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FAQ on the Risks of Hiring for Culture Fit

Erin Iafelice
hiring culture fit

Hiring for culture fit can be a risk if that’s the only factor driving your hiring decisions. Learn about ways organizations may overemphasize culture fit without even realizing it and the secret to making great hiring decisions with these frequently asked questions. 

What does it mean to hire for culture fit?

The aim of hiring for culture fit is finding candidates who are likely to engage with the role and company mission personally because they are aligned with the organization’s values and ways of working.

Why is it a risk to hiring for culture fit?

Culture fit is highly subjective, and human bias can strongly influence interviewers’ perceptions of which candidates are or are not a culture fit. Some of the common types of bias that influence hiring decisions are:

  • Confirmation bias – When we seek out information to confirm our pre-existing beliefs
  • Halo/Horns effect: When we assume one piece of information (i.e., a candidate worked for a top competitor), generalizes to the rest of the candidate’s skills.
  • Similarity bias – When we are drawn to people similar to ourselves (this bias can lead to a lack of diversity)

The risk of hiring only for culture fit is that organizations develop a very homogenous workforce. That homogeneity can be reflected in the way employees look, act, and even think. Read more about bias in hiring

What is the alternative?

One alternative is to use multimethod pre-hire assessments that help recruiters and hiring managers get to know the “whole candidate.” Pre-hire assessments help recruiters and hiring managers understand the candidate in relation to job performance. Some pre-hire assessments use advanced artificial intelligence techniques to automatically understand assessment and interview responses and other natural behavioral indicators to predict candidates’ future success on the job or risk of early turnover. The assessment scores reflect candidates’ core competencies with performance drivers for the specific role, such as attention to detail, judgment, and work efficiency. Pre-hire assessments provide essential data points for recruiters to prioritize which candidates advance in the hiring process. 

How can technology help recruiters get to know the “whole candidate”?

Enterprise hiring platforms that integrate interviewing and pre-hire assessments can give hiring teams complete insight into candidates, even at scale. These platforms cover the entire hiring process, bringing recruiters closer to candidates at every step. They also facilitate two-way communication between recruiters and candidates.

With live and on-demand video interviewing, hiring teams can explore culture fit and get to know candidates while candidates simultaneously get to know the organization. Hiring teams gain deep insight through the pre-hire assessments, which can be integrated with on-demand interviews. Advanced AI builds on steps in the candidate’s journey to eliminate repeat steps and enable recruiters to move top candidates forward more quickly, so hiring teams can get to know those candidates. With this type of hiring platform, every step provides further insight into the candidate and promotes engagement. It is designed to create hiring experiences that feel personal to candidates.

As virtual hiring has taken hold, it’s become more essential than ever to have a technology-enabled hiring process that gives recruiters the ability to understand the whole candidate and evaluate fit using multiple methods. At Modern Hire, our enterprise hiring platform’s development is guided by a team of industrial-organizational and data scientists dedicated to making the deepest and broadest talent intelligence available to the modern recruiter. Culture and fit are just two of the areas we are continually investigating and integrating into the Modern Hire platform. Learn more about our practical application of advanced artificial intelligence techniques and data-driven research and practice at ModernHire.com/CognitIOn.