4 P’s of Cultural Fit

Lack of cultural fit is the cause of many less-than-ideal hiring situations. Sometimes a person feels like they just don’t belong at their job. Sometimes working with a team member reveals that they just aren’t a fit for the team.

The Importance of Cultural Fit

If you’re a hiring manager, you may have hired someone in the past and quickly realized they weren’t “a good fit” for your organization. Avoid these situations in the future by considering the 4 P’s of cultural fit:

1. Pace

The first aspect of cultural fit is pace. Pace is the speed at which your team operates. Agencies are generally “fast-paced” while larger companies are “slow-paced.” This is not always true. Determine the pace of your particular organization.

Decide how many simultaneous projects one person should be able to handle. Consider the timelines associated with those projects in order to effectively determine the necessary pace. As a hiring manager, be honest about the pace of your company. Avoid hiring the wrong person by clearly communicating the pace of your organization.

2. Process

The second aspect of cultural fit is process. Process is the means by which a team makes decisions in the course of conducting business. Entry-level team members typically operate based on what a manager directs them to do.

As team members gain more experience, they generally have the opportunity to make more decisions and further set the course of their own projects. Determine how a manager directs their team, then work to understand how each individual fits within the process.

3. Philosophy

The third aspect of cultural fit is philosophy. Philosophy is how opportunities and challenges are approached in the course of conducting business. Be honest about yourself and your team. Decide if you are more pragmatic or idealistic.

Then decide if the team is more pragmatic or idealistic. Personally, I am more of a pragmatist, which can cause problems when working with idealists. Thus, I tend to work for organizations that are more pragmatic. As a hiring manager, be honest about your organization’s philosophy.

4. Play

The final aspect of cultural fit is play. Play is about team-building, bonding, and the work that is done outside of the business day. Some teams work late hours together, whereas other teams go home as soon as the workday ends. Some teams are friends and go out together after work.

Thus, play is a very important aspect of culture. Team members who don’t participate in after-work events may feel left out, or they may fall behind on projects. As a hiring manager, determine how your team approaches team-building and bonding. Activities and volunteer pursuits listed on a person’s resume can lend some insight into their “play”.

Final Thoughts

Companies are strengthened when they clearly define their culture and hire according The Four P’s: Pace, Process, Philosophy, and Play. Hiring managers, consider cultural fit when making hiring decisions. Candidates, set yourselves up for future success by asking the right questions in order to determine your cultural fit in an organization. Both companies and employees benefit when cultural fit is considered and understood. For more information on the 4 P’s of Cultural Fit, contact us.

Written by Mark Whitman

Mark Whitman is the founder of TeamBuilder Search. Mark’s mission is to help clients recruit the top five percent of digital marketing executives, taking great satisfaction in helping clients out-recruit their competition. In the process of fulfilling his mission, he takes great care to help digital marketing leaders elevate their careers. People say Mark owns a recruiting and staffing company. He says he owns a life improvement company. To learn more about Mark visit our Leadership page.
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