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How Using a Cultural Fit Assessment Can Help You Identify Mission-Driven Candidates


Organizations understandably want to hire individuals who are aligned with their mission, as research shows that achieving an optimal fit delivers benefits to both the company and employees. Studies have found that when employees are passionate about their company’s mission, they stay with the company longer and may be more engaged and perform better. Cultural fit, in particular, is important because without it, even the most technically competent employees can derail. It’s a lesson that many managers have already learned. In a Robert Half survey, nine out of 10 managers said a candidate's fit with the organizational culture was just as important as or more important than their skills and experience.

The recruiting process is the ideal time to determine a candidate’s cultural fit, as it provides a natural opportunity for a hiring manager to review a candidate’s background and determine if that candidate is aligned with the company’s mission. Traditional job board software and interviews can tell you only so much about a candidate, but a cultural fit assessment can deliver more insights. Here are some of the ways a deeper analysis can help you identify and ultimately hire mission-driven candidates:

Uncovers a Candidate’s True Passions

A cultural fit assessment helps uncover a candidate’s excitement for the work of the company, its vision, and its values. By talking to a candidate about what they’re really passionate about, you can see pretty quickly if their passions align with the company’s mission. People tend to use more details, examples, and explanations when talking about the things that excite them. Some examples of questions that can help you determine if a candidate’s passions match the company’s mission might include:

  • What are your hobbies/the things you like to do for fun?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What was the best workday you’ve ever had, and why?

Makes the Recruiting Process More Efficient

A cultural fit assessment, whether delivered in question format online or in person during the initial interview, can help you quickly identify individuals who are not a fit. As soon as it’s clear those individuals are not aligned with your mission, it’s possible to take them out of the running for the role instead of spending more time and resources ushering them through the selection process. Similarly, when a cultural fit assessment identifies a potentially strong fit, more time can be spent assessing and interviewing that individual, making for a more efficient interview process overall.

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Highlights Candidate Traits

Interviews don’t always provide the full story about a candidate, just as a resume can’t tell you everything about their skills and experience. However, recruitment software that allows candidates to create rich portfolios, including work experience, achievements, video introductions, and photos, can provide useful cues about a candidate’s potential fit in your culture. In fact, a thorough candidate portfolio review is a kind of cultural fit assessment in itself. It can help you identify traits beyond what’s in a typical profile or resume, and it gives you a better picture of a candidate’s alignment with your company’s mission.

Puts Strong-Fit Candidates on the Radar

Sometimes the best mission-driven candidates are early-career professionals who are less experienced but still have a lot to contribute. Without a cultural fit assessment, they could fall below the radar of recruiters and be deemed “unqualified.” A cultural fit assessment can help ensure the candidates who are the best cultural fit get fair consideration for job opportunities instead of slipping through the cracks because they might be lighter on experience.

Traditional job board software doesn’t provide all the information you need to determine if candidates are an optimal fit with your company’s culture and mission. Asking targeted questions and using a social career platform with detailed candidate portfolios are both ways to learn more about candidates beyond work experience. When you understand the whole candidate—their passions, special skills, and achievements—you’re in a better position to see how well they align with your company’s mission.

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Monica is a Director of Business Development at Goodwall and also part of the founding NYC office team. Prior to joining Goodwall, she played an integral role at another HR tech start up, The Muse. As an early member of the sales team, for 3 years she advised clients on implementing employer branding and talent acquisition strategies.