There is a lot of debate going on in the recruitment industry whether to hire for cultural fit or skills. The recruiters have to take such tough calls almost every day when they shortlist the candidates.
Skillset can easily be distinguished, identified and defined. The candidate resume depicts all his work-related accomplishments, talent and skills. Thus, the resume sometimes cast a bias spell on the recruiters. A resume becomes the sole deciding factor of the candidate candidature in less than 15 seconds.
Just a glance and fate is sealed! The absence of the skill-set or experience on a resume may work against the candidates. However, mentioning certain personal skills may help the candidates move ahead in the interview stages.
Having a great skillset in the resume trumps cultural fit?
It may be tempting to hire a candidate with a great skill set and pay no heed to cultural fitness. The sole reason is that the candidate won’t need any on-the-job training. He would already be trained in the skill needed.
But, certain things cannot be taught such as teamwork, motivation, determination, attitude, etc. A culturally fit candidate possesses a quality that would help him to easily mesh with the team and embody the organization’s values seamlessly.
Even if the candidate is fully skilled or experienced, every new hire needs some kind of training.
If there is a tie between cultural fit qualities and low skill set, the former must be preferred. Here are some reasons to support the fact.
- Organizations just don’t hire employees for their skills. Employees are the backbone of every company. They contribute more than their skills and add significantly to the value system of the company.
- The attrition rate drops as the new culturally fit candidates would stay for long. They would step forward and take initiatives for the growth of the company. They will be ready to learn new and advanced skills as per the requirement of the company.
- If the company is offering great exposure to new technologies and offers an immense boost to the candidate’s career graph, the candidate will probably work at the offered remuneration without negotiation.
When we talk about start-ups, the employees have to perform multitasking. Due to the shortage of funds and manpower, small companies can’t afford to have a dedicated HR team. To be a part of a start-up the candidate has to be culturally fit.
The employee should know how to capitalize on opportunities. He should always be ready to accept changes and learn as per requirements.
The Real Reason behind High Turn-Over Rate in Companies
Lack of hiring or cultural fit has severe implications on employee turn-over rate. Recruiters are often given a deadline to fill the vacant positions. The initial stages of recruitment such as short-listing the candidate are time-consuming.
The candidates are mainly judged on their resume. Following traditional methods often result in increased time-to-hire and recruiters tend to make certain decisions under pressure. This significantly impacts the time left for interview/ personal interaction rounds.
It’s only through the interviews that recruiters can judge the cultural fit abilities of the candidates. Lack of time often results in bad and uninformed hiring decisions that cause a high turnover and attrition rates.
Removing the Bias between Cultural Fit and Skills
Recruiting paradigms have significantly changed in recent times. The recruiters now search for talent that offers a balance between cultural fit and skill set. Recruiters now scout for candidates with a specific skill set that can contribute majorly to company growth through their skills and experience.
Alongside this, the new hires should have the ability to align with the cultural and social aspects of the company. Soft skills cannot be imparted. For example: Hiring a person with the wrong attitude will not only lower the morale of the team but also impact the company’s overall bottom line. You can impart training to a candidate regarding skills but you cannot train them for soft skills.
Steps to Follow
It is really hard to quantify and measure cultural-fit aspects. The discussion is endless that whether to hire for qualifications or culture, but arriving at a decision is the need of the hour. Here are some steps that can be followed to ensure that the new hires are a perfect balance of skills and are culturally fit.
1. Know your Requisites
Small companies should take a break from the conventional methods of recruiting. The recruiters and the employers should be able to differentiate between the skills they desire and skills for which training is required.
The skill-set and the qualifications may vary from candidate to candidate but if the company has quality instructors, then a culturally fit candidate can be preferred.
2. Use the Applicant Tracking System to Determine Cultural Fit and Skills
A talent acquisition software or ATS helps you shortlist the candidates based on your inputs for skills, experience and qualifications. The entire process is done within fractions of seconds. This leaves an ample amount of time for the recruiters to know the candidates through interview rounds.
The recruiters need to utilize this time diligently gauging the expectations and cultural fitness of the candidate.
3. Customized Job Descriptions
The job description is the first thing that the candidate interacts with. The job descriptions should be designed keeping in mind the cultural goals of the company. These should clearly convey the required skills, responsibilities and role of the candidate.
For example, the adverts should convey whether the post offered requires teamwork, meeting with clients and their contribution to overall company growth, etc.
The latest online applicant tracking system comes with an inbuilt job description and email templates. These templates adhere to trending protocols and are fully customizable. Using them would help to cast a perfect first impression on the candidates.
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