Culture fit key to hiring

by 16 Sep 2008

INFLEXIBLE TECHNICAL requirements prevent many employers from securing ideal staff, according to Hays Human Resources.

Rather than maintaining such stringent technical skill prerequisites, employers could also consider the cultural fit of a potential employee – in other words, a candidate’s fit with the existing team, affinity with the company’s values and way it does business and their potential in order to open a vacancy to a wider pool of suitable candidates.

“Many of the technical skills required for roles, particularly for entry-level roles, can be taught,” said Grahame Doyle, director of Hays Human Resources.

“For example, previous experience with a particular computer package can be learnt. Many roles at the mid to senior levels require particular industry experience, but again the unique characteristics of a particular industry can be taught and should not prevent the employment of a candidate who is otherwise the most suitable person for the role, has solid experience, suits the company, and who can become a highly valued asset with a little technical training.”

He said communication, initiative and level of ambition along with other applicable soft skills such as integrity, ability to participate as part of a team, customer service skills or ability to take project responsibility are all good indications of how a candidate is likely to succeed in a role and fit in with the business culture.

“The search for the perfect candidate will always exist, however if employers recognise how to determine those candidates that will suit all aspects of the role, not just those with the correct technical skills, they are more likely to recruit and retain the best skills for their particular business,” Doyle said.

There were a number of steps in determining the type of organisation that would be the best cultural fit for an applicant, according to Hays Human Resources:

• Consider what type of environment you would work best in – for example, one focusing on teamwork or one where you work autonomously.

• Determine what motivates you to be successful in a role – is it salary, hours worked, location or the chance to meet and exceed targets?

• Know what you want to gain from your employment – for example, develop particular skills or progress your career in a certain area.

“Once you have identified these, you can then look for an organisation that provides the best fit for you,” Doyle said.


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