The Importance of Hiring Employees for Culture Fit

Key Takeaways:

  • Many assumptions about the problems with hiring for culture fit are false or misleading. 
  • Intuition plays a big role in hiring for culture fit. 

The idea of hiring for culture fit is controversial for some. This is due to an assortment of incorrect beliefs, including fears that doing so will ultimately be damaging to an organization’s diversity, innovation and more.

But the truth goes in the opposite direction.

Let’s start with the fear that hiring for culture fit will negatively impact the ability to feature a diverse workforce. However, hiring managers will not bring aboard the same type of person again and again. Culture fit is about how well a person’s values align with that of organization. This is irrelevant to things like gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, etc.

Research also illustrates that a better value fit is associated with higher retention for groups of people who, because of being demographically different, are typically more at risk to leave. In other words, hiring for culture fit can quell some challenges that come with managing a more diverse workforce. When executed correctly, hiring for culture ultimately enriches diversity instead of hindering it.

Another misconception is hiring for culture has a low value because an employee’s hard skills are far more important.  But culture fit, defined as how well one’s values adhere to the values of the organization or team, has a substantial impact on how people conduct themselves at work.

Research proves that people whose values are more aligned to their organization are more committed, more satisfied with their job and less likely to leave. If you want to have a motivated workforce, as well as the ability to attract the right employees, cultural fit is vital.

Another issue hiring managers worry about is that hiring for culture fit will decrease innovation because everyone would then think in a similar fashion. But it needs to be recognized that people can think differently and still align with the organization’s core values.

A study of 346 members of 75 healthcare teams revealed that when members perceived a stronger value fit for their team, leaders rated them as actually being more innovative. Why? Simple. Because when team members all identified strongly with the team, they were actually more open to diverse ideas from other members.

Finally, some believe hiring for cultural fit doesn’t have a scientific approach. They feel it’s more about some kind of “gut feeling.” But culture fit isn’t about how well a job candidate aligns with the hiring manager’s personal values. This is a mistake. It’s about those of the organization. So it’s important to use a standardized instrument in order to assess such a fit. Compare the candidate, point by point, on all values and compare them directly to those of the organization.

The bottom line is you can hire for culture fit, strengthen your team and enhance their levels of engagement, satisfaction and retention.

Based on an original article here:


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