Hiring for culture

What is company culture?

Organisational culture is about more than just concepts that sound good. A good company culture should support the vision, shape and values of a business and essentially reflect the identity of the organisation as well as the principles that govern the behaviours of its employees. For example, a company based in the care-sector should look for candidates who fit the needed requirements such as being compassionate and responsible.

Hiring for culture

Defining your culture is important to understanding what behaviours and beliefs are needed when working within the organisation, and what the organisation represents. It can help employees to engage in the work they do and improve performance, where there is a clear fit between the organisation’s beliefs and those of the employee.

Company culture should encompass everything you do and both staff and leadership should look to embrace it at every opportunity.

What does it mean to ‘hire for culture?

Hiring for culture focuses on the candidate’s values, motives and attitude, rather than solely focusing on experiences and skills (be they soft or hard). It allows an interviewer to understand how much the values mean to an individual and whether they demonstrate behaviours that are aligned with the company’s values. It is also a worthwhile process for the candidate to understand if they resonate with the values and if they see themselves working in a company with these values.

There are a number of ways hiring for values can be incorporated into the recruitment process.

  • Group assessments
    One of the most practical ways of incorporating values into the hiring process is through using group assessments. This can involve tasks that challenge the ability of candidates to express and demonstrate the company’s values. Group observations can be useful to assess whether a candidate behaves in a manner aligned to the company’s values.
  • Values-based interview
    In contrast to the traditional skills-based interview, a values-based interview can focus more on how a candidate presents behaviours and responses related to a set of core values. It can be useful to incorporate some values-based questions so that an interviewer can understand whether a candidate’s priorities align with their goals and to consider whether the individual will be an all-around great fit in the company.
  • Personality questionnaires
    These can be tailored to assess the values important to a company. Clients can choose the relevant personality scales to use in our personality questionnaires that will explore how strongly a candidate scores in relation to a particular value.

Why should I hire for culture?

Hiring for culture or values can bring a wide range of benefits to an organisation that may not be achieved by simply hiring based on skills.

  • Recruiting the right person
    Understanding from the outset whether a candidate will be a good fit to the organisation can help avoid unnecessary recruitment costs and can ensure the job is done properly by the right person with the right values. Values-based recruitment can be incorporated into different aspects of assessments, so can be used multi-functionally.
  • Improves employee retention
    Hiring for values will understand whether the candidate suits the company and whether the company suits them, often helping to retain employees in the long-run. When individuals are values aligned, they are more likely to be compatible with the company and enjoy the job they do.
  • Helps with employee engagement and motivation
    By recruiting employees with the relevant values, this should help to avoid cultural disconnect and disengagement with the job. You can always train a person to do their job, but it’s much harder to teach a person to share the organisation’s values.

In summary

Incorporating some form of values-based soft skills assessment into your hiring process can be beneficial to both the recruiter and the candidate, to ensure an all-around good job fit. Tailoring that personality questionnaire to your company values can be an effective way of achieving this.

By focusing on a candidate’s values, motives, and attitude, rather than just their experiences and skills, organisations can hire individuals who are a good fit for the company and are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and committed to the job. 

Incorporating values-based assessments, such as cognitive ability tests,  values-based interviews, and personality questionnaires, can help organisations better assess whether a candidate’s behaviours and responses align with their core values and overall culture. 

Overall, hiring for culture can improve employee engagement, retention, and motivation and can save on recruitment costs by finding the right person with the right values from the outset.

View the output from Clevry assessments by downloading sample reports below.


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