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Cultural Compatibility: Recruiting and Hiring the Right Fit

Anna Bramlette | 05/04/2023

At the Q Works Group, our team has a unique advantage as we have four members who were born and raised in Europe. Their careers have taught them the significance of understanding and embracing cultural differences in the workplace. They have witnessed firsthand the issues that can arise when companies only focus on resume qualifications such as degrees, experience, or technical skills while ignoring cultural compatibility.

When a company claims to have excellent employees, it encompasses more than just their technical ability to perform their duties. Typically, there is mutual respect and a feeling of “good fit” between the employees and the company. When an individual states they love their job, it involves more than the actual work functions. It usually includes a general fondness for the company and the feeling that their personal needs are met. This is what is referred to as “company cultural fit.” While not a new concept, many organizations still struggle to manage this when recruiting new talent.

As recruiters, we have observed a significant disconnect in the hiring process when companies overlook the aspect of cultural fit. It is currently estimated that 89% of hiring failures are due to poor cultural fit. There is no right or wrong culture. Culture reflects an organization’s beliefs and behaviors, and our role as recruiters is to understand, not judge a client’s culture, and then present candidates that will fit well into that environment.

The first step in addressing this compatibility issue is recognizing that company culture directly and significantly affects the ability to recruit and retain good employees. Before an organization can develop a strategy to determine if a candidate is a good fit, it needs to comprehensively define its own culture.

It all starts with defining company culture.

To get a clear and accurate understanding of a company’s culture, high-quality employees of all levels, not just management, should be asked these questions:

  • List five words that describe the organization.
  • What are the organization’s values, and are they maintained daily?
  • Describe the overall personality of the company.
  • What is the management structure like?
  • How is conflict handled?
  • What is the communication level within the organization?
  • To what degree does cross-department teamwork take place?
  • How are employees motivated and rewarded?
  • What is the attire? Corporate, business casual, or casual?
  • What is the work space? Cubicles, offices, or open-floor plan?
  • What is the schedule? Traditional office hours (8-5 Monday – Friday), flex-time, or remote access?

Gathering this information helps with recruiting and hiring efforts, whether internally or externally. A well-defined culture promotes better hiring and greater retention.

At the Q Works Group, we differentiate ourselves in the executive recruiting world by emphasizing cultural fit. It is a primary focus of our recruiting procedures and has become a part of our office culture. We apply the same methodology when hiring staff.

Here’s our process at the Q Works:

  • Candidates go through a series of interviews, including a team interview, where they are asked to share their motivation factors to ensure that they match our company’s core values.
  • The assessments reveal a person’s preferred styles and how they can use them to be more successful in their profession. The information gathered can be used for coaching, mentoring, and onboarding.
  • Candidates participate in a “Discovery Day,” which is a sneak peek into a day in the office. This allows them to engage and spend time with other staff members. If the candidate is a good fit technically and culturally, we may extend an offer. This approach benefits both parties as the candidate has a good idea of what to expect and can make a well-informed decision.
  • Once a candidate is hired, we believe in a rigorous onboarding process, enabling them to gain the necessary information, skills, and behaviors to become an effective team member. They will receive in-depth training over several weeks.

The Q Works Group is committed to helping companies overcome the challenge of finding the right cultural fit for their organization. By asking the right questions and understanding the importance of cultural compatibility, companies can make better hires and achieve greater employee retention. The Q Works Group has developed internal procedures to ensure that new hires not only have the technical skills required for the job, but also fit into the company’s culture. This approach has been successful in matching the right candidate with the right company, setting the Q Works Group apart in the world of executive recruiting.