- Sep 1, 2023
- 11 min read
Why is Cultural Fit Important When Hiring External Candidates
Employee culture compatibility measures how well a person suits the company culture. But the concept is easy to misunderstand. It doesn’t mean that all your staff members must share the same beliefs, interests and behaviors. This approach to cultural fit assessment brings more harm than good. It leads to homogeneity and encourages biases. Yet, businesses must consider cultural fit in the hiring process. Or they risk hiring people who will harass or intimidate their colleagues.
In this article, we will discuss
– the impact of cultural fit on remote work success,
– the importance of cultural fit in remote work,
– remote work cultural fit best practices.
Remote Work and Employee Engagement
Remote work means performing job duties outside of company space. People use the internet and cooperation software for this. Learn more on how to make remote work cooperation efficient.
Remote work benefits
Companies that switch to remote work enjoy many advantages. The top remote work benefits are:
– A larger pool of candidates
With office jobs, companies have to look for experts in certain geographic areas. If no one fits, they have to offer a bigger salary. This can convince suitable candidates to move. Or they can keep looking and waiting.
Remote work allows businesses to find the best candidate quickly. They can hire the most qualified people even if they are thousands of kilometers away.
– Faster hiring
Most people don’t want to go back to the office. So, remote and hybrid jobs attract 7 times more applicants. As mentioned, the talent pool is also bigger. This means that finding the best job fit for a remote position is faster.
– Lower costs
Companies with remote staff have fewer expenses. They don’t pay for office rent and maintenance. They save money on utilities, cleaning, office food and property taxes.
Also, many remote workers have lower salary expectations. There are three reasons for this. First, they can value flexibility more than a higher salary. Second, they save on commuting. This is particularly relevant for people in countries with bad public transport. There, people need a car. And cars are expensive to ride and maintain. The third reason is the cost of living difference. For example, expenses in Newville, Pennsylvania, are much lower than in New York or Boston.
– Happier staff
With more flexibility and less time on the road, people have a better work-life balance. This makes them happier. And happy staff means higher employee retention and productivity.
Pro tip: For simpler hiring and more flexibility, use IT staff augmentation services.
The benefits of staff augmentation are:
1. Easy and fast international hiring
With staff augmentation, you can hire an expert from another country. You don’t need to provide a visa or other paperwork.
The agency offers you the best candidates. They consider expertise and company culture fit. Then, you choose which candidate will join your project. And you sign the contract with the agency. Hiring external candidates is easy.
2. Great flexibility – scale your team up or down as needed
You can hire a person for any period. It can be several months or many years. This allows businesses to manage project risks or solve existing problems.
3. Excellent value for money ratio
There are several tech hubs in the world. There, you can find a large concentration of top-tier tech talent. For example, many international companies opened Research and Development centers in Ukraine. Examples include
– Ericsson and many others.
Also, Ukrainian experts founded and co-founded many successful startups, including
– Ajax and
This is the true testimony to the success of Ukraine as a tech hub. And the Ukrainian IT industry keeps growing despite the war! According to Forbes, by October 2022, the industry has exceeded the pre-war levels.
At the same time, the cost of living in Ukraine is lower than in the US or EU. So, you can hire top tech talent living in Ukraine for a reasonable price. Learn more in our article about the cost difference of hiring coders in the UK vs. Eastern Europe. If you don’t have the resources to manage your IT project, consider managed services.
Cultural fit and employee engagement: Why is engagement important?
Cultural fit and employee engagement depend on each other. And employee engagement, in turn, affects business results. In 2020, Gallup conducted a massive company culture survey. They studied 276 organizations from 54 industries and 96 countries. Researchers analyzed the engagement and performance of 2.7 million workers. Then, they compared the teams in the top and bottom 25% for employee engagement. Here is the difference:
- 81% in absenteeism;
- 18% in productivity;
- 10% in customer engagement;
- 23% in profitability;
- 41% in the number of defects.
Improving employee engagement in remote work
An important question is how to keep remote staff engaged. There are several methods:
1. Choose cooperation software carefully
Good software is important for remote work culture and employee productivity. Statistics show that software can increase employee productivity by 20 to 30%. Also, remote work employee retention can improve 4.5 times! And low employee turnover is great for business. It decreases hiring costs and improves remote work employee morale. You can learn more in our article about effective cooperation in remote teams.
2. Hold online educational webinars
Gathering online is great for remote work team dynamics. Such online events should offer learning opportunities. You can include gamification elements. Such remote work team building will boost engagement and improve employee satisfaction.
