You already know that it’s a good idea to search for signs of cultural adaptability as you sift through your candidate pool. Countless HR studies and employer surveys suggest that during the selection process, attitude and cultural fitness will bring better long term results than specific skill sets and aptitudes. But while these studies tell you what you should be doing, they don’t usually offer much information on how to do it.

So what specific steps can you take to make sure your candidate finalists are ready for the nuances, the priorities, the rhythm, and the social climate of your workplace? Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.

1. Understand your culture before you start searching for a match.

Take a close look at your existing culture, and as you do so, take off your rosy glasses and avoid self-deception. You might want to believe your workplace is “fun” or “innovative”, but is it really? It’s okay if the answer is no. Your culture may be competitive or collaborative, friendly or cold, progressive or conservative, quiet or noisy, discreet or open…But whatever it happens to be, you’ll need to find candidates who will thrive in the realities of this environment.

2. Remember that candidates “get along” with coworkers, not companies.

Companies are not people. And even if you believe your organization and its brand are forward thinking, open to change, or driven by mission priorities, you’ll also need to take a close look at the people who will be working side by side with this candidate. A mission-driven, open, forward thinking candidate won’t enjoy working with people who don’t share these values…and vice versa.

3. Choose a candidate who can represent you to the world.

If your employee will spend any time at all interfacing with customers, clients, vendors, and outside contacts (which they will), make sure their attitude and presentation will reflect well on the company.

4. Choose a candidate who will support others on the team, not drag them down.

Even a well-meaning candidate can become a serious drain on his supervisors and teammates if they need too much hand-holding before they’re ready to fly solo. Calculate the timeline required before they crosss the line from liability to asset. And if their personality suggests low ambition or a slow learning curve, factor this into your decision.

For more information on how to choose a cultural and social match for your existing workplace, contact the staffing and business management team at Expert.

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