Tips for Hiring the Best Culture Fit

jobs Santa Rosa


Every company has a unique culture, and hiring managers know that finding the right culture fit or culture add is a top priority. But how do you know when someone isn’t a good culture fit? If a candidate really wants the job, they may try to prove they are a fit – even if they know it’s not. Talking to every applicant about culture should be part of your process to ensure candidates will align with your values, mission, and initiatives.

Here are 4 tips to ensure you are hiring the right fit for your company culture:


1. They don’t seem interested in the specifics of the company culture

Beware of a candidate who lacks interest in what makes your company unique and why people like to work there. Most likely, they are there for the paycheck or title and don’t intend to add or participate in anything company culture related.

So they are just there to work hard – great right?! Wrong. While it may not seem to be a big deal, employees uninterested in culture are less likely to be engaged at work. Studies show that companies with high employee engagement are 21% more profitable – so having unengaged employees costs your company money in productivity, team morale, absenteeism, and high turnover.

If you want to learn more about the importance of employee engagement, attend Star Staffing’s upcoming HR Summit.


2. They don’t mention teammates

A well-rounded candidate will typically mention their team or role on the team when sharing about projects or successes. If they don’t – red flag!

This is a good time to dig in and ask follow-up questions to learn more about out how, and if, they can work in a group or if they were siloed in their previous roles.  Personal projects and goals are great but most employees are an important part of the overall function of a team. If a candidate takes credit for everything, shows a victim mentality, or is overly-competitive it may be a warning that they will not integrate well with your current team.

Here are 3 interview questions to guide that conversation:

  • Tell me about a time you had to work with a colleague you didn’t get along with.
  • Has your team ever failed to reach a goal? If so, what went wrong and what did you learn from that experience?
  • What is your preferred way of working on a group project: each member works on an assigned task independently or the entire team meets and works together? Why?


3. Erratic career path

When a candidate doesn’t seem to have much direction – it can be just that, a lack of direction. If a candidate with a seemingly solid skill set doesn’t have much longevity at a company or even in a specific industry – it could also be a warning. If the candidate has only had jobs in Santa Rosa but zig-zagged between industries and departments, dig deeper.

Ask for more details on short terms roles and specifically why it didn’t work out. Watch for answers that blame the employer and look for patterns. Even if the answers seem valid – you’ll want to weigh the likeliness that they will be a short-term employee at your company as well.

As we all know, it’s costly to replace an employee. According to SHRM, it costs businesses $4,129 on average to hire new talent, and around $986 to onboard the new hire. This means it’s at least $5,000 each time an employee departs – not to mention the incalculable cost of losing an experienced employee.


4. References don’t add up

References are one of the best ways to find out or confirm details about a candidate’s job history. Their answers should, ideally, match with what you already know from the candidate. If they provided you with honest information, reference checks will add up quickly. References are also a great resource to double down and gather real data on how candidates work in team settings.

Equally important is to assess who they provided as a reference and why they may have avoided past supervisors. If there are no past supervisors offered, there may be something the candidate is trying to hide.

Bottom line – Hiring for culture is tricky. You want to find team members who will add to your fantastic dynamic, and help your team and company continue to grow. Ultimately culture fit is one of many pieces in the hiring equation. Consider what’s most important to your goals for the role as well as how well they will fit in with the team. An engaged, thoughtful candidate will want to be a part of your company culture. The right culture fit usually means a long, meaningful work relationship for all parties.


If you are hiring for jobs in Santa Rosa or other areas of Northern California, Star Staffing is your staffing partner. Reach out to our experienced, tenured team to discuss finding the right candidate for you! For more details, contact us at 707-575-5005.

Be sure to register today for the upcoming conference, HR Summit: Building a Great Company Culture. We will be diving into employee engagement, hiring tips, diversity & inclusion, and more!



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