How Important is Hiring for Company Culture Fit…Really? [VIDEO]

In this ExactHire vlog, listen to ExactHire Co-Founder, Jeff Hallam, explain what we can learn from a high profile sports team employee termination, and offer tips on how to better assess a job candidate’s potential ability to fit in with your corporate culture.


Video Transcript:

Hi, today’s topic is to talk a little bit about culture, and when I talk about culture not so much in terms of what you can do to make your culture better…it’s not really my realm of expertise at all. But more so, to talk about how important keeping your culture in mind is when hiring. This came to light a while back with the GM of the Colts here in Indianapolis being let go despite having a pretty good run over the last four or five years.

Hiring for Culture Lesson Learned from the Colts

And, as much as there have been issues and there have been rumors that have swirled around that, and just because it’s such a high-profile role, what came to light after the fact I think surprised a lot of people, myself included. In essence, despite the success that was had, it became clear that the way this person behaved internally…how they interacted with others…certain things that they did or didn’t do didn’t really line up with the culture that the owner of the Colts had in mind in terms of how they should be functioning day to day. It made me think, a lot of times especially with what’s happened in the candidate space over the last couple of years with the job market really tightening, the candidate pool continuing to seem from an employer perspective like it’s shrinking…there’s a lot of talk about trying to engage candidates better.

All of that’s perfectly valid—that is absolutely critical to try to get people involved and interested in your roles. At the same time, I think once people show that interest there are a couple of things that you can do just as final steps to make sure you’re not skipping through that process too quickly and find yourself in the same situation the Colts did.

Assess Job Candidates’ Potential Company Culture Fit

Getting a good performer, especially in a prominent role, is critical and we all know that–but sometimes in the interest of trying to move past that it’s easy to skip a couple of core things that can maybe help prevent that. So one of those things is the notion of taking the time to do reasonable reference checks. Again, understand you’re not going to do that probably for roles that are paying a little bit less or aren’t going to interact with others as much. But for these roles where people are going to touch others within the organization with their actions, with their words; or, for those who are going to interact frequently with your clients…that reference piece can be pretty significant in terms of making sure you’re getting what you thought you were getting.

So making sure that you have a handful of people who have interacted with that person before, and having a very clear notion of what you’re looking for–what you need to know about that person–can absolutely help raise any potential red flags that otherwise you might not see until later in the process.

Use Social Media to Better Understand Candidate Professionalism

The other thing you can do is…and there are various channels and tools out there to do this…one that I just became aware of recently is called Really powerful and neat little tool, but whether you do that or just visit them on LinkedIn, or look at their Twitter profile…or whether you use this third-party plug in…the notion is look and see how this person conducts themselves via social media. Doesn’t matter what their views on certain things are, etc. But if they’re offering up any kind of inflammatory comments, or they’re sharing views or things that are inappropriate…lots of things that might otherwise again not fly in the face of how you like things to operate within your culture.

Better to know those things upfront…be aware of them, and at that point then you can determine whether it’s based on feedback from the references or what you see on the social media gamut, you can better determine whether those are items that help reinforce your hiring decision or whether those are things to be aware of and perhaps modify with that person once you bring them on board.

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