What are the qualities that you want in a candidate when looking to fill a position in your organization? Normally educational qualifications and work experience rank top of the list. And then you want someone who is willing, committed, honest and passionate about their work. During the interview, every candidate tries to project the message that they have all these qualities. But how can you know that they will be the right fit for your corporate culture?

A new employee who is a poor fit culturally soon turns out to be a liability even if they are highly qualified and experienced. Such an employee can become unhappy and can also affect overall employee morale. But if you are unable to recognize them during the selection process, they may cause plenty of damage (without meaning to, of course) before you realize what is happening.


Here are some tips on how to find the right candidate for your organization:


Know your organization’s culture

In order to weed out the misfits at the outset, you should have a clear understanding of your organization’s corporate culture. Otherwise, how would you know whether someone is the right fit or not? There are several ways to do that, including sitting down and thinking about it to discussing with your peers to conducting an extensive assessment and audit.


At the minimum, you can find out by asking questions relating to –

  • Work style e.g. how people communicate and how decisions are made.
  • Professional opportunities and advancements e.g. type of people who do well, and the reward system.
  • Work hours and commitment to work e.g. expected work hours and whether the work schedule is rigid or flexible.
  • Atmosphere and aesthetics e.g. office set up, dress code and entertainment.

Create a set of behavioral interview questions

Once you have developed a clear understanding of your organization’s culture, create a set of behavioral interview questions to ask the candidates during the interview. These are questions designed to make the candidates talk candidly about what they have done in the past. They give you a pretty good idea about a candidate’s suitability for the position since past performance is usually a good indicator of future behavior.


A behavioral interview question typically starts with “Tell me about” or “Describe”. For example, “Tell me about a time when you solved a difficult problem in your previous work” or “Describe how you dealt with a particularly difficult customer in your previous work”. The idea is to get a clear picture of how the candidate handled a specific situation in the past and whether the way he or she did it is in line with your own organization’s culture.


Look between the lines

Since today’s highly informed job seekers know how to give all the right answers, it is often difficult to know whether or not a candidate is the right fit for your corporate culture even after conducting an extensive interview. Things will get more complicated when there are several candidates who seem to fit the bill. If such is the case, then spend some time reflecting on every candidate who made an impression on you. Compare your top performer to the candidates you’ve seen.  What sets your top performer apart? Do you see those qualities to a higher degree in one of the candidates? This is also a great time to utilize workstyle and personality assessments. As part of our recruitment process, we have all candidates complete a Workstyle and Performance Profile assessment which both the candidate and the employer has access to. It’s a great way to look into someone’s “default settings” and their behaviours at work.


If you are having difficulties finding candidates who aptly fit your corporate culture, why not get some help from the experts? The Headhunters specializes in finding talent that will perfectly suit your organization, from cultural fit through to skills set and performance. We don’t just sort resumes, we headhunt!