Q: What do people mean when they talk about culture fit? Why is it important?
A: Culture fit refers to the compatibility between employees and their workplace and it is a measurement of how well a worker will do in a certain environment. To understand the culture of a workplace and whether it fits the employee’s work style, you can look at the work environment, management style, collaboration among all staff, communication norms, and employee motivations, recognition and reward factors.
At PSG, we talk about culture fit all the time. We often meet with job seekers who are looking for a new job that is exactly the same as their last job, but in a different environment, because the culture fit was ‘off’ in their previous job. We also see people take a temporary job that may not have been their first choice and then, based on the culture at that organization, find that the job is a great fit and they end up electing to stay there. Temping and interning are great ways to try out an environment.
To understand if you are culturally a good fit with an organization, I recommend these tips:
- Evaluate the culture fit just as much, if not more, as you would other criteria when deciding on a new job.
- Decide which cultural factors are most important to you, and develop a list of questions to ask during the interview that will help you determine whether the workplace is right for you.
- Ask for a tour. If the interview consists of being shown into an office and then walking straight out, ask for an impromptu tour that can give you a glimpse of how people interact.
- Use your personal network and social media connections to link up with people you know who have inside knowledge of an organization to get their input on its culture.
- Go with your gut.
About the Recruiter
Katy Leveque is a Senior Group Manager at PSG. Katy learned the recruiting business from the ground up. She joined PSG shortly after graduating college over five years ago and today Katy oversees the service teams that support some of PSG’s most valued clients.