When trying to find new employees to fill a particular position, one of the core factors that you’ll want to keep in the back of your mind at all times is how a person fits in with your company culture. Far too many hiring managers and recruiters fail to pay attention to it until it’s far too late, which can have potentially disastrous consequences down the road. Remember that a high quality candidate and the right high quality candidate are two completely different concepts and should be treated as such.

Why is Company Culture So Important?

The simple fact of the matter is that hiring for your company culture is so important because it can positively (and negatively) affect your entire organization from the top down. Company culture plays a direct role in how your brand is perceived to both existing and potential customers. Finding someone who embodies your business’ mission and values is one of the best ways to impact customer engagement in an appreciable way.

The potential downsides of not paying attention to your company culture also extend inward. If you’re able to build a solid foundation of employees who actually fit in with what you hope to accomplish, you’ll have a much easier time keeping them in place. It will also make your business much more attractive to potential candidates, creating a significantly easier time attracting high quality applicants the next time a position does open up.

How to Hire For Your Company Culture

Many people don’t realize that the process of hiring for your company culture actually begins before you receive the first application for a position. Start with your job ads, as this will be the first thing a prospective employee sees as they begin a relationship with your organization. Pay careful attention to not only the language you’re using, but the tone. If your company culture is one of a relaxed, care-free nature, your job ads should absolutely reflect this. This will make sure that the right people are applying to your listings in the first place, making the rest of the process much easier moving forward.

You’ll also want to pay careful attention to an applicant’s personality during the actual interview process when you do decide to bring someone in. If you want to guarantee that someone is the perfect fit for your company culture, create a list of questions that directly align with that goal. Remember, you aren’t just trying to answer the question “can this person actually perform the job I need them to do on a daily basis?” While this is a priority, it isn’t the only one. The answer to the question “is this the type of person I actually want to work with eight hours a day, five days a week for the foreseeable future?” is equally important.

Along the same lines, one of the most important qualities that you’ll always want to look for in an applicant during the interview process is positivity. Consider how they might describe a past employer when asked. Did they have a negative experience at their past job? How do they relay that information to you? Do they trash their former employer, or are they fairly diplomatic about it? Are they the type of person who still admits that they learned valuable skills from that position, even though it ended on bad terms? This is the type of candidate you want to be focusing on for the best results.