Beyond the Resume: Assessing Candidates for Cultural Fit

The right candidate on paper might not be the right candidate for you. 

Qualifications, degrees, and skill sets have arguably become slightly less significant to the hiring process, as many companies focus instead on finding the right culture fit to add to their team. 

But what exactly makes a culture ‘fit’?

Teams develop a distinct culture in their work life over time spent together in the office and the last thing you want to do is disrupt the harmony within an already successful team. This is why the psychology behind the hiring process is beginning to change to not just hire the best candidate on paper but to make an effort to get to know the candidates on a personal level and hire the one who is most likely to fit in with the rest of the team. 

On that note, here are 4 key things you should consider when trying to hire for culture and not just for skill-set:

Personal Ambitions

Don’t fall into the trap of becoming a stepping-stone company. Know your Company’s dynamic and if you want your next employee to stick around, then make sure you hire someone whose personal ambition matches it. After all, it makes no sense to hire someone who wants to be a manager within the year if your company has room to promote within. Let’s not brush problems under the carpet until they inevitably resurface later on.


A candidate with a perfect career history & background might seem ideal, but if they don’t have the personality to match then it should be a non-starter. Since you understand your Company the best, you should know what type of people (& attitudes) fit within the team.

Do your team a favour and make sure your next hire is a team player and fits the current dynamic of your current group…after all, they are the ones who have to work beside them each day. Ask personal questions, and get to know the individual beneath the surface to ensure you don’t discover any unwanted surprises three months later.

It’s a match!

Sometimes looking at what you both have in common can be a great way to find a match made in heaven. Find out what values you share with the potential employees, as this can help you figure out if they will respond to your leadership and direction. Alignment on values is a critical assessment that most businesses overlook, but if you’re really trying to develop a culture that’s right for your particular business, then miss-matching cultures is a no-go.

Hire for your habitat

As mentioned before, you don’t want to disrupt your ecosystem at work. Make it clear to potential candidates what stage your business is in and ensure they can fit into that setting. Every employee has a preferred working environment, so discover theirs to make sure you don’t have a mismatch on your hands. 

Slow and steady doesn’t always win the race, especially if you are a startup—then you need a Duracell bunny who can match the pace of your ever-changing business.

Use these 4 hot tips to turn your next hire into your dream employee. Remember not to judge a book by its cover but get to know as much as you can about your next employee and ensure they add to the dynamics of your team.

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