ONS have the UK’s unemployment rate at a 17-year low; 4.7%, with the employment rate at almost the highest on record. Despite such a competitive market many recruitment campaigns still overlook one of the vital elements to any successful appointment; cultural fit.
So what is it? ‘Cultural fit’ is the likelihood that someone will reflect or be able to adapt to the core beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours of an organisation. It is an element all too easily overlooked by overly simplistic recruitment campaigns which focus too much upon the basic tasks and skills of the role. Culture is the glue that holds a business together, that’s why it’s a key factor to making really great hiring choices.
Having it, or not, has consequences. The Society for Human Resource Management reported that churn due to poor culture fit can cost an organisation between up to 60% of the person’s annual salary. This is a high price to pay for making a poor appointment. Many hiring managers overlook the nuisances and peculiarities of their organisation when recruiting. They fail to consider that its values, goals, and practices must match up to those of the individual they wish to hire. This risks a mismatch, which isn’t good for either candidate or firm.
Employees who fit well with their organisation and colleagues tend to have greater job satisfaction, are more likely to remain with their organisation and often demonstrate superior job performance. These are significant reasons for all stakeholders, from hiring managers to Boards to take cultural fit seriously. By assessing cultural fit throughout the recruitment process firms are more likely to appoint engaged individuals, who will perform successfully, deliver growth and positive returns.
Overlook the essential element of cultural fit in any recruitment campaign at your peril. Those who wish to successfully appoint talent to drive growth and deliver in all market cycles must consider all aspects of the role and business. Having a strong, transparent and candid culture, which you can articulate to internal stakeholders and external audiences, is key.
We thrive on a partnership relationship with our clients, and play an integral role in assessing the cultural fit of potential candidates. At the heart of a partnership is trust. Finding specific skill sets is a relatively simple process. Finding people that ‘fit’ needs the trust of a genuine partnership – it means saying ‘no’ to some exceptionally talented people, and backing some instinctive hires. As the old saying goes; “culture eats strategy for breakfast every time” and fitting the culture delivers a greater likelihood of making a long-term and successful appointments.
Simon Walton is a Partner at Berwick Partners, he leads the national Consumer Practice and specialises in making senior management and leadership appointments in this sector.