3. Encourage initiative
Idea-sharing is vital for remote work employee engagement. First, this will make staff feel heard and valued. Second, employee suggestions will fuel business growth.
4. Support wellness
A healthy team is more productive. So, it is important to support behavior that leads to a healthier lifestyle. For example, you can insist that workers take vacation days. Financial compensation cannot replace good rest. You can also pay for your team’s gym. Or you can organize a yoga vacation. Sharing an offline experience is great for team building and employee inclusion.
Employee Diversity and Inclusivity in the Workplace
An inclusive workplace is an environment where people feel welcomed and respected. They should enjoy a sense of belonging without the need to conform.
Employers should value staff members for their experience and unique qualities. Inclusive workplaces welcome people of different:
– age groups,
– socio-economic backgrounds,
– sexual orientations
– people with disabilities and
– previously incarcerated people.
Inclusivity creates a diverse workplace culture. But, without inclusivity, attempts to create diversity can lead to tokenism. This happens when a company doesn’t want to make systemic changes. Such changes could create a diverse and inclusive workplace. Instead, they try to make their company only seem diverse. The goal is to silence criticism. So, they hire one or several representatives of minorities or disadvantaged groups. Often, management treats such staff members poorly. One person told the BBC that bosses treated her like a prop. They constantly showcased her to customers. At the same time, they assigned her longer hours compared to her colleagues. Also, colleagues strongly encouraged her to straighten her naturally curly hair. This is an issue rooted in systemic racism. Many women of African descent face it. So, this is an example of a workplace that is not inclusive.
The goal of inclusivity in the workplace is to create equal opportunities. It helps to get rid of systemic injustices, exclusivity culture and personal bias.
Avoid badly trained AI recruiting software
Bias seems endemic to the hiring process. So, many companies use AI to make certain decisions instead of people. After all, what is more objective than a machine, right? Unfortunately, there are many examples of AI tools hurting job candidate selection. AI algorithms are often trained on data about previous applicants. And it can include millions of previous biased decisions. Thus, AI picks up and magnifies human misconceptions. Even telling the AI to ignore gender, race or age does not guarantee success. AI can focus on some features common to a specific group. For example, one AI tool decided that the signs of a good worker are
– the name Jared and
– the fact that a person played lacrosse in high school.
Deep learning models are especially dangerous. Even software creators often cannot explain how the program made a decision.
Discrimination in hiring is illegal in most parts of the world. But, it is difficult for legislators to keep up with the new tech. Various countries and organizations are working on new laws in the field. The EU plans to introduce the AI Act this year (in 2023).
The role of cultural fit in hiring for a diverse and inclusive workplace
Do you want to have diversity and inclusion in remote work? Then, hiring for team fit is important for you. Your workers should share and support your values. This is particularly important when hiring managers and team leaders.
Considering cultural fit in the hiring process is discovering valuable new team members. You look for people who will contribute to your company and culture. People also call this approach “culture add.” It encourages business owners to choose candidates with new viewpoints and solutions. They increase the group’s potential for innovation, creativity and outside-the-box thinking.
“Culture add” leads to greater diversity than hiring for cultural alignment. But, it doesn’t mean that you cannot hire people similar to existing staff members. Just don’t make it a default.
Cultural fit for remote work teams is especially important. Businesses must make sure that each person shares company goals and values. Thus, hiring for values alignment is good. In our case, this means finding broad-minded workers. They should be ready to welcome new approaches and ideas.
Why is cultural fit essential in hiring? The benefits of hiring for a diverse and inclusive workplace
The benefits of hiring for cultural fit and diversity are many. Here are the top 3:
1. The best, most qualified candidates
Inclusivity means selecting the best candidates from the broadest talent pool possible. You can choose the best and the brightest without letting misconceptions hold you back.
2. Better customer understanding
Employee diversity helps businesses better understand their clients. And the lack of hiring diversity can lead to bad product design and quality. A good example is face recognition software. It often makes mistakes when identifying people with dark skin tones.
An HBR study examined the impact of hiring for a diverse and inclusive workplace. It showed that workers who share a client’s ethnicity are 152% more likely to understand their needs. Here are more examples of how the lack of hiring diversity leads to bad quality:
– Several years ago, most manufacturers made only white and light beige bandages. This is despite having customers with various skin colors.
– Car manufacturers designed seat belts for men. Now, women are 47% more likely to get injured in a car crash.
– Algorithmic photo checkers often tell Asian people that their eyes are closed.
