Best Companies via Best Cultural Fits?

May 31, 2011

Another “100 Best Companies to Work For” list has manifested itself online and instead of wondering how certain companies can offer SO MUCH to their employees, I realized I was focusing on the wrong things. Yes, it’s important to be paid well, receive excellent benefits, blah blah blah. But the more I read into these articles, the more I’m starting to see the “intangibles” being mentioned. What do I mean?

Employees feel fully immersed and that they truly add value to the organization.
People who work here feel at home and enjoy a sense of belonging.

It’s not just about saying “good job” and offering a pat on the back. It’s about cultural fit. If a company hires candidates of the right profile, it seems they have automatically increased their future employee retention and satisfaction metrics. You could be the best at what you do and have the world to offer. But if you’re an expansion stage start-up and require someone with explosive energy immune to irregular hours, you definitely shouldn’t hire the guy used to (and only wants) a 9-to-5 work schedule. Square peg in a round hole anyone? Both can be made of the finest materials on earth, but that doesn’t matter. It just won’t work, so why did you spend all that time and money to discover what you already knew?

More and more companies are realizing this now and painstaking efforts are being taken to find the right “fit” during the application and interview processes. Companies like Kareo are ditching the conventional recruitment efforts to make sure the right hire is made. Don’t be surprised to find a job description titled “Kickass Closing Machine” enclosed with questions asking, “What do you do for fun?” You can already see the corporate culture here is informal. Is that what you want?

Ten years ago you would probably have been mortified and offended at such a faux job title! But times are changing and the truth is, fit matters since every candidate and company is different from each other. If you want employees to be happy and flourish, make sure you hire the right ones. If you’re a rigid organization that wants to be (and often pretends to be) laid back, you will lose. And vice versa. Self awareness is key to all parties involved. Know yourself. Be bold. Ask the right questions … and make sure these questions agree with the legal system.

Good luck!


Director of Recruiting

Victor Mahillon is the Director of Recruiting at <a href="">Kamcord</a>. Previously he was a Talent manager at OpenView.