How to Hire for Culture

As the way we think about work evolves in the modern era, it is important to hire not just for skills, but for cultural alignment, as well. Employees whose values align with the mission and values of your organization more easily buy into what you’re trying to achieve, which leads to better engagement, higher productivity and an increased bottom line.

Finding the Right Fit

Cultural alignment is about more than hiring someone whose personality you like. Just because you wouldn’t mind having lunch with someone, doesn’t mean they are a great fit for the organization. True fit means digging deep to learn what makes a candidate tick, and discovering whether their values align with the values, mission and vision of the company.

Separate the Person From the Role

Hiring a candidate is not the same thing as interviewing someone to be a friend or roommate. Candidates are vying for the chance to make a meaningful contribution to your team. What you personally like or dislike about someone should not get in the way of evaluating a candidate’s alignment with organizational culture.

Talk About Values

You can’t understand a candidate’s values if you don’t talk about them. However, it’s wise to not list out your corporate values for them. That makes it easy for them to craft answers that might not be genuine. Think outside the box and look for signs a candidate’s values in their answers to other questions.

For example, consider the question, “Tell me about a time when a sales manager asked you to do something you felt was unethical. What was it they asked, and how did you handle it?” A question like this will tell you what candidates consider to be unethical and can illustrate how closely they hold to those values. Someone who isn’t bothered by a sales manager asking them to cheat a customer or fudge a report probably doesn’t have high ethical standards. If your company values ethics, this candidate would not be a strong match.

Let Them Take the Lead

Effective interviews should be more of a conversation than an interrogation. Sticking to a strict list of questions is efficient, but it is not a great way to really get to know candidates.  Let the candidate take the lead at some point in the conversation and see where it goes. The questions they ask and the topics they focus on can tell you a lot about what it is they value in a workplace.

Look for signs the candidate has thought about cultural fit, as well. If they ask questions that speak directly to the values of the company, you can have a great conversation that speaks to culture.

Are You Ready to Hire for Culture?

If you are looking for top talent for your ag business and you want to improve hiring by focusing on cultural fit, contact the expert recruiters at Morris Bixby today. Together, we can build a strategy that will help you achieve your goals.


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