Hiring for culture fit rather than experience

Hiring? Why the current market means you need to hire for culture fit rather than experience It’s long been the tactic for hiring managers and recruiters to look for the person with the best skills and experience, setup an interview and –if things go well –make them an offer.   But the job market is,…

Hiring? Why the current market means you need to hire for culture fit rather than experience

It’s long been the tactic for hiring managers and recruiters to look for the person with the best skills and experience, setup an interview and –if things go well –make them an offer.

 

But the job market is, in the words of many careers experts out there, going a little crazy right now. And we’re seeing it have a significant impact on how companies are hiring, and who they’re hiring. A candidate’s cultural fit into your company is trumping experience right now –and it’s definitely something to think about if you’re struggling with finding the right people. Here’s what you need to think about.

 

It’s the age of human-centred recruiting

Sure, you can try to handle the job-posting process yourself, but in a tough market, it’s arguably better to leave these things to the professionals who have a wide network to tap into. Right now, recruiters are all-important in what careers experts are calling the ‘age of human-centred recruiting’. This means being transparent and accessible to candidates, having a process for following up (even if they’re not successful) and removing biases where possible. Over time, building a relationship with a ‘people-person’ recruiter only benefits your business: because they know how things tick and are completely across the company culture. They’re much more likely to identify and filter those good-fit candidates that would work within your organisation.

 

Skills and a willingness to learn is key

Don’t get us wrong: experience is still important when recruiting. But in the current job market, you need to be open to hiring people based on whether they have some of the skills you need, are ambitious, can easily be trained up –and would be a good fit for your current team. It’s sometimes referred to as ‘culture-fit hiring’, and it’s all about making sure the candidates you look for have the right personality along with the right skills.

 

There are many reasons why you’d consider this as part of your recruiting process, including:

 

    • Happier staff: If your employees fit into the company culture and are happy coming to work, you’ll benefit from better staff retention.

 

    • Engaged employees: If your staff are aligned with the values of the company, they’ll go above and beyond, which can have a positive (and productive!) impact on your business.

 

    • Better communication: People will feel open to sharing ideas and opinions and you’ll foster a culture of collaborative working that can help teams reach solutions faster.

 

Throwing money at the problem

In the current job market, it’s tempting to offer higher salaries in order to secure the right people –and it’s true that in a tough market, you’re going to have to pay what the market demands –or bump up the benefits or perks of the role in order to attract worthwhile candidates. But it’s easy to fall into the trap of paying too much in the hope that person will solve all your problems (they probably won’t). If you’re offering higher salaries out of desperation, you can bet your current employees will find out –and feel justifiably miffed. Increasing pay can work, but it’s not always the best long-term strategy.

It’s not about choosing cookie-cutter candidates

Don’t forget, candidates are assessing you and your company at the same time too, and it’s a job-seeker’s market! Culture-fit hiring is not about recruiting employees who are similar to those in your existing team –that’s a one-way ticket to a toxic workplace. Research tells us how important diversity is for workplaces, and a great company culture –the kind people want to work for –will be a diverse one that welcomes and celebrates all kinds of people and their ideas.

Bonus: according to research, diverse teams may solve problems faster!

To wrap up…

It’s a tough market out there and Australian companies are watching nervously to see if The Great Resignation currently unfolding in the US will replicate itself here. But even though hiring may be more of a challenge right now, there are ways to recruit and build a team that you’re happy with and that’ll benefit your organisation overall. Considering salary, benefits and cultural fit over experience are all strategies you might want to consider next time you’re looking for staff. And of course, if we can help –get in touch!

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