By standard definition cultural fit is ‘the likelihood that a job candidate will be able to conform and adapt to the core values and collective behaviours that make up an organisation’.

You will hear the term cultural fit in many different ways and generally these are measured by the recruiter or hiring managers view if you are or are not a good fit for the organisation in terms of behaviours and values.

Listed below are examples of cultural facets of an organisation:

  • Vision
  • Values
  • Mission
  • Purpose
  • Employee behaviours
  • Corporate Social Responsibility can include elements from supporting charities and non for profits to the environment, sustainability and the health and welfare of society.
  • Diversity (of all sorts), gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, education, age, socio-economic status, politic beliefs or other ideologies.
  • Community standing

Many job applicants completely overlook the critical importance of the prior listed cultural facets, thinking it’s just words that don’t truly represent an organisation. Others think they are there to try and make an organisation look good to the market or simply facets that employees know of, but don’t live and breathe. If you are one of those people, it would be well advised for you to re-evaluate.

Today’s market and economy is competitive, therefore organisations must live and breathe their corporate mission, values and purpose in order to engage with their employees, retain top talent, hold an enviable market place status, secure new business, and do good business to stay competitive. Most organisations around the world fall into this category, however there will always be a percentage of organisations who hold values that aren’t truly represented in the way they operate.

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We hope by now, we have made our standing pretty clear- cultural fit is important. So you may now be wondering how you can use this knowledge to your advantage.

Step 1: At the first stage in the job decision cycle  of decision evaluation (ie choosing which organisation you want to work for) you must evaluate the cultural facets of the organisation you are considering to see whether it aligns with your beliefs.

Step 2: After you have applied and threaded these facets into your application form answers to show you understand and resonate with these, hopefully comes an invite to the next stage of the recruitment process.

Step 3: You have been invited to a job interview and begin preparation. Ensure you understand every aspect of the organisation from its vision to mission, community involvement to standing on diversity. This will ensure in an interview, you can display and respect what the organisation stands for.

Important factors to note:

Never ever lie about your values or beliefs just to fit into an organisation. Long term this will mean you may not fit into the organisations cultural system and it could become an awkward working environment.

Try and use appropriate terminology that align to the country and industry you are applying for.

You do not need to be a robot and replicate everything the organisation stands for word for word or agree with it 110%, it will look like you are faking it. You are allowed to have your own views, but should however have a similar underlying belief system.

Don’t think that a facet, for example diversity, means the same thing in one organisation as it does to another, you must do your research for every organisation you progress with.

Undercover Grad Recruiter’s departing wisdom is cultural fit is very important and don’t forget it!

UC Grad Recruiter