Is Hiring for a Cultural Fit AND Hard Skills Even Possible?

Madison Green
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The short answer is yes. It is possible to find a candidate that is both culturally and skillfully inclined when it comes to your company. These types of hires can be few and far between. Let’s start with the differences between a candidate that fits culturally and one who fits skillfully.


What does it mean to hire a cultural fit?


This candidate will:

  • Share core values with the organization
  • Be compatible with your team
  • Create harmony between other coworkers
  • Adapt to the environment quickly
  • Remain an employee for a significant period or indefinitely


Hiring managers will typically choose a candidate that is a better cultural fit because this employee will not only work well with the current team dynamic, but they will excel and bring positivity and new growth. They will share core values and bring a new perspective that keeps the work environment fresh and lively.


What does it mean to hire for hard skills?


This candidate will:

  • Have a better understanding of the job before training
  • Catch onto concepts quicker
  • Be more knowledgeable
  • Bring experience to the position
  • Need less time to train


Some hiring managers will hire for skill as opposed to culture. Typically, this would be in the form of a college degree, years of experience, or both. This isn’t bad. The hiring manager sees this as a timesaver. When this person comes onboard, they’ll require less training than someone who is greener.


Hiring someone who is both culturally and skillfully adept is the ideal goal. You should know what you’re looking for in a candidate and what you want them to bring to your company.


First, take a look at their core skills. How many of the job requirements do they meet? We know that realistically they don’t have to meet all of them, just the big ones and the others are a nice to haves. If they check most of the boxes, obviously they should stay in the running.

Second, it’s important to understand what the core values of your company are and what they mean to your current employees. It can help you get a better perspective on how someone new will view your company and what they will be adapting to if they’re hired. Does this candidate mesh well with your organization? If they’re going to work well with the team, and not cause a disruption because they’re not like everyone else, they should be kept in the running.


If you’re diligent and do your research, the candidate you're considering may already have all the hard skills you’re looking for and still be a cultural fit. You might just need to be less picky to find that perfect person.




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