Recruiting: Does The Culture Fit?

Sylvie Askins

As labor shortages remain a concern for CEOs, a Gartner survey of more than 800 HR leaders listed recruiting as one of their top priorities for 2023. When there’s an urgent hiring need, it’s tempting to fill the position with the first qualified candidate who comes along. However, as we all know, successful recruitment is not as simple as finding people with the right skill sets.

You’ve likely heard the advice, “Train for skill; hire for culture.” It means that a good culture fit is an essential consideration for a successful hire. So if you have to choose between someone who has all the right skills but isn’t a good fit culturally and someone who has some skill gaps but seems to be more of a culture fit, which candidate should you go with? Research shows the latter is the better choice. Why? It’s easier to develop someone’s skills than to try to change their values and belief system.

In a time of uncertainty, resilience matters, and top talent is critical. As many as 84% of recruiters recently surveyed said that culture has become a prominent factor in the selection process. One survey participant said, “It is not only recruiters who increasingly recognize the importance of culture fit. It has become a growing concern among employees themselves, particularly Gen Y [millennials], many of whom look beyond job content to scrutinize more closely whether they will experience a good fit with their new employer.”

Every organizational culture is unique and not suited to everyone. The key is to find candidates who have similar values, believe in your brand purpose, and are proud to be part of your organization because of what you stand for. We call this brand pride, and it’s a powerful motivator.

culture fit


Candidates or employees whose beliefs are aligned with the organization’s purpose and corresponding behavior norms are more likely to have a good experience, stay with the organization longer, and be more engaged and productive. A cohesive culture creates brand pride—a powerful emotion that can unite teams and individuals across the organization, create a sense of collective connectedness, and go beyond the employee experience to positively impact the customer experience.

If you’ve ever been in a cultural environment that was not a fit for you, you know firsthand what an uncomfortable and dissonant experience it can be. You feel confused, uncertain, and disconnected from who you are and what you believe in. On the other hand, if you’re in an environment that connects you to your truth, you feel exhilarated, and nothing can stop you.

Culture is something you feel. It is ingrained in who you are collectively as an organization. And ultimately, it translates into individual and organizational performance. Research has proven that organizations that consistently live their values and ignite brand pride outperform their competition.

With that in mind, here are 5 steps to successful recruitment:

1: Translate your corporate brand into a powerful employer value proposition (EVP) and employer brand that expresses your organization’s values and purpose.

2: Make your candidates’ experience as great as you would your customers’ experience.

3: Engage and inspire candidates; they are interviewing you, too.

4: Help candidates understand if they can see themselves here.

5: Go beyond job posts to create an integrated recruitment strategy.

If you’re looking to strengthen your EVP and employer brand to create a powerful, purpose-driven recruitment platform, get in touch.

About the author

Sylvie Askins

For over 30 years, Sylvie has been branding and marketing for B2B and B2C organizations of all sizes in a range of industries. She plays a pivotal role in developing the positioning and messaging that set clients up for success, and for laying out a clear, actionable path forward. Sylvie does not just connect brand and marketing to sales, but also to HR, believing that organizations that are purpose-driven and start with engaging their own people achieve a better customer experience and higher levels of performance.

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