A good “fit” has long been an important consideration for employers when evaluating job applicants. Even an employee with stellar work and academic credentials may not be a great hire if he or she doesn’t seem to have the personality and values that mesh with the organization’s culture.
But a new study by global staffing firm Robert Half suggests that cultural fit is important for applicants, as well.
The Importance of Fit for Employees
The study was conducted via online surveys by Robert Half and independent research firms. It included responses from over 1,000 U.S. and over 500 Canadian employees aged 18 and over and employed in office environments, as well as over 5,500 U.S. and over 1,200 Canadian senior managers at companies with at least 20 employees.
Here are some of the key findings:
- More than one-third of workers in the United States (35%) and Canada (40%) wouldn’t accept a job that was a perfect match if the corporate culture clashed with their personal values.
- Nine out of 10 U.S. (91%) and Canadian (90%) managers said a candidate’s fit with the organizational culture is equal to, or more important than, his or her skills and experience.
- While a majority of workers across North America said their ideal corporate culture is supportive or team-oriented, most described their company as traditional.
So what actionable conclusions can companies draw from these statistics?
For one, it may be useful for companies to be transparent and vocal about your company culture in job postings. If a potential applicant considers cultural fit a key criterion when looking for a job, the applicant may be more inclined to apply if he or she sees a clear fit.
On the flip side, potential candidates may choose not to apply if the fit isn’t there, saving both the potential applicants and the company time. Additionally, whether a company culture is independent-minded or collaborative, tightly structured or casual, it can still be seen as broadly positive or negative.
Companies should work to ensure that whatever culture their organization has is a positive one, based on the knowledge that so many employees consider it an important factor. Being open and transparent can both save time and money and boost the odds of finding good employee matches.