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What is Culture Fit

Most people can relate to that feeling of not fitting in, not quite being on the same page, wavelength or whatever. This happens as far back as the playground and school lunch tables. The assumption was that as one aged, gained knowledge and experience in life and chosen professions, each would find their niche, their ‘peeps’ as they say. Sadly, someone threw a wrench into the works. That childhood feeling of being picked last for a team persists to this day with a fancy new, adult name known as “Culture Fit.” The concept of Culture Fit has become a buzzword in the human resource management world. It is the new term for what used to be called your gut instinct regarding a potential new hire. Culture fit is defined “as the individual’s attitudes, values and beliefs being in line with the core values and culture of an organization.” Resume credentials alone are no longer the only indicator of a good hiring match resulting in long term employment from either side of the desk. Research has shown that people satisfied in their work environment will be happier, stay longer and be more productive. This is in turn reflected in retention rates, recruiting and hiring expenses and bottom line figures. 60% of employees across industries left their employer because of cultural conflicts.

Corporate Culture

Ford Motors has one, GM, too and so does Microsoft. Steve Jobs and Apple definitely had one. We may not have known exactly what it was, but we knew they had one. Healthcare companies need to take the time to assess and develop their company culture before implementing any “culture fit “philosophy into a hiring paradigm. The Mission Statement is an excellent place to start defining corporate culture. Trust, respect, extraordinary patient care, transparent communications, commitment to excellence, attitude, social conscience, team spirit, world leader are phrases often used in defining culture fit.  Healthcare providers also need to ensure on-line presence, media and corporate communications all reflect the same message. If there is any uncertainty, the fastest and most accurate assessment of a company’s culture is from within. Ask.

Millennials, Gen Z & Culture Fit

Today’s job seekers, particularly millennials, are increasingly looking at prospective employers in terms of core beliefs, attitudes and values. They are looking for which employer suits them in more ways than merely wages and benefits.  Savvy human capital professionals are implementing recruiting and hiring strategies based on “Culture Fit.” Online matching surveys and specific questions aimed at generating culture fit answers have been found to improve the quality of new hires. Cultural fit questions are used to highlight those candidates whose values, beliefs and behavior reflect a fit with your company and weed out those who could create an unhealthy environment. The following are a few examples of culture fit interview questions:

  • Describe the type of work environment where you feel you best perform. What does your ideal workday look like? Team player or solo?
  • What is your opinion about taking work home? Do you usually do this? In your opinion, is this a positive or negative practice?
  • What are you passionate about? Why?
  • What do you value most at work?
  • Describe a situation when you went above and beyond to assist a client, patient or colleague.

Hiring the right person for the right job is the ultimate goal of every human resource professional. Resume credentials and soft skills like effective listening and communication, creativity and emotional intelligence have now expanded to include belief systems, working language, symbols, habits and tacit agreement of acceptable behaviors. Forbes Magazine cited a study where 84% of recruiters responding said culture fit, not time and cost of hiring as the most important recruitment factor. 9 out of 10 reported passing on qualified candidates because of this lack of fit. This leads to social cohesion which builds organizational strength.

Don’t Lose Diversity

The question of cultural fit raises the question of diversity. Diversity is desirable in any environment, particularly healthcare. Culture fit and diversity can and should go hand in hand if human resource executives and professionals manage this process properly. Remember what cultural fit is not. It does not mean overlooking different cultures and lifestyles or negating a potential hire because of disagreements over personal viewpoints, choices or values. Complimentary culture fit is the diversity piece where the successful candidate possesses those traits that the company lacks thus far but truly desires. Unity in cultural mission, but cognitive diversity, different political beliefs and varying backgrounds will inspire paradigm shifts resulting in successful outcomes for all. It is a delicate dance, but the last thing needed is a team of clones.

Those companies who successfully manage their cultural fit parameters outperform those who do not. They have determined it enhances productivity and ultimately greater success. They have found it is easier to develop skill sets than to alter core values and habits. Personal professional resource tools used to enhance a skill set can always be provided. Human resource leaders want to hire those individuals unique to healthcare who value people, understand priorities, work well as a team and alone and place other’s best interests above their own. This is culture fit.

NHS Solutions’ savvy recruiting team are asking these sorts of questions. Our interim healthcare leader candidates and our hospital clients are very concerned with making sure there is a meeting of the minds and this means culture fit is part of the conversation from the beginning. We find that starting out with the best understanding of our clients’ needs means the quickest and most successful fulfilment of interim nurse leadership roles. Contact our recruiting team now to discuss your next interim nurse leadership role and if you are a hospital with an interim leadership gap, contact our VP of Sales, Conrad Lilhanand.