Employers are recognizing the importance of cultural fit as they evaluate applicants for employment and promote employees into leadership positions. As a result, more job candidates are being rejected for not fitting in. Also, in cases where the qualifications of two candidates for the same job are roughly equivalent, cultural fit is a deciding factor according to ClearRock, an outplacement and executive coaching firm. In addition, lack of cultural fit is one of the biggest contributors to the failure of newly hired and promoted managers and executives. Some companies almost ensure the failure of newly hired and promoted managers because they have an unrealistic or outdated understanding of their culture.
The substantially reduced grace period newly hired and promoted employees have today is also adding to the failure rate. New leaders must understand organizational expectations and produce results immediately. Employers want to quickly see confirmation they made the right hiring or promotion decisions.
With the issue of cultural fit arising more often, ClearRock has identified what it calls "The Five Facets of Cultural Fit." The components of proper cultural fit are:
• Clarity — Clear Understanding of Culture: An organization must be clear in communicating the mission, values, goals, and expectations of engagement at all organizational levels
• Relevancy — Understanding Must Be Relevant and Current: The understanding of the organization's culture needs to be relevant and current. It must encompass the numerous changes that many employers have experienced during the recession and recovery.
• Based on Reality — Perceptions of Culture Must Be Realistic: Recruiting and attracting the types of individuals who will succeed in the organization requires that marketing, job descriptions, and the interview/hiring process must accurately reflect the reality of its culture.
• Consistency — Cultural Fit When Hiring or Promoting Must Be Consistent: People hired from outside or promoted from within the organization must presently match its culture.
• Time For Adjustment — New Leaders Need Period of Adjustment When On-boarding: New hires and recently promoted employees need a guided period of adjustment during which they learn the dynamics of the organization's culture and how to be successful in it.
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