Why Culture is Important in Job Hiring

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Introduction

Culture matters in job recruitment. Hiring people to fill up vacant positions in the company requires that the new recruit does not only possess the necessary skill and talent for the job but also a “perfect fit” in the company’s organizational culture. Assuming that the applicant has all the qualifications, the primary question a recruiter should ask himself/herself before hiring an applicant must be this: “Can this person, if hired, persist in his/her job despite the negative traits of the company’s culture? Can his/her personality and value system tolerate if s/he discovers the most toxic trait or aspect of the company’s way of life? For instance, if s/he discovers that the company has strong power cliques or lacks career plan, can this new recruit capable of and willing to adjust and stay in the company? Will s/he be loyal in spite of….?

2 Dimensions of Hiring People

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There are basically two major dimensions of hiring new applicants into the company: the technical and the cultural. The technical dimension includes the educational background, talent, experience and expertise of the applicant for the job. The cultural includes the applicants’ personality, value system, beliefs, attitudes to rules, power and authority or work ethic.The technical aspect is easier to handle than the cultural one. The resume or CV can be an important guide with regard to the technical aspect of the job. But there seems to be no comprehensive guide or tool for the recruiter or interviewer to understand the applicant’s cultural orientation. A well-planned interview guide can probably handle this, revealing the applicant’s basic cultural attitude and value system vis-a-vis the hiring company’ core values. The psychological exams may reveal some aspects of the person’s cultural life but not enough to cover all about the person’s character, value system, disposition, interpersonal skills and attitude towards work: all these are important characteristics which can determine the recruit’s longevity in the company.

The Recruiter Must Have a Sufficient Knowledge of Company’s Culture

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It is difficult for a recruiter to know whether the applicant fits into the company’s culture if s/he is not part of the company or lacks an emic (insider’s knowledge) perspective of the organizational culture of the hiring company. Well, if the position is basically a technical one which doesn’t require much social networking or managing people, this internal knowledge of the corporate culture may not be that necessary. But people are not robots. They react to situations based on their cultural values and beliefs. Most failures in hiring–in a sense that recruits do not stay longer in the company–is probably due to lack of sufficient knowledge of the recruiter about the organizational culture of the hiring company. In this sense, the hiring company is accepting people who are technically capable but incompatible to its overall cultural mold. The result: fast turnovers due to cultural incompatibility between the new recruits’ cultural orientation and the cultural expectations of the hiring company.

Fast turnovers in the company’s hiring can therefore be an indicator of a mismatch between the recruit’s cultural values and the company’s organizational culture. And ultimately, the recruiting team can take the blame for hiring people whose cultural and mental frames as well as corporate values are in conflict with those of the company. The technical aspect of the job may be a perfect match but not the value system of the new employee and that of the hiring company.

Final Reminder

Remember: Hiring is like finding a missing spare part of a particular brand of car. The recruiter may find a spare part similar to the original one but not in design and brand; thus, it will never fit into the car system. It will only damage the car. Thus, if the cultural orientation and value system of the newly-hired employee do not jibe with that of the company’s culture, s/he never fit into the firm’s cultural system. S/he can only cause harm rather improve the brand and productivity of the company. It is therefore important that the recruiter knows the brand and make of the car in order that s/he can spot and buy the correct spare part for the car. The ideal recruiter is one who knows the “basic parts and their interdependence in the entire system” of the hiring company.

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