Why Culture Fit Will Make – Or Break – Your Senior Level Recruitment

3 min

With an increasing number of recruiters and employers using online databases like LinkedIn, finding the perfect candidate for a job has, in theory, never been easier. In rapid, seamless searches, candidates can be screened on their skillset and experience in minutes. Yet, despite such comprehensive profiles, more and more frequently companies are hiring professionals who are not suitable for their company. More specifically, they are hiring candidates who are not a culture fit. While on paper a candidate may appear to be an ideal match, skills range far beyond the CV.

What is ‘culture fit’, and why is it so important?

‘Culture fit’ simply means the match of a candidate’s characteristics, motivations and values to that of the company. It seems obvious, but these are factors that are nearly always overlooked, as, in such a digital age, so much of their profile is already available online. These online databases can’t screen for cultural fit though, making human understanding of the recruitment process and individual psychology more important than ever. Getting culture fit right can be the difference between hiring a valuable, long term team member who will not only make an instant impact but will stick and grow with the team, or recruiting a difficult, short lived colleague who leaves with everyone feeling more frustrated and demotivated than prior to the hire.

As many as 50% of new hires fail in the first 18 months as a result of bad culture fit. With companies tied by strict time restraints, candidates are frequently hired based solely on their skills and qualifications, while their personality and working style resides at the bottom of the list of priorities.

The consequences of a bad culture fit

Many companies lack the skills, resources and experience to screen properly for their positions, relying solely on CVs and short interviews. As such, they can never truly assess the candidate’s personality, motivations and preferred way of working. It should hardly be surprising then that unsuccessful hires, even at mid-senior level and above, are more common than we think. A bad fit makes for a demotivated employee, and one who can have a negative impact on overall team morale -even, in some cases, causing outright conflict.   

What are the benefits of a good culture fit?

Yet when their background is properly factored into the recruitment process, successful candidates will share the company’s goals and long term missions, will be able to work collaboratively and effectively with the existing team – and, crucially, will bring about real results quickly. Culture fit sees the need for candidates to fit into the team and the wider company, and gives motivated and value-matched candidates the opportunity to grow a career rather than a mere pay cheque.

Getting the culture fit right leads to a better office environment, overall efficiency and better general performance across your business. Research shows that job satisfaction and team morale has a direct, positive impact on performance and profits. That’s not all: hiring candidates who fit the culture will improve your employee retention. Employee turnover is a costly pursuit, of both time and money; Oxford Economics estimate that it costs £30,614 to replace one member of staff. Employers must invest in advertising, training, administration, more of which you can read about on our other post “The Hidden Costs of Recruitment”. When the fit isn’t right, the loss in profits and injury to morale can prove equally as damaging.  Such investment brings with it the want for long-term candidates who can develop and grow within your business, but a demotivated candidate who doesn’t fit the culture is unlikely to stick around for long.

Culture fit is a ‘hidden’ part of candidate recruitment, but is perhaps the key difference between an instantly successful hire and a costly failure.  With the natural desire to recruit quickly in order to meet expansion targets, many businesses end up losing time and money on unsuccessful hires. By asking the questions often skipped – querying and truly understanding the motivations, work style and personal philosophy of a candidate – it is possible to be far more confident in the success of a future hire.  

How CSG Can Help

For CSG, culture fit is an integral part of the recruitment process. We are industry specialists with a vast network of contacts, who proactively head-hunt the exact individuals a company requires. With this in mind, we also strive to gauge a thorough understanding of the roles we are filling, and the company which is hiring. Through face to face meetings and detailed questioning, our selected candidates are only those we could see as valuable components of our clients’ companies. If you would like to find out more about the sector you’re hiring into, or would like more specific help filling a job vacancy, you can contact CSG at clients@csgtalent.com.