Company Culture vs. Employee Skillsets

Selecting the Right Hire

by Davi Towbin-Richman, Talent Acquisition Manager, ACA Talent

One of the most important aspects in an organization is its culture, which sets the tone for the company’s overall operations and business philosophy. One might say that culture begins at the top, and is exhibited by the actions and values of everyone within the company.

Because of this, when selecting a new team member, cultural match can be an important part of determining employee success. A potential hire may have all the right knowledge and skillsets, but will he or she thrive in your office environment? In this case, an employment relationship is very much like a marriage. Just as you cannot turn your partner into something he or she is not, the same can be said for your employees. They need to possess some natural commonalities for you to want to spend long hours with them, and these commonalities help your organization accomplish goals.

So which is more important: cultural match or skills? When considering someone for a professional trade, you want the person to have the skills and knowledge to get the job done. However, you’ll be able to set goals and implement strategies more readily if your team works well together, which is where culture comes into play. If leaders and employees do not share the company culture, it can cause low productivity and morale. One bad apple can spoil the barrel.

My recommendation would be to consider this: personality and natural behaviors are instilled and fully developed by a certain age in adults. Skills can be taught.

To determine how a prospective hire might fit into your organization’s culture, consider some of the following interview questions.

1. Describe your work style.
2. What is your ideal work environment?
3. Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?
4. Describe your ideal boss. Under what type of management style do you thrive?
5. How would your former coworkers and former bosses describe you?
6. What is your biggest motivator? What demotivates you?

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