How to Tell if Your Tech Candidate Is a Cultural Fit for Your Office

It is obvious thatwhile interviewing tech candidates you will assess them on their computingskills, testing their programming and software knowledge. It is also crucialnot to forget other skills that needed to be assessed. Forbes stated that 89%of hiring failures were due to a poor cultural fit. During the interviewprocess, you have to check that your candidate has suitable core values andways of working. Being a culture fit is certainly not the same as job fit.

It is not a case ofone being more important than the other, an ideal candidate will have a mixtureof both skills. It is predicted that by 2020, there will be a shortage of onemillion tech employees, which leads employers to rush the process, hiringsomeone who doesn’t fit culturally. In the end, this is going to cost you morethan you might have imagined.

What does culture fit mean and why is itnecessary?

Cultural fit is difficult to define yet easy to spot when it is not there. A loose definition would be how an employee’s beliefs, values, and behaviors coincide with those of the employers. It might be as easy as offering career development training or the open-plan layout of your office when staff prefers working individually.

It is extremelyimportant that your hire is motivated to achieve company goals, rather thanjust turn up to do the bare minimum. Those that don’t fit culturally canquickly have a negative effect on the other employees.

Constantly choosingthe same type of candidate doesn’t mean you will have the right cultural fit.On the contrary, each team member should have their individual contributions tothe company and there should be a high level of diversity.

82% of recruiters feelthat it is necessary to measure cultural fit, however, only 32% actually do it.Here are just a few reasons why having a culture fit is so important:

A quality hire willadd value to the company, allowing for long term success

Employees that arehappy with their workplace will stay for longer, reducing the employee turnover

Satisfied employeesare more committed and work harder to achieve more

Your productivity willbe higher as the staff is happy, engage and producing more

The key question is,how do you evaluate skills that aren’t as tangible as coding?

5 methods to assess cultural fit in your techcandidates

1. Use a form of assessment

Candidates need toknow that they will be assessed on skills and cultural fit, make sure theyunderstand that you want them to be comfortable working for your company.Before you can do this, you need to know precisely what the culture of yourcompany.

A good way to do thisis by using the Competing Values Framework to set benchmarks for your company.You can clearly see if the candidate’s competing values are a close match toyours. Skills may improve over time, but a candidate’s personality won’t. Saveyourself time and only take those that fit into the next stage.

2. Asking the right questions in the interview

There are already a numberof questions you need to ask to ascertain the suitability of the candidate, butnow it’s time to start asking specific cultural fit questions. Asking about thecandidate’s work history and their career up to now. It will provide you withmore information about how they have worked in the past.

You will get a bigger,overall picture when you find out what they have enjoyed about their careersand what they have disliked. Your questions should be aimed at learning if thenew hire will get on well with other staff members and your clients, how theyrespond to the workings of your company, whether they are looking for along-term position, and how they can benefit your company.

Some example ofquestions you could ask include:

  • What typeof working environment do you prefer?
  • Do youhave a particular management style that motivates you?
  • How do youwork best?
  • Tell meabout an ideal workday for you?
  • Whenworking in a group, which role do you normally take on?

3. Be prepared to answer questions

It is normal for acandidate to ask questions in an interview. A good sign of them taking aninterest is when they are about your mission, goals, culture, and values. Itgoes back to knowing what your company culture fit is so you are able to answerif someone asks you.

While you may knowyour company mission statement, it needs to be written down and placed whereeveryone can see. If you aren’t quite sure, have a look for mission statementsfrom companies that are similar to yours for some inspiration.

If your candidatecomes with a list of questions about the company, this is a positive. It showsthat they are interested in more than just their responsibilities. One questionmany aren’t prepared for is why the position has opened up. It is also a goodidea to revise what is on your social media pages, as these are common sourcesof information.

4. Introduce candidates to the team

Considering thecandidate will probably be spending more time with the team than with you, itis logical that at some point during the interview process they should meetsome of the team members. This will provide you with a chance to see how theyinteract with each other. You might even want one of the team members toconduct part of the interview.

You may also find thatmembers of your tech team are more equipt to ask and answer technicalquestions, especially if you are not as tech-minded as they are.

5. Show candidates what happens behind thescenes

Showing videos of thecompany, projects you have worked on, and interviews with some of the teammembers will let your candidate get more of a feel for the working environment.They can be shown during the candidate selection process or on your social media.

Your candidate might highly appreciate an informal meet and greet to get to know people without the pressure of work. Another invaluable option is to let the candidate shadow a team member for a certain amount of time. They will get to know the team and gain a deeper understanding of the work.

With such a range ofideas, there are many ways for you to be able to see the candidate fromdifferent vantage points.

In Conclusion

It’s not easy findinggood candidates in a market that is short of talent. There is no room for erroron your part and so it is necessary to assess candidates on both technicalskills and cultural fit, ensuring that both you and the candidate are happy andproductive for the long run.

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