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Hiring on Culture fit: how to do it while making sure you're still encouraging diversity?


Culture fit is referred to as the method of evaluating prospective employees based on how closely their values, beliefs, and behaviors match those of the organization.

While many people support making culture fit a significant factor in an organization's recruitment strategy, others think doing so invites discrimination. Hiring based on cultural fit essentially means selecting candidates you believe will feel at home in the position in question, the team, and your larger organization. But when evaluating a person's general capacity for workplace integration, people frequently look to those who are similar to themselves in terms of race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, age, nationality, etc. This is frequently done unconsciously; in fact, affinity bias is the official term for it in the recruitment industry. The term "affinity bias" refers to choosing a candidate because they share a trait or characteristic with you– like attending the same university or knowing the same people (Zivkovic, 2020)[2]. Since HR staff and managers want a team of like-minded individuals (in the sense of having the same drive, vision, and passion for the organization), affinity bias is frequently mistaken for hiring on "cultural fit" because it is the simplest way to identify such individuals through outward traits like their education, age, etc. A team of individuals who look, think, and act alike is frequently the result of hiring decisions based on affinity bias. Since studies have shown that a more diverse team fosters greater creativity and innovation, this actually has a negative impact on an organization as a whole. An organization's values and beliefs should be reflected in its workforce, which raises the question of how to maintain or promote diversity while ensuring you're meeting business objectives.

How to integrate company culture with your hiring strategy?

  • When hiring candidates, it's important to keep in mind that culture fit should be evaluated in terms of how well a candidate's values match those of the company as a whole rather than how well their traits match those of the organization's current workforce. For instance, if your company values collaboration and this contributes significantly to the overall productivity of the business, you will want to attract candidates who value working collaboratively rather than those who prefer to work independently. However, not everyone who values and believes in collaboration fits into one demographic or comes from a similar background to your current workforce. Candidates with backgrounds in the corporate world, the not-for-profit sector, or even the military can all collaborate. Additionally, encouraging a positive work environment and boosting productivity can be achieved by making sure your staff members share and respect the same values and beliefs. For instance, employees are more likely to be engaged in their work and more committed to the organization over the long term if the majority of them within an organization value innovation and learning and these values align with the company itself and its practices. This ultimately lowers staff turnover and cultivates a devoted workforce, which is a huge asset for any organization. The difficulty for companies is figuring out a candidate's cultural beliefs without using affinity bias, especially during the hiring process. The problem is that because culture is so arbitrary, it is difficult to determine values and beliefs on the spot. In order to assess cultural alignment during the interview stage, The Harvard Business Review has provided some crucial questions (Bouton, 2018)[3]:

  • What kind of culture best suits you? (Does the response reflect the culture of your organization?)

  • What values resonate with you, and where do you see your ideal workplace?

  • You want to work here, why?

  • Which best practices from another company would you bring with you? Do you anticipate being able to apply these techniques in our setting?

[It's crucial to ascertain a candidate's work ethic and style through questioning; for example, discover whether they prefer working in an office or online and whether they feel at ease in a hierarchical structure. Whether they operate best in a more collaborative environment or favor an independent workspace. Organizational culture is crucial because it influences business decisions and unites employees around a shared mission. As a result, it's critical to hire applicants who share the values of your business if you want the organization to keep expanding and improving. Candidates from all backgrounds and experiences can still share the same vision and beliefs, so assessing how well they align with a company's values is different from hiring based on their traits and how similar they are to the current workplace. Aftermath Recruitment is aware of the advantages that a diverse workforce can offer an organization and, as a result, makes sure that, while focusing on their organizational needs and culture, our focus is always open and transparent throughout the entire recruitment process for our clients. Our goal is to make sure that by offering our clients a diverse and skilled pool of candidates, we are facilitating their growth and development. To do this, we ensure that fostering diversity is a top priority at all stages of the hiring process, including job postings, candidate pipelines, reference checks, and interviews. About Aftermath Recruitment: is not just your recruitment agency—we are your recruitment partner, from the heart of the Middle East. Having served 110+ clients around the globe, in 10+ countries, from hiring entry-level to executive management positions, and nationalization, our specialized teams of expert recruiters take a personal approach to finding top talent across all industries to boost both our client's and candidates’ success. Whether you are a leader looking for your next top hire, or an exceptional talent looking for your next opportunity, we got your back, and we'd love to hear from you! If you have an active role you’d like to discuss or just want to talk to a specialist consultant, please Contact us

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