How to Gauge if Someone is a ‘Cultural Fit’ While Avoiding Bias

When looking to hire a new employee it’s important to ensure the employee fits in with your company culture and values. It’s important that your new starter feels comfortable and doesn’t disrupt the work environment negatively, but at the same time, you want to ensure your workforce is diverse and that you don’t risk groupthink.

Workers are more likely to enjoy their time in the workplace when they share similar values and gel with your company culture. In fact, research from our Employment Monitor found that 42% of employees said the people they work with is what is keeping them in their current job.

But how do you gauge if a candidate will fit your company culture? Here are our top 4 tips

1. Ask them Culture Fit Questions in the Interview

When asking interview questions frame them around the company core values. This will help you identify if they fit your companies’ culture and ethos.

For example, in Cpl one of our core values is respect, so when interviewing candidates for internal positions we would ask questions around when they have shown this core value.

Other questions will help you get an idea if the candidate will work well in your organisation, while avoiding any unconscious biases, include:

  • Which of our company’s core values do you most/least identify with?
  • How do you handle disappointments?
  • How do you handle workplace stress?
  • What motivates you?
  • How important is work-life balance?
  • Why did you choose to apply here?
  • How would you describe your leadership style?
  • What would be your ideal work schedule?
  • How do you manage conflict with coworkers and can you give ma an example?

2. Use Psychometric Tests:

A psychometric test aims to provide measurable, objective data that can provide an all-round view of a candidate’s suitability for a role and company.  These kinds of tests are usually used to measure attributes including:

  • Intelligence
  • Critical reasoning
  • Motivation
  • Personality profile

An interview process can be quite subjective and although employers will normally assess skills and experience accurately, it can be hard to properly assess someone’s values. Through psychometric tests you will get an unbiased view of their personality and if they will be a good fit for the business.

3. Introduce the Candidate to the Team

It can be a good idea for your team to meet a candidate before you give them their official offer so you can see how they interact with the team.

Getting more employees opinions can help ascertain if candidates do or don’t fit, or where your bias is getting the best of you.

Along with getting more opinions, it will help your employees feel valued and make your new hires first day a little smoother. Make sure however that your team considers that the candidate might be slightly nervous in the first meeting.

4. Check Multiple References

A good way to get a real feel for what your candidate is like in a work setting is to talk to previous bosses. It’s a good idea to check at least two references to see if they give a similar picture of the candidate.

When contacting the references ask them questions based around your core values. For example, if one of your core values is respect ask for an example when they showed this to a fellow employee.

Hiring for a good cultural fit is a challenge, especially if you’re finding it hard to find someone with the right skills, but it’s important to consider. Through honest, well thought out interviews and input from your current employees you can significantly improve the chances that a new hire will be a great fit and add to your organisation.

At the same time, it’s equally important to be open in your hiring policies and to ensure no biases come into play. Good ways to avoid bias interviewing or hiring is to ask the same questions to all potential employees, use a diverse interview panel and to honestly assess your own biases after each initial impression.

“Best fit” doesn’t have to mean hiring versions of the same person, and by recognising that you may have biases, to begin with, is a good start. If you are concerned about biases in your recruitment process using an outside agency can also be helpful in broadening your choice of prospective employees.

For more insights into maintaining and cultivating a great company culture or if you need help finding candidates who will benefit your organisation contact us today.