours are in alignment with the company’s values and norms. If a collaborative spirit is a hallmark of your organisation, recruiting people who have a track record of successful teamwork can ensure the desired fit.
According to a Jobvite Recruiter Report, over 60% of HR managers rate cultural fitness as highly important when making a hiring decision. While successful employees are usually the ones who mesh well with their workplace culture, studies show that poor cultural fit results in staff turnover that can cost businesses up to 60% of the employee’s annual salary.
It seems simple enough, but cultural-fit hiring can be difficult to implement unless supported by an intelligent workflow. For one thing, it should not result in the recruitment of identical people. Good businesses thrive on balance and diversity, and smart employers understand that a culture of homogeneity does not spell business success.
Five ways cultural fit affects your business
Research shows that employees who align well with their company’s culture experience greater job satisfaction, perform better, and stay committed for longer. For the company, this means greater savings on time and money. On the other hand, the cost of poor hiring can run into thousands of dollars and pounds, which is why employers can’t afford to overlook the importance of cultural fitness.
Here are five reasons why cultural fit is important for your business:-
- Employee satisfaction – Employees who don’t feel comfortable with their workplace culture tend to be unhappy in their jobs. Their sense of dissatisfaction lowers the collective morale of the team and creates a toxic environment. On the flip side, people with jobs that match their personality experience a high level of employee engagement.
- Performance and productivity – Poor culture is a performance drain that costs the economy about £23.6 billion a year, whereas happy employees who are satisfied in their jobs are about 12% more productive . This is why teams with strong cultural fit are more successful than those with misaligned priorities.
- Communication and cohesion – When values are aligned, people find it easier to be on the same page. Since people spend one third of their lifespan at work, they should be able to feel connected to their workplace. This creates a culture of open communication, which makes it easier to resolve professional differences.
- Staff retention – Companies with low job satisfaction and cultural conflicts are likely to have a staff retention or turnover problem. 1 in 5 employees in the UK resign due to cultural mismatch. But if organisations can control their attrition rate, they can save time and money by not having to frequently refill positions.
- Company reputation – A high employee turnover can make a company look like a sinking ship or a poor employer. This is because cultural fitness works both ways. Employees who stay longer with your business are likely to become brand ambassadors, which can boost your reputation as an employer.
Naturally, assessing candidates for their cultural fit should be a key part of the recruitment process, and it is something that smart tools like Yoono can help you with.
How to get the right culture fit for your business
Unfortunately, traditional hiring methods are an inadequate way of assessing cultural fitness, because candidates can alter their CVs and tailor their responses in an interview to suit the employer. In fact, recruiters often make the mistake of hiring someone based on gut feeling, only to find out later that the candidate was a poor fit for the position.
This is why many businesses are now using algorithms to assess a candidate’s cultural suitability. With major industries being affected by social polarisation, more companies have started opting for online search services that offer solutions for recruitment checks. This kind of technology has progressed from document scanning and computerised testing to data analytics that can quickly examine a candidate’s online presence.
Take Yoono for example. Built from Igniyte’s twelve years of experience in online reputation management, the smart algorithm trawls through online records and social sentiment. It churns out personalised reports within minutes to help you easily assess the candidate’s cultural fitness.
Yoono searches cover social media profiles, images, political views, media mentions, websites, links, and more, all of which can help you gain a deeper understanding of the candidate’s profile. Given that about 60% of the global population is made up of active internet users, online recruitment checks make it easier to review a candidate’s passion, skills, and enthusiasm. For example, a think tank can recruit thought leaders by using an online tool that finds out how influential the candidate is on social media.
According to an HR study, 68% of recruiters surveyed had hired a candidate based on their positive online presence. The online information found on the candidates verified their qualifications, references, interests and skills, and reflected their cultural suitability for the organisation.
With a professional tool like Yoono that specialises in smart search and recruitment checks, it is easy to identify such candidates who will click with the nuances of your business. Company culture is a powerful driver of business success, and with the right cultural fit, you can solve many of the hiring woes that have been slowing down your performance and increase your chances of success.