Does Your Contractor Need to Fit Your Culture?
Cultural fit is important, but what about for workers who aren’t in the office on the regular? In terms of remote workers and contract hires, is it still important they match with your company culture? The answer is yes.
The importance of culture fit
Your company culture is central to your brand, and your brand is everything. It’s what you’re known for by your customers and the public. Think about it – what would Apple be without the culture of innovation that drove its brand? Rather than selling the newest tech releases by the truckload, it could well be out of business today. But instead, Apple hits consumers right in the heart. They don’t just need the newest releases, they LOVE them. Having a new iPhone connects them to a community of people with a shared vision: capturing important moments and music. In other words, the very stuff that adds to a happy life.
That type of cult following takes years of commitment to obtain, and your culture is vital to how you do business, attract new hires and meet the needs of your customers. Your staff should mesh well with everything your IT business is all about.
Skills first, then culture
Of course, hiring just for a cultural fit can – and probably will – backfire. First and foremost, the remote and contract workers you bring on board must be qualified to perform the job. But once you’ve established that a worker has the education and experience required to excel within your company, that’s the time you need to determine a good cultural fit, as well.
What to look for
To decide which workers will fit within your culture, you need to have a clear understanding of what exactly it is. Think about the way your business runs, day in and day out. How do employees communicate with each other – mostly by phone, email or text message? Is yours an informal work setting, or more formal in style? Do you require workers to be extremely independent or do supervisors and managers follow up frequently with staff? This and more makes up the culture of your workplace.
When interviewing potential candidates, play close attention to their:
- Communication style. Are they quiet and reserved, or do they ask a lot of questions? Are they good at explaining themselves, or do they need you to draw information out of them? Be sure the way a candidate communicates will set them up for success with your company.
- A person who is bubbly and outgoing will find formal business calls to be a huge snooze. Conversely, someone who is more formal will be put off by a culture that’s informal and doesn’t take anything too seriously. Just by talking to a potential hire, you’ll be able to determine how well he or she would fit.
- Preferred work style. Is the person a motivated independent worker, or do they function best with clear, outlined steps and directives? Especially working remotely, your hires should be able to work well in the parameters set for them.
Use a personality profile test
As part of your interview process, it can help to use a personality profile test to determine whether candidates will fit into your culture. You can also simply ask them straight out what they’re preferred work style is, as well as to-the-point questions that will help you determine their fit.