Skills can be learned. Hire for culture instead.

As you recruit new talent, chances are good that you have a clear job description in mind. And that’s great! You’ll certainly need it. But we also like to remind our clients that skills can be learned. Hire for culture.

Let’s face it, the odds are pretty good that your company is always in the market for new talent. 

You’re certainly not alone on the hiring boat: the most recent employment report released by the U.S. Department of Labor showed that companies added far more jobs than expected. The New York Times reported that with an unemployment rate of just 3.5%, November was the 21st consecutive month with an unemployment rate of 4% or lower.

That’s what we call a job-seeker’s market. Which makes sourcing top talent even harder. Finding a person with the right skills – and the right personality – for your company’s culture can be challenging. 

We’ve been helping businesses solve both these challenges by providing expert consulting, direct hire solutions, executive search and strategic staffing for nearly two decades. And we’re happy to share some of our expertise with you to help you find the right fit.

Why finding the right fit for your company culture is important

Making hiring decisions around cultural fit means bringing new employees into your workplace whose beliefs, values, and work ethic align with your company’s mission and values. 

Let us be clear, though: hiring for culture is not the same as hiring people who are exactly like you. It’s critically important to include diversity while hiring for cultural fit. Employing individuals with different backgrounds and perspectives will help your company grow and stay strong. Think of it as a culture add as much as a culture fit.

Employees who complement your company’s culture can help your company brand grow. 

On the other end of the spectrum, a hire who is a poor cultural fit can lead to a toxic work environment. For more about broken company cultures, check out our article, “Is Your Company Culture Broken?” or take this quiz.

Grade My Company's Culture

Poor culture fit can also cost your company between 50-60% of the person’s annual salary, according to the Society for Human Resource Management!

Here are five more reasons why finding the right cultural fit can benefit your company:

  • Cultural fit improves employee retention.
  • High turnover rates caused by poor cultural hires are bad for company morale.
  • People who love their jobs (and where they work) tend to be more productive.
  • Happy employees naturally foster a more positive work environment.
  • Finding the right talent dramatically reduces hiring and training costs.

Okay, so that’s why finding the right cultural fit for your company is so important. But how do you find the right fit and attract the right talent?

How to find the right fit for your company culture

Cultural fit also reflects the likelihood that someone will be able to thrive in your environment. They’ll be able to adapt to or reflect the core beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors that define your company.

Here are a few questions you can ask potential hires to help assess culture fit during your interview process:

  • What kind of culture do you thrive in?
  • What values do you look for in a workplace?
  • What’s your ideal work environment?
  • What kind of space do you work best in?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • From what you’ve seen, what kind of culture do you think we have?
  • What did you like about your last organization’s culture?
  • What didn’t you like about it?
  • Can you tell me about the best company culture you’ve ever experienced?
  • What made it work for you?

In addition to asking questions that help you get a sense of the candidate’s working style, the Harvard Business Review suggests that you can assess a candidate’s work ethic and style by determining whether they succeed in a virtual environment or with everyone in the same space; if they’re more comfortable with a hierarchical organization or can thrive with a flat structure; and if they tend to collaborate across teams or operate in a more siloed approach.  

Last, but certainly not least, show your candidates what it’s really like to work at your company. Give them a full tour, introduce them to colleagues across different departments, and take them to lunch with their potential colleagues. Pay close attention to how they interact and solicit feedback from your peers.

How Vaco finds the right fit

We are a talent solutions partner and advisor. Our goal is to free you to focus on what you do best: run your business. 
Culture fit is so important to us, that we’ve developed a set of core tenets that we live by. We Vaconians call it the Vaco Way.

We understand that the perfect hire is more than the sum of their skills. Our recruitment teams are staffed with senior-level subject matter experts, precision skill-set hunters, and seasoned culture-fit gurus. What does that mean for you? That means you can count on a shortlist of candidates who have the skills and are a solid fit for your company culture. 

Looking to improve your company culture with the right people? Or maybe you’re ready to find your perfect team! Either way, Vaco can help. Contact Vaco today.

Contact Us 


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Subscribe now

Together, let’s take a professional adventure bigger than we ever imagined. Join our newsletter list for inspiration, motivation, and exploration.

Get Our Job Seeker Tool Kit

Fill out the form below to get our job seeker resource guides delivered directly to your inbox.