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Hiring for Cultural Fit

You’ve identified an accounting candidate that seems ideal for the job. They have the experience and skills needed and they are interested in the position. But, you can’t help but wonder: How will they fit into your company culture? What you are really asking is; do the candidate’s values align with those of your company, be they work-life balance, corporate mission, or how to serve internal customers.

Research from the Corporate Executive Board reports that almost half of an employee's success in the first 18 months on the job can be attributed to how the employee fits in with others in the organization. Maybe that is the reason why, according to Forbes, almost 90% of top organizations are now using cultural fit to manage attrition rates. In addition, top organizational leaders cite the cultural fit of employees as a foundation of their overall success.

To achieve the right balance between cultural fit and skill-set, consider the following three-step hiring process:

Step One: Define Your Culture

It would be hard to hire an accounting or finance professional who fits your culture if you do not know how to define it. Prior to conducting interviews be certain you can describe the culture of your organization, and the type of employee who will thrive and help the company grow. This will enable you to see the types of employees who fit versus those who may not.

Step Two: Culture Then Skills

Résumés enable an upfront screening of a candidate’s skill-set. Once the short-list has been identified and the in-person meetings begin, start by assessing the potential employee’s cultural fit. Consider waiting to test finance and accounting skills only after the prospective employee passes the cultural screen.

Step Three: Multiple Interviews

Top organizations use four or more levels of interviews for prospective employees to ensure they get the right person, and the right fit. The interviews may include:

  1. A cultural assessment with HR;
  2. A skill-set assessment and cultural fit with the hiring Manager;
  3. Meetings with other managers within the organization; and
  4. Meetings with other employees and peers.

The idea behind multiple interviews is to both communicate your organization’s culture from several different perspectives and to get a feel for how the candidate interacts with various members of your team.

Finding candidates who fit your company’s culture doesn’t have to be difficult. With a hiring process that takes culture fit into consideration, you can find employees who bring the right skills and the ability to enhance your organization’s culture.