Culture Fit vs. Experience: Which is More Important?

Managers have to process a lot of information before making a hiring decision. After reviewing countless resumes, phone screening multiple candidates, and meeting with the top 3 or 5, it can be difficult to make the right decision. Even with intense preparation, the risk of a bad hire looms large over the process. So when it comes to deciding between the candidate’s cultural fit and their previous experience, which one should be weighed more heavily? Here are some things to consider.

The ultimate goal is to find a candidate who is a perfect blend of both. They have all of the right skills to bring to the table and also get along well with your existing team. They have the same overall goals, values, and believe in your mission statement. Since not every human being will be the walking embodiment of the job and your company, there may be some decisions that need to be made.

Choosing Skill over Fit

If you decide to choose skill over fit, you will be able to hire someone who brings all the distinct aspects of job requirements to the table. They may be able to hit the ground running with little supervision or training. This can be beneficial in an environment where the learning curve will create problems getting your product or services to the end user.

However, if the person with the right skills for the job isn’t a good fit with the rest of your team, you could create an environment that not only doesn’t work for the new employee but discourages the others in the department. They may be frustrated by how the new employee communicates or works. It can be difficult to recover from this kind of discontent in the department.

Choosing Fit over Skill

On the other hand, you can elect to choose fit over skill. This person may require additional training and onboarding, but you will be able to mitigate problems with preexisting bad habits. They can be given an orientation with the environment in mind. When it comes to making this kind of decision, the important thing to look for, besides their personality fit, is aptitude. In the past, have they been able to learn quickly? Are they results oriented?

There may be a learning curve in this scenario, but many experts suggest that it is more expedient than hiring a bad cultural fit who possesses all the necessary skills.

Do you have questions about how to hire the right person for your department’s open position? We have recruiting offices located in Phoenix, Denver, Los Angeles and Orange County, so call us today! 

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