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3 Ways to Assess a Candidate's Cultural Fit

The theory of hiring someone based on fit first and skills second says that you can teach capabilities, but not values. When looking for an employee whose values will blend with those of your company, consider the following suggestions...

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The theory of hiring someone based on fit first and skills second says that you can teach capabilities, but not values. In his post on the Harvard Business Review, Alan Lewis says that organizations need employees who mesh with their core values to define the organization and shape day-to-day business decisions.

Hiring based on cultural fit may sound difficult. Lewis says it can be easily embraced throughout the organization and by hiring managers with the aid of a few simple guidelines.

When looking for an employee whose values will blend with those of your company, consider the following suggestions.

1. Don't just ask candidates to tell you how they reflect your company's values; let them show you.
Ask interviewees to participate in group exercises or interact with employees to test whether they demonstrate those values in an almost-real-life situation.

2. Be crystal clear about your culture and values.
Be open and honest about what it's really like inside your organization. Some candidates will self-select out if they feel they can't fit in.

3. Don't combine skills interviews with values interviews.
When possible, assess for values with a distinct process. You will likely learn something you would've missed if you were trying to screen for values and skills simultaneously.