What does it mean to hire for culture? And is it a good thing?

Technical recruitment is complex. Finding someone with the right skills is critical. But it’s only half the story. You need someone who also gets what you’re trying to do. Someone who can work with your team. Someone who will take you forward. Someone with that…..something.

You could call it the  “culture fit”.

In principle that’s fine; but how do you define it? And measure it? And what’s so great about your culture anyway?

On the flip side of it all is the fact that “we didn’t think they were a culture fit” can just mean “we didn’t like them” – or worse, “they weren’t like us”.

So the whole concept of trying to hire for culture is fraught with difficulty.

A different way to approach it is to hire for mission. To look for shared purpose.

Because ultimately people are motivated if they buy into what you’re trying to do.

People collaborate well when they have shared goals.

People excel when they have a sense of purpose.

What someone’s background is, or how they like to work, or their hobbies don’t matter – in fact you probably want as much variation in that as you can possibly muster.

A shared sense of purpose will drive everyone forward. And you can define that, and you can interview for it.

So what’s your purpose? And do your team share it?

You need to know if you want to hire for culture and do it right.

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