Cultural Fit is defined as the individual’s attitudes, values and beliefs being in line with the core values and culture of an organisation.
Cultural Fit is rapidly gaining popularity in the resourcing industry, not only as topic of conversation among HR professionals, but also a tangible trusted replacement for what was known as the gut feel factor in hiring. In a world full of talented professionals it was relatively easy for recruiters to find a good match based on qualifications and experiences. The missing link in that process would be whether the applicant is actually a Cultural Fit for the company. Scientific research proves that employees who are happy and fulfilled in the workplace are not only performing better but are also more likely to work for the organisation for a longer period of time, increasing retention and productivity levels whilst decreasing recruitment costs. Now the job market is becoming increasing competitive hiring the right people is more important than ever before.
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A positive Cultural Fit improves the self-esteem of employees and makes them feel more competent, motivated and increases the desire of improving themselves and their work. Future expectations, ambitions and behaviour also play an important role in being a good Cultural Fit. The Cultural Fit itself is strongly dependent on the employer brand or, in other words, the practiced culture of an organisation.
The world of recruitment is changing. Current trends, such as the digitalisation, predictive analytics and newly developed recruitment technologies do not only affect the job market structures but also raise the expectations of the job seekers. Nowadays, it is more relevant for candidates that their values, beliefs and personality match those of the company. Cultural Fit is becoming one of the most important criteria in the process of applying for a new job.
Cultural Fit plays an important role in online search behaviour of often still anonymous jobseekers. 95% of all jobseekers say that during the orientation phase they are mostly searching for information about the company and the people who work there. According to a publication by Bersin/Deloitte themes such as wages are far less important during this phase of the job search. Jobseekers are trying to get a good understanding of the work environment and potential colleagues. But also to understand the organisation's drivers, motivators and values. What is the organisation trying to achieve? What do they represent? In short, during the online orientation phase jobseekers are mostly looking to answer the question of which employer suits them. An approach closely related to the question millennials on the job market ask themselves: 'Who do I offer my talents to?' As an employer it is vital to be well prepared for these attitudes towards employment. If you as an employer are unable to answer the jobseekers questions during their orientation phase you may simply not be interesting enough to be pursued and lose the opportunity to engage with the candidate.
A Cultural Fit based recruitment strategy holds several advantages for an employer:
A recruitment strategy based on Cultural Fit often raises the concern that it could have a negative impact on the diversity of a company and its employees. This, however, is only true if the concept of Cultural Fit is not managed properly. Many recruitment managers tend to hire based on their gut feeling and personal preferences, this in return results in a workplace in which employees look, think and behave similar to their managers. Studies show that diversity in age, gender identity, race and background are vital for businesses and have a positive impact on productivity.
Hiring for Cultural Fit does not neglect diversity if executed well. It is important to find a balance between the so-called ‘supplementary fit’ and the ‘complementary fit’. The supplementary fit focuses on attitudes, values and beliefs of a candidate that reflect the core values of a company. The complementary fit, on the other hand, describes those character traits which are still missing within a company’s culture. A good cultural match could therefore have a positive impact on an organisation’s culture. The ideal case would be if the core values of all employees match those of a company but at the same time create a diversity, resulting in a multilateral and multifaceted corporate culture.
Cultural Fit does not counteract diversity but fosters it!
There is a strong correlation between the quality of hire and the Cultural Fit of the candidate with the organisation. So much so that over a longer period Cultural Fit can be considered the most significant parameter in deciding if the hire was ultimately successful. The time it takes to hire a candidate and the related hiring costs do not necessarily state anything about the quality of hire. What we do know is that a successful hire does not only depend on skills but even more so on the personality matching with the organisation. In other words... 'hire for attitude and train for skills'.
Cultural Fit and a mismatch go hand in hand. The fewer similarities between applicants and employers in what drives them, the greater the risk of a mismatch where a candidate will leave the organisation within 18 months. Not great for the employee who had probably hoped for more, nor is it any different for the employer who will have invested heavily in recruitment, selection, onboarding and training of new employees. Don't forget the impact on team morale and lost productivity. It is different for every job level in every organisation but the cost of a mismatch could on average equate to about 30,000 pound sterling per candidate. Harris Interactive research on the German job market suggests the average cost in Germany is 45.000 euro with similar costs expected in the Netherlands and Belgium. Include the hidden costs and a mismatch is much more expensive than the recruitment cost alone.
There are no doubts about the importance of a strong Cultural Fit within recruitment. Nevertheless, many companies are still lacking a suitable recruitment software tool that enables them to measure a candidate’s cultural match in advance. If they do use assessment tests, they do so at the very end of the application process. CompanyMatch supports recruiters at the very beginning of the application process. Job seekers are still in the orientation phase and it is in this important phase that job seekers face the problem of missing insights into the company's culture. So how are they supposed to find out if their personality and talent fits within the company?
Based on an intelligent matching algorithm, CompanyMatch developed an innovative solution that provides companies with the opportunity to test job seekers’ Cultural Fit during the recruitment process. The CompanyMatch widget, and its simple integration into different platforms, is a great complementary recruitment tool that includes the dimension of Cultural Fit in the process of hiring talents.
The CompanyMatch matching technology enables an organisation to actively hire for Cultural Fit. The CompanyMatch scan identifies the values, believes and drivers of a job seeker and converts those into a valid match percentage for the company of interest. The candidate can gain a deeper insight into a company’s culture and core values at the same time. The CompanyMatch widget offers a fast and easy integration into a company’s career website and creates a more interactive candidate experience. The widget encourages job seekers to match themselves anonymously with the corporate culture of an organisation to determine whether or not they would be a suitable match. This approach does not only improve the candidate experience but provides the job seeker with the opportunity to learn more about a company’s culture before going through the full recruitment cycle.
It is possible to integrate the CompanyMatch matching technology into the application process. Job seekers will have the opportunity to apply for a position submitting their motivational letter, CV and their individual CompanyMatch results giving the recruiter a deeper insight in the applicant’s values and standards as well as their Cultural Fit.
The CompanyMatch solution enables organisations to add the Cultural Fit to their recruitment process and enrich their employer brand. CompanyMatch has received a lot of positive feedback from both companies and candidates in the last couple of years and conducted several case studies, proving the success of a hire based on a strong Cultural Fit.
CompanyMatch strongly believes that happy employees are not only more motivated but also work harder. A high Cultural Fit contributes to the overall well-being in personal and professional life and increases the employee’s happiness at work.
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