“Culture Fit”. What Is It? Why Does It Matter?

Dr. Seuss – “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”

[So apologies are in order dear readers. No posts in June Joe!? What’s the big idea!? Firstly, I was focusing on my new awesome job (see article below) and visiting all my US Hudl chums (‘MURICA!). Secondly, trying to voice my opinion on “culture fit” in 350 words or less has proven to be somewhat challenging. Here it goes.]

Back when I was an agency Recruiter (all of two months ago), one of the biggest challenges I faced on a day-to-day basis was understanding all the different cultures of my clients. I often had hiring requirements from up to 15 different companies at one time. That’s 15 environments, leadership styles, daily work practices, written and unwritten rules…and the list goes on. To be able to make hires, I needed to know these cultures. It would have been near impossible if I didn’t.

When hiring, culture fit matters. Of course it does. But what is it?

Margaret Rouse, Director of WhatIs.com, claims that “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 organization[1]

Core values and collective behaviours? But don’t they change? Yes, they do. In fact Hudl openly admits that it has added, subtracted and edited its values along its 9 year journey. Every personality adds to a company’s culture, and one person is enough to change it. It truly is the sum of its parts.

Hudl hires extroverts, introverts, nerds, jocks, loud-folks, quiet-folks, those who act on impulse, those who prefer a laid out plan…and the list goes on. What is at the core of these people? How does Hudl judge it?

There are many ways, and here is one example. Take Hudl’s value We’re Respectfully Blunt, you can be any of the above personalities and still be respectfully blunt. And we have critical thinking and scenario questions to find out if, not just this value, all our values are in line with the candidate’s values.

But being a great culture fit isn’t just believing in a company’s values. It’s everything. It’s the language, decision making, symbols, internal assumptions, stories and legends, daily work practices, leadership preferences, the product, external presence and the unwritten rules.

Your company’s ‘attitude’ is your culture. So always hire for attitude and not always for skill. You can train the latter but not the former. Ultimately, someone who is a good cultural fit will work at their best within the environment and culture you have created.

Feel free to get in touch if you would like to share your thoughts joe.burridge@hudl.com

[1] http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/Cultural-fit

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