Hiring Strategy, HR Management, HR Strategy


You have heard the term “Fit First” when it comes to recruiting and hiring. I’m a firm believer in this – if you have someone who is a great cultural fit to your organization, you can help them develop the skills they need to succeed. It’s important to recognize that this philosophy needs to also include the potential to fit. In truth, you can’t really expect anyone to come in and walk step in step with your unique culture on the first day. It’s as important to train for company culture as it is to train for company processes and it starts as early as the recruiting process.


If you happen to look on my LinkedIn profile, you will see that my primary role is Creating a Beautiful Company. As Director of Operations for HR Affiliates, that’s precisely what my job is, and this is because company culture is so important to employees – and to our clients. In a 2019 survey by Glassdoor, 77% of respondents said they would consider an organization’s culture before applying for a job, and 73% said they wouldn’t even apply for a position unless the company’s values aligned with their own. This means that employees are already evaluating whether they themselves would fit your company culture.

Culture is the character and personality of an organization. Companies need to be careful that their mission, vision, and values are not just impressive statements. They should outline how people are expected to interact, collaborate, and produce within the workplace. So, you define your culture by defining and clearly articulating your core values. What are the why and the how of what you do? Those answers are at the heart of your culture. At HR Affiliates, we use our core values in everything from recruiting to development to client experiences.


I’ll be the first to admit that it can be difficult in the early stages of recruiting to determine if someone is going to be a good fit for your company culture. You usually cannot determine the nuances of someone’s work ethic and values by reviewing a resume or online profile. Here are some steps to help you narrow down which candidates are the right fit as you move through the recruiting process:

Make sure your culture is defined. You can’t determine if someone is a good fit if you can’t articulate what you are measuring them against. Make sure you understand the top three to five behaviors that are critical for success in your company.

Communicate your culture in your recruiting materials. Once you have your mission, vision, and values defined, use them as a tool in all your communication methods – your website and especially your job postings.

Make sure your hiring managers know how to communicate company culture with candidates. It is important to train your managers in the culture and have the right people interviewing candidates. Make sure that all managers are communicating culture in the same way. To help facilitate this, consider a recruiting guide for managers that emphasizes culture as well as process. When speaking in terms of culture, be specific. It’s not enough to say, “We’ve got a great culture here” and have a candidate respond, “Company culture is really important to me,” and then call it a day.

Let candidates have an immersive look at your culture. Let candidates see the company in real time. Walk them through the workspace. If you are remote and don’t have one, give them an overview of the tools you use to keep employees communicated and connected. Let them meet key team members and provide an overview of other departments. Share how the company does great work. Don’t be afraid to ask candidates about what previous environments they’ve worked in that set them up for success. Does their answer align with your environment?

Remember Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI). While hiring for cultural fit, be careful not to fall into the trap that culture means “we are all just alike here.” Be open minded about who can align with your mission, vision, and values. Professionals come in a wonderful variety.


Once the offer letter is sent, it’s time for the onboarding to start. While this responsibility may pass to another team member (perhaps from a recruiter to HR manager), the experience should feel seamless to the candidate. It is important to continue the experience from your job posting to the offer process to onboarding all the way to the employee’s first day.

HR develops these hiring processes in partnership with leadership to support the company’s culture, as well as helping the new hires integrate well into their roles.

Here are some steps to keep the culture train moving:

Develop Processes. This isn’t just about the forms and collection of requisite information. There should be a well-developed onboarding and orientation program that supports culture, training, and introduction into the company.

Communicate Culture. Then do it again. This is the core of the employee’s orientation. Include more people than HR in communication of company standards and training. Allow time for employees to fit in and have employees collaborating with them on this journey.

Provide Ongoing Support to New Hires. It’s stressful to start a new job, no matter how tenured in your career you are. There is no worse feeling for a new employee than not knowing what to do or who to ask.

Provide Opportunities for Feedback. This is not just a “How’s it going?” as you pass by in the mornings. Schedule regular check-in meetings for new hires with their managers as well as a personal check-in from HR.

Show Them You Care. Employee recognition and appreciation is critical throughout an employee’s entire career. This can be as simple as announcing the new team member through a company communication and providing some swag on their first day.

Culture based recruiting and onboarding programs are critical to employee engagement, retention, and productivity. Your company’s HR professionals are responsible for managing all of this as they take care of your most valuable asset: your employees. From the first meeting of a prospective employee to retirement, creating an amazing culture of high performers who are joyfully engaged in their work is no small task, and is impossible without a skilled, flexible, engaged, and empowered HR Team.

If your HR Team needs assistance putting these plans together, HR Affiliates is here to help. Don’t have an HR team of experts? Don’t worry – we have them here. HR Affiliates can be your HR department, and part of your culture.

Need some culture? Reach out today.

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