Assessing Cultural Fit

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Dec 6, 2012 | Blog

In a people lens culture, strong cultural fit is a key element in the recruitment process for salaried employees. It is as important as skills, competencies and experience. However, assessing cultural fit can be more difficult than task-oriented performance. Here are some processes to consider adopting (if you’re not already):

Recruitment Process:

  •  Include your mission, vision, values and beliefs in the role description. Include a job requirement such as:  Clearly understands the mission and demonstrates the values of the organization.
  • Ask questions in the interview process to find out how this person will demonstrate your organization’s values. Think of specific scenarios based on your unique set of values.
  • Once a successful candidate has been given an offer, invite them to meet current employees (maybe at a staff meeting) to determine if your organization is the right fit for them


  • Review in-depth the mission, vision, values and beliefs. Give this equal importance as learning the specific duties they will perform.
  • Provide an orientation session with the executive director (i.e. “keeper of the culture”) a few weeks after the start date to provide deeper insight.

Probationary Review

  • Set expectations up front that the new employee will be evaluated on their understanding of the mission and how they demonstrate the values of the organization.
  • Include this in the three month probationary review. Even if the new employee is performing tasks well, if they do not fit the culture this is the time to move them along.

I truly believe it’s impossible to be a high performer unless you are aligned to the organization’s values, beliefs, mission and vision. Keeping someone that doesn’t fit the culture sets the individual and the organization up for performance challenges down the road.

In a people lens culture it’s important to free up people’s future so they can find the right organization for them, and you can find the best talent for your organization. 

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