recruitment manager discussing the project kpi

Assessing cultural fit in recruitment – how to get it right?

The assessment of technical compliance is usually at the heart of every recruitment project, but the importance of cultural fit must always be considered alongside technical compliance. Recruiters often have their own individual methodologies for assessing cultural fit, but a haphazard translation plan cannot be relied upon, because just like assessing technical fit, assessing cultural fit also requires rules. Here are the 5 most important rules that will guide a recruitment project to have a quality candidate cultural fit assessment process:

1.Assessing the employer’s cultural fit during the recruitment process

If a recruiter has been working with an employer for several years, the employer’s culture is usually already identified and well understood. This is much more difficult when working with an employer for the first time. In this case, the recruiter should take additional steps to identify the employer’s culture:

  • Inquire whether it is possible to involve not only the HR professional, but also the hiring manager or even possible future colleagues of the position to be sought in the position discussion. Usually one professional can only reflect part of the internal culture of the employer. The more different representatives of the employer are involved in the initial discussion phase of the recruitment process, the easier it is to assess the company’s internal culture.
  • Focus on additional questions about the employer’s culture: which personality traits of the candidate are ideal for the position and which would be inappropriate, and what makes the employer’s internal culture unique and which cultural traits are alien to the organisation etc.

2.Different priorities for assessing technical and cultural fit

The technical assessment of a candidate’s fit has nothing to do with the cultural assessment of a candidate’s fit, but the technical assessment must necessarily come first. This is because a technically suitable candidate may be culturally suitable but technically unsuitable, and a culturally suitable candidate should not be included in the list of proposed candidates at all. Thus, according to this rule, in a recruitment project, the cultural fit assessment should only be carried out for technically fit candidates.

3.Managing the objectivity of the cultural fit assessment

This rule is not difficult to apply, but sometimes the risk of biased translation arises when several different HR professionals are involved in the recruitment process. It is important that all phases of the recruitment process are conducted in the same way with each candidate and always involve the same representatives of the hiring party and the recruiting company. This is the only way to ensure that the candidate is given equal opportunity to reveal his or her personal qualities and that the employer is given the same way of assessing each candidate’s personal qualities

4.Providing a cultural assessment to the hiring manager

The presentation of the cultural fit assessment to the hiring manager is just as important as the assessment itself, so it is important to have a uniform way of presenting it in order to allow the hiring manager to compare the candidates objectively. This rule is particularly relevant when there are more than 10 candidates in the selection process and it is important for the hiring manager to interview candidates in order of priority. If all candidates are technically suitable, then priority can be given on the basis of cultural fit.

5.Correct presentation of the employer’s internal culture to the candidate in the recruitment project

In a quality recruitment process, candidates must be introduced to the internal culture of the employer. This allows them to comment on whether they share the values, compare the similarities and differences between their current and former workplace culture, etc. This not only gives the candidate more insight into whether he/she would feel comfortable in the new position, but also provides the recruiter with additional information on whether the candidate is a cultural fit.

The cultural fit assessment is best carried out by an experienced recruiter who has worked with many different businesses. Such a professional can ask pertinent questions about the employer’s internal culture and, at the same time, can assess it quickly. Speed is of the essence, because once the recruitment project has started, the internal culture of the employer must already be identified.

Insight by

Karolis Blaževičius

Managing Partner of Indigroup

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