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Hiring for workplace culture

15 December 2022 at 2:24 pm
Ruby Kraner-Tucci
Recruiting for culture is increasingly important in our challenging labour market.

Ruby Kraner-Tucci | 15 December 2022 at 2:24 pm


Hiring for workplace culture
15 December 2022 at 2:24 pm

Recruiting for culture is increasingly important in our challenging labour market.

It’s a tale as old as time: the candidate is perfect on paper. 

They’ve got the perfect qualifications (the fancy degree from the fancy university). They’ve got the perfect experience (working in similar roles in similar organisations). They’ve even got the perfect extra-curricular activities (volunteering in a far-off land, tick!). 

But once they’ve made it through the interview process and start in the position, something just doesn’t work. They don’t click with their colleagues, their manager can’t get through to them and overall, they struggle to fit in with the culture of their new workplace. 

A good company culture is vital in our current labour market. Not only does it help attract the right talent, it also improves staff retention in the long run, which translates to reduced recruitment and training costs and increased productivity.

See more: Is this the solution to the labour market shortage?

An article published in Forbes said “one key to winning the war for top talent is a renewed focus on company culture”, reporting that American staff who felt strongly connected to their employer were 75 times more likely to be engaged in their work.

Employees who feel included and valued by their workplace are likely to see an improvement in their own performance and a strengthened reputation for their employer, as workers come to act as brand ambassadors for their own organisations.

See more: Check the culture before you sign up

Hiring for culture therefore becomes a really important consideration in the recruitment process. Try to embed these practices next time you’re looking at your ‘perfect on paper’ candidate:

  1. Consistently use language that portrays the workplace environment throughout all recruitment drives and materials.
  2. Incorporate questions relating to workplace culture in the interview, such as scenarios about approaching a certain situation, to test how the candidate responds.
  3. Highlight the professional development, training, recognition and growth opportunities of the organisation to demonstrate its positive culture.
  4. Emphasise the values of the organisation and ask the candidate to respond with their own, to ensure they are working towards the same goals.
  5. Ask clear and direct questions to receive detailed information about the candidate, which will help decipher their needs and aspirations, and whether these align with the broader organisation.
  6. Communicate the company culture upfront so the candidate can make an informed decision about committing to the role.
  7. Consider allowing the candidate to take a tour of the offices or meet their potential colleagues to get a sense of whether they will fit in. You could even invite them to a team lunch or ask them to observe a staff meeting.

See more: All I want for Christmas is… a new job


Ruby Kraner-Tucci  |  @ProBonoNews

Ruby Kraner-Tucci is a journalist, with a special interest in culture, community and social affairs. Reach her at

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