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Don’t confuse cultural fit with friendship when hiring staff

Written by Guest Author | August 17, 2015 | 0 Comments


Rare is the recruitment agency in Manchester that doesn’t consider cultural fit when hiring people. Having not only the right people, but also the right people working in harmony is a massive factor in an organisation’s success.
We’re constantly told that when your company’s people ‘fit in well’ together, they are more productive. It’s also well-known that job seekers today want to be part of a company that shares their values. So that’s it – cultural fit is hugely important, end of discussion.
OK, maybe it’s not quite that simple. After all, many of those hiring staff get confused between cultural fit and friendship. The frank fact of the matter is, they aren’t the same.

Don’t forget what cultural fit actually is

Organisational psychologist Adrian Furnham has described cultural fit as “where there is congruence between the norms and values of the organisation and those of the person.”
So, why do so many HR managers recruit someone else simply because they support the same football team, come from the same social background or have a shared interest in fishing?
These things may help to create fantastic chemistry between two or more people, but they don’t necessarily make the candidate a good fit for the company’s wider culture.

Striking the right balance

Perhaps the problem is that so many HR managers mistakenly believe that ‘cultural fit’ has to mean every employee being each other’s mate – as if the best companies are only ever completely harmonious, Zen-like places where everyone constantly agrees with each other.
History tells us that this isn’t necessarily the case at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. The most successful organisations often have a few ‘jerks’ – the difficult people to work with who don’t get many invitations to parties, but who nonetheless know how to push the boundaries and drive a team to success.
From Sir Alex Ferguson to Steve Jobs, the past is littered with examples of people who weren’t necessarily always the nicest to know, but who nonetheless fit into their company by virtue of delivering the right results, never once accepting second best.
This is something that can be lost from your team when you insist on recruiting friends over those who will serve your company best. It’s why more diverse teams are also so often the highest-performing ones – because all of the different traits of their members help to make up a unified whole with the determination to pursue a common goal.
It is this that will always be the true definition of ‘cultural fit’, and is something that you should bear in mind in your next conversation with a recruitment agency in Manchester.

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