I had a conversation this week with a senior creative who’s recently returned to NZ after a few years abroad. While reconnecting with his networks he observed that culture fit seems to be the most important thing with employers he’s talked to – more so than when he left.

He’s right of course, culture fit is top of the list for candidates and clients alike. Happy, stimulated and challenged employees don’t tend to bounce from job to job and put in more productive days work than someone who hides under the duvet every morning dreading going to work.

So how do you help get that employee-employer match right?

From a recruitment perspective its important to get as much depth as possible from candidates to understand wholly their motivation, personal values, passion and goals, as these are not always evident from merely scanning a CV. It’s important to be open and transparent about these motivators as it saves everyone a whole lot of time and grief short and long term!

Obviously everyone wants a great place to work at - and while that looks different from person to person; I’m yet to find a candidate who craves a miserable toxic workplace with no opportunity for growth or advancement!

For the employers; hiring and retaining good staff is vital for a myriad of reasons, so getting that fit correct from the get-go saves a lot of time, money and drama.

To get that match right, the employer needs to consider:

  • where are you heading as an organisation?
  • is there scope for this candidate to grow and develop with you?
  • what are you looking for in an employee beyond core skills?
  • what is your workplace culture REALLY like?
  • have you really looked hard at the main requirements of the role as it stands TODAY or simply relisting a job description that’s 3+ years old? (this happens a lot)

It's worth pointing out that some companies think just having a beer fridge and games area instantly makes a great workplace culture. While a frosty craft beer after work on a Friday while thrashing your workmates at table tennis might be a nice extra for some; the majority of employees regard a good culture as a friendly supportive environment where they feel their contribution is valued; with a prospect to grow, learn and develop.

Food for thought: let’s say you get a person that’s a 100% team fit – right energy, personality to really light the place up, a hit with your clients and will bring out the best in the team - but might be light on a couple of skills. Would you consider investing some time and training in getting them up to speed? 

You can always upskill or train the right person, and yes it costs money and time - but consider how much the cost is to keep replacing team members that just don’t gel with the team, or don’t embrace your company values while losing productivity and team morale!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on what makes a good culture fit for you or your business :)