At the peak of the global financial crisis impact on the UK, unemployment rate was 12.2 per 1,000 employees. As of September-November 2020, the UK unemployment rate reached a record high of 14.2 per 1,000 employees.

The above inevitably and sadly means there are lots of talents in the labour market seeking jobs. However, this does not translate to easy pickings for employers because bad recruitment will expose such employers to the risk and cost of making several hires or rehires in order to find the one that ‘fits’.

Identifying candidates that fit your company culture can save firms a lot of time, money and hassle. It estimated that 50-60 per cent of the departing employee’s salary is lost finding a replacement.

Recent developments in the HR industry reveals the most successful employees share the same values and standards as the company they work for.

Studies have shown that employees with a high cultural fit leads to more promotions, better performance levels, more consistent performance bonuses and fewer departures.

Although the revolutionary paradigm shift is an emerging trend, far too many recruiters in the UK persist with traditional methods. As a consequence, two-thirds of employees leave within the first six months of being hired.

The problem with traditional methods of hiring is that recruiters place too much emphasis on qualifications and experience. Whilst business acumen is important, hiring people that fit the team is more crucial to how successful a candidate will be.

Adopting a “right fit” strategy reduces the number of employees that leave involuntarily. Identifying candidates that share the same social values, beliefs and behaviours your company wants to promote has several key benefits:

  •  Creates a healthy long-term relationship between employer and employee
  •  New recruits integrate into the team quicker
  •  Employees with the right fit contribute sooner than others
  •  The entire staff is happier and feel like part of the ‘family’
  •  Staff become brand ambassadors
  • More engaged and perform at higher levels

What is a ‘Right Fit ’Recruitment Strategy?

To create a recruitment strategy to dig out candidates with the right cultural fit for your company, HR teams should create a recruitment process that identifies values, adaptability and emotional intelligence.

1. Define Values

During the screening process, create a questionnaire that encourages candidates to describe their values, beliefs, standards and motivational drivers.

In addition, together with a CV, also ask candidates to submit a motivational letter that reveals what they are like as a person.

This information gives recruiters a deeper insight into the suitability of applicant’s and helps you to eliminate candidates you know are not a good cultural fit.

At the interview stage, discuss values; pick up on the information provided by the candidate first, then speak about the values and standards of the company. Observe their body language and comfort levels.

2. Adaptability

One of the main reasons companies fail at recruiting candidates that are the right fit, especially start-ups, is because the individual is not able to thrive at every stage of the company lifecycle.

Recruiters need to focus on hiring employees with the mental flexibility to adapt to challenges, changes and technology. Adaptability is arguably more critical now than ever given employees are being asked to divide their working hours between the home and the office.

It is important to understand the work ethic and preference for potential employers. Can they succeed in a virtual environment, or do they need to be around a team? Virtual onboarding, don’t forget, presents unique challenges.

There is also a question of skillset. Do you need a specialist or someone that can perform various functions? For example, you may prefer to hire an expert in Java, but they are not able to adapt to other coding languages. The smarter strategy may be to hire an all-rounder that has the skillset you require for a specialist role but can also perform other roles as well.

When you’re building a team, it’s important to identify people that can adapt to fast-changing circumstances with little guidance. Employees that are most

equipped to do that are people that buy into your company culture.

3. Emotional Intelligence (E.I).

Social intelligence has always been used as a signaling factor during the recruitment process. However, recruitment teams should also be looking to identify whether candidates have emotional intelligence as well.

People with emotional intelligence have the ability to manage their emotions as well as that of their colleagues (if they’re line managers). This is particularly an apt and crucial skill for a workforce working remotely where employee well-being and mental health concerns are on the rise. Employees with high EI are self-aware, motivated, empathetic and less likely to create a scene. As employees, people with emotional intelligence fit quickly into the team ethic and understand the importance of collaboration. They do not, and will not be the weakest link.

Moreover, they know their strengths and weaknesses and are not afraid to admit they may not be the best member of the team to perform a specific task.

Build questions around emotional intelligence into online screening questionnaires and identify candidates that are good at communicating how they feel about certain things. This level of communication is a key ingredient to building a dynamic and successful workplace.

Hiring the right candidate often requires making informed decisions quickly. With a ‘right fit’ recruitment strategy in place, you will be able to screen suitable candidates accurately and match people that show the right cultural fit. Consequently, you will significantly reduce the recruitment process time, and minimise the cost and hassle of replacing employees that leave shortly after being hired.





Felix Obadaki is a business director at M923 Consulting; An Outsourced Human Resource and Recruitment solutions organisation based in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

He is a CIPD certified HR professional with previous HR consulting career at PwC and KPMG.