Three Ways to Assess a Candidate’s Cultural Fit
By Alan Lewis, for the Harvard Business Review, March 31, 2011, copyright Harvard Business Publishing.
Reprinted by permission.
Many hiring experts recommend hiring for fit first and skills second. The theory is that you can teach capabilities, but not values. And, organizations need employees who mesh with their core values. Here are three ways to assess whether an applicant will mesh well with yours:
Candidates can tell you they hold the firm’s values, but it’s far better if they can show you. Ask interviewees to participate in group exercises or interact with employees to test whether they demonstrate those values in an almost-real-life situation.
Be clear about your culture
Be open and honest about what it's really like inside your organization. Some candidates will self-select out if they feel they can't fit in.
Interview for values separately
When possible, assess for values with a distinct process. You will likely learn something you would've missed if you were trying to screen for values and skills simultaneously.