4 Ways to Assess Culture Fit

How can you properly assess culture fit – and should it be a major part of your hiring process?

Published on August 14, 2019

Do you have issues finding the right person for a position? Many companies hire mainly on culture fit, which can be counterproductive to the main goal of filling the position. 

If all you are worried about is hiring for culture, then you most likely have bias during your interview process. It’s smart to want a candidate to have a good fit within your company’s environment, but it could be taking away from the success of your company. 

Change your mindset and hire for culture add. “Looking for culture add helps managers to determine how a candidate’s individuality and differences can make a company better and stronger,” notes DeLisa Alexander, the Chief People Officer and Executive Vice President of Red Hat. Looking for culture fit automatically inserts bias into your interview process. 

Here are four ways to assess culture:


1. “Always be recruiting,” explains Patty McCord, Netflix’s former Chief Talent Officer.

Always be on the lookout for new candidates at networking events, even the person standing in front of you in line at the coffee shop. If you want to recruit the top talent that no one else can find, you need to start looking where no one else is. An easy way to always be on the lookout is to continuously be looking in different places, such as recommendations from current employees and LinkedIn. 


2. Ask them about their relationships with past co-workers

Get to learn more about how the candidate interacted with their co-workers in their previous roles. Were they friends outside of work? Did they not talk to them outside of work? How the candidates interact and build relationships with those around them can show you how they treat others. This can be a big factor in making your final decision on hiring. You have to watch how you interpret the candidate’s response, this answer might not align with your personal opinions on how one should act, but the candidate’s explanation will shine a light on how they would fit in at your workplace. 


3. Observe their role on a team

The role the candidate contributes to a team can display their work ethic and how they view themselves. It can give you a glimpse into the future on how valuable and accountable they will be on projects. This question allows them to show their leadership skills, a skill that may not be shown on their resume. It gives the candidate the opportunity to discuss the value add they bring to the table. It’s a great way to get to understand the skills the candidate has in order to be qualified to fill a position. 


4. Find out how they stay motivated

You can end an interview with a positive note; find out why the candidate wakes up every morning and strives to be their best. Why do they want this particular position? This question can show their motivations and the reasoning behind their interest in the company. Why do they want to succeed in their professional career? There can be many underlying values a person has that they don’t get the opportunity to speak about. It can allow you to help them stay motivated in the future. 


It’s just as important for a candidate to feel there is a culture fit as the company believing there’s a fit. Make sure the applicant aligns with your company’s values and mission, however, don’t let your current culture put constraints around the process. Looking for culture fit throughout an interview can distract you from what the candidate is bringing to the table. We can work towards a more efficient and effective hiring process. This will require us to shift our mindset and look for different strategies, such as a company that focuses on algorithmic hiring like tilr. 

If you are only looking at the skills of a pool of candidate, not only are you going to eliminate bias when recruiting, you are going to get a group of candidates that many few are looking at currently. When your employees recognize you eliminated bias, it can foster a more positive company culture.