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Who’s the Best Person for the Job? 5 Tips to Find ‘Culture Fit’ in a Candidate

culture fit

Who’s the Best Person for the Job? 5 Tips to Find ‘Culture Fit’ in a Candidate

Many factors go into a company’s decision to hire someone: the candidate’s experience, talent, skills, and ability to communicate, for starters.

But while a sparkling resume and impressive job interview are still important considerations, a job prospect’s ability to fit the company’s culture has never been more critical in the hiring process, says Joel Patterson (, a workplace culture expert, founder of The Vested Group and ForbesBooks author of The Big Commitment: Solving The Mysteries Of Your ERP Implementation.

“Companies head into a new year full of uncertainty and are coming off a year of so much change and disruption,” Patterson says. “These challenges test the strength of a work culture, and as companies seek stability, adaptability, and growth, finding the right culture fit is the most crucial factor in choosing a new hire.

“An aligned team will work far better together, be more productive individually, and feel more satisfied in their roles overall. And with more people working remotely, keeping your culture strong and your workflow cohesive is imperative. Adding new people should only serve to enhance it.”

Patterson offers five tips on how to hire for culture fit:

Define and document core values. “First of all, ensure that your company has a set of values, which are the foundation of the culture,” Patterson says. “Company values show what the founder and management hold as important and the behaviors they expect employees to uphold. Spend time analyzing and fine-tuning your company values and document them into clear, specific words.”

Display company culture on the website and social media. “When researching the company, job candidates should get a glimpse of the work culture before the interview and decide if it fits them,” Patterson says. “The company needs to be clear about its core values and promote its environment so it can appeal to the best candidates. Value statements conveyed in content, slides and videos should appear in the company’s careers section, corporate blogs, and social media posts.”

Ask culture-focused questions during the interview. It’s vital for those interviewing candidates to have a firm grasp of the work culture and to ask questions that relate directly to it. “The interviewer should build a picture of who this candidate is both inside and outside the office,” Patterson says. “Ask them things like, what’s their most positive personality trait and their worst, and why for both. What type of team do they thrive in? Have they read our values? Which one resonates the most with them? What have their past relationships with co-workers, managers, and clients been like?”

Let candidates interact with staff. A prospect can say all the right things during an interview, but how they interact with employees can be more telling about whether they’re a culture fit. “Those who do well in interviews and make the short list should be brought back for extensive interaction with staff members,” Patterson says. “You can determine a lot by how engaged they are, what questions they ask, and how employees react to them generally in normal conversation.”

Research your process. Between hirings, Patterson says it’s a good idea to ask around and see if your process reflected your company culture. “Ask recent hires what worked and what didn’t,” he says. “If possible, track down candidates to whom you offered jobs but they turned them down. Find out why. You can always improve your hiring practices so they better align with the company culture.”

“Company culture provides your team with direction and is effectively the glue that binds the team,” Patterson says. “To keep improving it means hiring with culture fit top of mind. Employees who embrace your culture boost morale and productivity and positively impact future recruiting.”


Joel Patterson ( is the founder of The Vested Group, a business technology consulting firm in the Dallas, Texas, area, and ForbesBooks author of The Big Commitment: Solving The Mysteries Of Your ERP Implementation. He has worked in the consulting field for over 20 years. Patterson began his consulting career at Arthur Andersen and Capgemini before helping found Lucidity Consulting Group in 2001. For 15 years he specialized in implementing Tier One ERP, software systems designed to service the needs of large, complex corporations. In 2011, Patterson founded The Vested Group, which focuses on bringing comprehensive cloud-based business management solutions to start-ups and well-established businesses alike. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Baylor University.

talent acquisition

What’s Next For You? How Knowledge Management is Transforming Talent Management in Global Markets

Knowledge management seeks to apply organizational knowledge in order to satisfy and exceed employee’s expectations. All executives need to be aware of how to better control knowledge management which coincides with talent management and to do this, they should understand the strong correlation between two important factors. The focus of this article is based upon the critical role of knowledge management which allows a rich basis for understanding the mechanisms by which talent management is influenced.

6 Key Practices to Integrate Talent Management and Knowledge Management

Since executives are constantly dealing with employee development, talent management is something they pay a great deal of attention to. Of course, this is not new but worth mentioning. A mistake in this area may be vital to the organizations and executives must choose their practices wisely. This article addresses these knowledge management practices in depth to set the record straight upon the importance of talent management.

1. Prioritize Candidate Experience

Knowledge is a collection of meaningful experiences. The key take-away for executives is that prioritizing candidate experience can enable organizations to solve problems and create value through improved performance and it is this point that will narrow the gaps of success and failure leading to more successful decision-making.

2. Tailor Talent Acquisition Strategy to Business Goals

Executives must determine their business goals for the next three years and develop a talent acquisition strategy that focuses on planning the work and technically supporting newly-hired employees to achieve the business goals. A talent acquisition strategy helps companies to achieve their business goals that reflect excellence and some kind of higher-order effectiveness. This is where executives can attempt to achieve business goals—stemming from a talent acquisition strategy across pivotal areas on the organization.

3. Educate the Hiring Manager

Hiring managers can become familiar with employee recruitment practices through education. Education is more active, broad, flexible, experimental, synthetic, and strategic compared to training. Why is this, you may ask? Because education is a process that leads to acquiring new insights and knowledge, and potentially to correct sub-optimal or ineffective actions and behaviors that cause companies to spiral out of control.

4. Enhance Training Efficiency

Executives must provide work-related training programs for newly-hired employees when beginning onboarding and must be aware of their training efficiency programs. As executive trainers, I agree with Jennifer Rowley who suggests training courses as an effective way to share knowledge. Most importantly, applying knowledge aimed at providing better decision-making and work-related practices and creating new knowledge through innovation. Knowledge has to be measured in some way, many trainers talk about return-on-investment of training which is hard to measure, training satisfaction measurement by participants and their desire to apply it to the workplace is an excellent barometer of learning new skills or building upon old ones. The key point in the training is the knowledge use coupled with testing and re-testing to ensure that the knowledge is actually helping the organization grow professionally for employees and profitably for all stakeholders.

 5. Write No Strict Job Descriptions

When newly-hired employees come on board, they are given job descriptions. But how can executives write no strict job descriptions? The answer to this question lies in an executive’s demonstration to motivate employees to approach organizational problems in a more novel approach. In doing this, executives can inspire employees to rethink problems and challenge their current personal attitudes and values. Most importantly, executives can transform organizations by attempting to change the basic values, beliefs, and attitudes of employees so that they are willing to perform beyond their previous or originally level specified by the organization in their job description.

6. Be More Flexible

Flexibility in the workplace may enable executives to improve departmental and managerial interactions and develop relationships among managers, business units, and departments. Through flexibility in the workplace, executives can also shift the power of decision-making to the lower levels and inspire newly-hired employees to create new ideas and implement them, which can in turn propel interdepartmental communications and improve knowledge exchange.

In Conclusion

This article can offer several implications for practice. First, this article highlights that there is a strong correlation between knowledge management and talent management within organizations. Importantly, this approach advances the current business literature on talent management by offering novel insights into how knowledge management affects talent identification, satisfaction and retention. This article suggests new insights to identify knowledge management as a primary driver of effective talent management for companies. Therefore, I suggest that executives embrace knowledge management. My primary focus is on one factor (talent management) but there are many more important components of the managerial function that can be enhanced when knowledge management is embraced. The key here is that there are positive effects of knowledge management on talent management.


Rowley, J. (2001). Knowledge management in pursuit of learning: the learning with knowledge cycle. Journal of Information Science, Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 227-237.