– Some soap dispensers only react to light skin tones. Check out the video at this link.
Having a diverse workplace helps companies prevent such issues from happening.
3. Higher remote work employee satisfaction and retention
Employee satisfaction is higher in diverse workplaces. And, if people feel they belong, they stay with the company longer. The role of cultural fit in employee retention is huge.
Company culture survey
An employee culture survey is a valuable tool. It helps management receive feedback from their workers. This allows companies to track employee morale and satisfaction. A company culture survey can have the following questions:
– On a scale of 1 to 5, how comfortable do you feel expressing your opinion?
– Have you experienced or seen bullying or harassment at work?
– Do you feel respected by your management and colleagues?
– Do you understand how your work helps our company achieve its business goals?
– How can we improve our company?
Surveys should also have questions relevant to your company and its culture. The same goes for remote work cultural fit assessments. More on this later.
Cultural Fit in the Hiring Process
We have discussed why hiring for diversity is important. It improves remote work and company culture. But how do you make sure that a candidate is a cultural fit? Let us examine the best strategies.
How to assess cultural fit in hiring
Start by listing all the essential elements of your business culture. Be realistic. Are there any outside factors that influence staff behavior? If so, note them. For example, governmental defense contractors have very strict security protocols. This influences the organization’s culture, decision-making speed and other aspects.
Consider the company’s:
– mission, vision and goals,
– management style,
– internal communications and remote work team dynamics,
– decision-making process,
– offline and remote work diversity and inclusion metrics and
– expectations towards workers.
Cultural fit interview questions and employee compatibility
Assessing cultural fit in hiring is not simple. Use the list of your business culture qualities to create questions. Here are some popular cultural fit interview questions:
– What are the qualities of a good manager? What did you like and didn’t like about your previous manager?
This will tell you about the candidate’s preferred management style. You can compare it with what you have now in your company.
– Why did you decide to become [profession name]? What inspires you to do your work?
Motivation plays a huge role in a person’s success. Do they enjoy what they do?
– What was the most challenging task in your career? How did you approach it?
Challenges should encourage professional growth. This question can help you understand the person’s approach to challenges.
– Are there any industries or business practices that you do not support?
Asking what a person doesn’t want to do is very important. First, this will tell you more about their values. Second, there might be things about your company they wouldn’t like. For instance, let’s imagine that they consider lotteries a scam. Then, if your main client is a casino, it would disappoint them.
– Did anyone make any changes, improvements or suggestions to your work? How did you react?
These questions can tell whether the person is a team player. You will also learn how they respond to criticism.
Cultural fit is an important aspect of employee engagement. But, it should not encourage homogeneity or biases.
Hiring people with diverse beliefs, interests, and behaviors is beneficial. It makes your staff more innovative.
Offering remote work options is also great for business. The main remote work benefits are:
– a larger pool of candidates,
– faster hiring, and
– lower expenses.
For most businesses, IT staff augmentation and IT outsourcing are even better. The benefits are:
– simple international hiring,
– more flexibility, and
– excellent value for money ratio.
For top efficiency, use these remote work diversity and inclusion strategies:
– encouraging creativity and initiative,
– diverse hiring,
– choosing good cooperation software,
– conducting company culture surveys and
– holding online educational webinars.
This can improve remote work employee engagement. This leads to better performance. It includes higher productivity, more profit and lower absenteeism rates.
1. What is cultural fit?
Cultural fit refers to the alignment between a company's culture and values and an employee's personality, work style, and values. It ensures that an employee is compatible with the company's environment and can work collaboratively with colleagues.
2. What is the importance of cultural fit when hiring?
Cultural fit is important because it affects employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention. Employees who fit well within the company's culture are more likely to be engaged and motivated, resulting in better job performance and lower turnover rates.
3. How to hire for culture fit?
Hiring for cultural fit involves assessing a candidate's values, work style, and personality through interviews, assessments, and reference checks. Companies can also use culture fit interview questions and conduct a company culture survey to determine the candidate's compatibility with the company culture.
4. What are 3 qualities that new hires must have in terms of culture fit?
New hires must have qualities that align with the company's values, work style, and environment. They should have strong communication skills, the ability to work collaboratively with others, and a positive attitude towards challenges and changes.
5. Is hiring for cultural fit biased?
Hiring for cultural fit can be biased if companies do not take steps to ensure that they are not excluding candidates based on their background or demographics. It is essential to ensure that the hiring process is inclusive and diverse to avoid discrimination based on cultural fit.
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