Why It is Important to Hire People for Cultural Fit and How to Do It

Selecting people who align with the workplace's unique culture helps reduce cost and boosts productivity

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Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific
2 min read


One of the most challenging and important roles of HR is finding a candidate who has the relevant job experience, career history, and a certain degree of technical skill. But in the past few years, another criterion has become vital: cultural fit.

As companies expand in length and breadth, they realize the importance of hiring people who align with their company’s unique culture and values, in other words, are a cultural fit.

A 2016 study by consultancy firm Cubiks Netherlands of 55 large organizations, which included employers such as Philips, IKEA and TomTom, found that nine in 10 recruiters rejected candidates owing to their lack of cultural fit.

Cubiks defined cultural fit as “the way in which an employee connects with the organizational culture. This culture is formed from the values, vision, norms, working language, symbols, belief systems and habits of staff, along with their tacit agreement to a set of acceptable behaviours. When these elements are aligned, they create social cohesion, and a high level of social cohesion builds strength in the organization.”

Diversity still matters

There’s also ample research that shows hiring people for “cultural fit” has become an essential part of effective, strategic hiring, as it results in employees feeling more connected, which translates to better productivity and more success.

This, however, doesn’t mean that companies hire people with the exact personality type. Diversity in people and opinions are important as it offers a wider scale of knowledge, experience and opinion.

In this video, Wendy Chen, CEO of Omnistream, a Singapore-based retail data-analytics startup which was founded in Hong Kong, shares three ways to find people who are “cultural fit” and why it is a bad idea to hire someone who has an impressive résumé but is not fit when it comes to the company’s culture.

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