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18th Oct, 2021

Rachel Leinweber
Rachel Leinweber
Job Title
Recruitment Manager

Have you ever interviewed a candidate with the right skills and experience, but are unsure if they’ll make a good fit for your company’s culture? Rachel Leinweber, Senior Executive Permanents Consultant at Reed, curates her top tips to help you assess an applicant’s potential fit for your company.

In an increasingly candidate-driven market, it’s more important than ever to find, attract and retain the best candidates for your business. However, finding employees who are best qualified for the role, while also possessing the core values that align with your company’s culture, can be a difficult task.

According to ‘The Culture Economy’ report, 34% of British employees have quit their job because of dissatisfaction with their company’s culture. By not implementing the right working environment, you could not only be increasing employee turnover but damaging your employer brand too.

Maintaining positive company culture not only helps you retain your existing staff, but your company’s performance benefits too, with positive work cultures creating more productive, engaged, and happier employees.

To support you in finding the right candidates, here are my top tips to help you determine if an applicant will be a good cultural fit within your company.

Identify your company culture

Before you even begin the interview process, you need to confidently understand what your company culture consists of and what qualities you are looking for in candidates. Once you’ve recognised this, you should take the time to ensure that this has been clearly defined for the candidates you are trying to attract.

Firstly, outline the attitudes and behaviours your company embodies, then begin to think about what type of work environment, leadership style, ethics and values your ideal employees will embody.

I would then recommend you add a small section to your job advertisements that reflects your company’s core values and ethos. By doing this, you rule out any candidates that aren’t the right fit before you get to the interview stage.

It is also useful to have a page on your company website outlining your culture, ethics and values not only to inform clients and customers, but also to help attract the right talent.

Ask the right questions

When determining whether a candidate is a right fit for your company, asking a variety of questions is essential. By using a mix of open-ended, competency-based and behavioural-based questions, coupled with appropriate subject matter, such as hobbies outside of work or asking about previous jobs, you can get a real sense of what a candidate might be like to work with.

Some example questions are:

  • What sort of environment are you most productive and happy in?

  • How do you prefer to be managed?

  • What motivates you in the workplace?

  • How do you handle stress and tight deadlines?

  • What do you like to do outside of work?

  • Give an example of a time when you handled conflict in the workplace.

  • Tell me about a big decision you made recently. How did you go about it?

  • Describe a situation in which you led a team.

  • What is one thing you liked and disliked about your current or previous employer?

  • What did you enjoy most in your last role?

Invite them into the workplace

An easy way to assess whether a candidate might be a match for the business is by inviting them into your facilities for an informal meeting or during the interview process. Setting up a tour around the building or creating a situation for the candidate to briefly meet your existing employees is a great way to see how they interact with the people they meet across the business.

Use an assessment centre

According to a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development survey, 34% of employers now use assessment centres when recruiting managers, professionals, and graduates.

An assessment centre is a method used by businesses to help review how candidates react to a set of varied exercises, designed to stimulate different aspects of the work environment. Often these include personality tests, team-building activities and individual tasks, all of which can identify whether a candidate is a good cultural fit and ensure their values align with the company’s.

Taking care to ensure you cover all the above through your recruitment process will ensure your new starter fits hand in glove with your organisation’s ethos.

To get more tips from Rachel and our other recruitment specialists, get in touch today.