Hiring for Culture Fit – What it Means & How to Do it Right

Culture is a set of shared knowledges, values and behaviours which together can help you operate the business every day. Having a well-defined culture can help increase staff loyalty and engagement by 88%. For King, a leading social media game developer, a large part of the recruitment process focuses on assessing candidates’ culture fit by looking at personal and professional values.

  • While it can be easy to assess candidates' behaviours, their values and beliefs lie beneath the surface. So King’s Talent Acquisition lead, Gary Manning, created an interview sheet for each of their 5 values, with a list of questions to help them determine whether the candidate demonstrates an alignment with those values.
  • The questions are similar to the STAR method, asking candidates to draw on their past experiences to exemplify how they overcame certain situations and what they learned from their experience.
  • The King team has also developed a simple talent matrix to help them narrow down their options, once every candidate has passed the interview stage. With the matrix, recruiters can rate candidates on their capabilities versus their values and beliefs.
  • For an established company like King, with the capacity to train employees on the job, the aim is to hire for values and culture fit first.
  • Gary has trained his team to mitigate unconscious biases when interviewing and ask candidates for evidence of their skills and experience in order to make fair, equal and inclusive decisions.
  • Ask flip-it questions (eg “what if the candidate was different from the first impression they created?”) and think about the results you want to hear, Gary advises. It will help you discover your own unconscious ratings, reaction patterns and interpretations and reset them.

When hiring for culture fit, probe into real-life situations to help you understand the driving factors behind your candidates’ behaviours and determine if their values are aligned with yours. Train your hiring managers against unconscious bias and explore technology that can take the bias out of your recruitment process, such as HireFirst and Textio.

View Gary Manning's presentation

Gary Manning, Talent Acquisition Lead, King

"Hiring for Cultural Fit - What it Means and How to Do it Right"