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Maximizing selection for culture fit: Part I

by Marisa Seeds

Interest continues to grow in the use of hiring assessment tools that measure culture fit. Companies want to evaluate the match between a candidate’s needs and what an organization has to offer in terms of its culture.

While most pre-employment assessments are focused on predicting job performance, research continues to show that culture fit is another important piece of the puzzle. In addition to having an impact on job performance, culture fit can be even more critical for increased engagement and higher retention.

So, how can we predict a candidate’s culture fit early in the hiring process?

I will share five tips over a two-part article. The first three tips shared below focus on using selection tools to maximize your learning.

1. Use realistic job previews

Rather than focusing solely on selling a position or organization, be mindful that time and costs can be saved by providing candidates with a balanced perspective. It’s important to share the rewards that are offered, but promoting the job should be tempered with a realistic depiction of its challenges as well.

To the extent candidates perceive a match with what is offered, they may become even more attracted; at the same time, those who do not think they are good match can self-select out of the process.

2. Develop culture fit measurement tools

It’s critical to engage candidates in the hiring process to learn about how they might fit in a particular organization. Various measurement methods can be used to capture better candidate data about fit.

It can be especially helpful to use an approach that presents candidates with both sides of the coin – actual aspects of the organization’s culture, as well as some cultural elements that are not offered.

3. Summarize results for recruiters and hiring managers

Capturing a wealth of data on culture fit is only valuable to the extent that it can be summarized and easily interpreted by end users. Therefore, aim to focus on key cultural themes of the organization.

Reporting on culture fit should go beyond giving a "match score" – rather, it should help talent decision makers structure a dialogue with the candidate about key cultural matches or mismatches.

In Part II, I will discuss engaging candidates and leveraging learnings.