How to Adapt to Candidate-Led Markets

In today’s job market, candidates are in control. They have more choices than ever before, and they’re not afraid to ask for what they want. This can be a challenge for businesses, but it can also be an opportunity.

I’ve been a tech recruiter for 20 years, and I’ve seen the job market change dramatically over that time. In the past, businesses had the upper hand. They could dictate the terms of employment, and candidates were lucky to get a job. But today, the tables have turned. Candidates have more choices than ever before, and they’re not afraid to ask for what they want.

This is what I call a “candidate-led market.” In a candidate-led market, candidates have the power. They can choose the jobs they want, the companies they want to work for, and the terms of employment they want.

So, what does this mean for businesses? It means that businesses need to adapt to the changing needs of candidates. They need to offer competitive salaries, benefits, and working conditions. They also need to be flexible and transparent.

Here are some specific examples of how businesses can adapt to candidate-led markets:

  • Offer flexible/remote working. Many candidates are looking for jobs that offer flexible or remote work. This could mean the ability to work from home, work part-time, or take time off when needed.
  • Focus on values. Of course, this doesn’t mean hiring someone entirely different from what you need, but in many circumstances, skills can be learned, be open to candidates who add to your culture and values, show promise and allow them to step into the role. In my experience, candidates are very pleased when afforded the opportunity to learn something new and often the company is rewarded by a happier, more loyal, and enthusiastic employee.
  • Listen to your existing team. Do you have a structure in place where issues are communicated? Does the team feel they can speak honestly and openly or confidentially without repercussion? Don’t leave it until an exit interview, when things are too late.  

By adapting to candidate-led markets, businesses can attract and hire the best talent. This will lead to improved productivity and profitability.

In addition to the benefits I’ve already mentioned, being flexible in a candidate-led market can also offer a number of other benefits for businesses. For example, it can:

  • Increase employee satisfaction. Employees who are in their optimal work environment are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. This can lead to increased productivity, decreased turnover, and improved morale.
  • Improve company culture. A flexible work environment can help to create a more positive and inclusive company culture. This can attract and retain top talent, and it can also improve diversity, employee engagement, and productivity.
  • Enhanced innovation. A flexible work environment can help to foster creativity and innovation. When employees feel like they have the freedom to work in the way that best suits them, they’re more likely to come up with new ideas and solutions.

Overall, being flexible in a candidate-led market can offer a number of benefits for businesses. By adapting to the changing needs of candidates, businesses can attract and hire the best talent, improve employee satisfaction, and enhance company culture.

If you’re a founder, C-suite, or hiring manager, I encourage you to adapt to the changing needs of candidates. By doing so, you can attract and hire the best talent, which will lead to improved productivity and profitability.

If you don’t have an EVP (Employee Value Proposition), however formal or informal, I would strongly suggest creating one, documenting what you have, what you want to get to, and how you are going to achieve it.

How to Become an Employer of Choice

How to Become an Employer of Choice

In today’s competitive job market, businesses are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd and attract the best talent. One way to do this is to become an employer of choice, but how can companies, regardless of their size, compete with the FAAMGs of the world?

An employer of choice is a company that is highly sought after by job seekers. They are seen as a great place to work, with a strong culture, a positive employee experience, and excellent leadership. It doesn’t necessarily mean it has to have worldwide public recognition, but having an identifiable presence in the ecosystem in which it operates will certainly help, and don’t think because you aren’t the CEO you can’t elevate your team to be a desired place to work.

Firstly, before considering how you approach the external market you need to look inside your business, if your existing employees aren’t satisfied, and they are employees you want, which we’ll assume they are as they are in your business then that needs addressing. Word of mouth by a known individual is by far the most trusted source of advertising, more so than online reviews.

There are a number of things that businesses can do to become employers of choice. Here are a few key steps:

  1. Define your target audience. Whom are you trying to attract to your company? What are their needs and wants? Once you know who your target audience is, you can tailor or build your employer brand and offerings to appeal to them.
  2. Define your ideal employee. What kind of person do you want to work for you? What are their skills, experience, and values? Once you know what you’re looking for then this must be incorporated into the interview process.
  3. Create a strong culture. Make sure your culture is aligned with your values and that it’s something that your employees can be proud of. How can your team live by the company values on a day-to-day basis?
  4. Provide a positive employee experience. This means more than just offering competitive salaries and benefits. It means creating a work environment that is supportive, collaborative, and fun. It means giving employees the resources they need to be successful and the opportunity to grow and develop.
  5. Have strong leadership. Your leaders set the tone for your company. They are responsible for creating a positive work environment and motivating employees to do their best work. Make sure your leaders are visible, approachable, and supportive.
  6. Offer genuine flexibility. In today’s world, employees want flexibility. They want to be able to work from home, have a flexible schedule, and take time off when they need it. Offering genuine flexibility is a great way to attract and retain top talent.
  7. Have a clear purpose. Employees want to work for a company that has a clear purpose. They want to feel like they are making a difference in the world. Make sure your company has a clear mission and that your employees are aligned with it and importantly they know how their role impacts upon that purpose.
  8. Offer room for growth. Employees want to be able to grow and develop in their careers. Make sure your company offers opportunities for employees to learn new skills, take on new challenges, and advance in their careers.
  9. Measure your progress. It’s important to track your progress and make adjustments as needed. By regularly evaluating your employer brand and offerings, you can ensure that you’re staying ahead of the competition and attracting the best talent.

Here are some additional tips for becoming an employer of choice:

  • Listen to your employees. Get regular feedback from your employees about what they like and dislike about your company. Use this feedback to make improvements and create a workplace that your employees love.
  • Celebrate successes. When your employees do a good job, be sure to celebrate their success. This will help them feel valued and appreciated.
  • Be open to change. The world of work is constantly changing, so you need to be willing to change with it. If you’re not willing to adapt, you’ll be left behind.


If your employees are flying the flag for your team or business, this will get around in the circles you need it to. So give them opportunities to network and be social.

Be firm with hiring the right people, be flexible on the skills required, and upskill people, but be firm on cultural fit.

Becoming an employer of choice is an ongoing process. It takes time, effort, and commitment. But if you’re willing to put in the work, it can be a very rewarding experience and will improve productivity, innovation, and ultimately profitability.

Remote or office-based – what’s the big deal? As long as the work is getting done! Right?

With many high-profile companies signaling the end of remote work or at least a decrease in remote work, I wanted to explore the considerations in full.

The benefits of remote work are well-known, so I won’t go into detail here.

For employees:

  • Travel costs are lower.
  • Less time spent traveling and reduced stress from commuting.
  • Potentially less distractions.
  • Improved work-life balance.
  • Ability to set up your work environment how you like it.

For employers:

  • Cost savings – lower overheads and operating costs.
  • Access to a wider talent pool.
  • Assists diversity and inclusion, especially when it’s flexible (remote ≠ flexible).
  • Reduction in absenteeism.
  • Productivity improves.
  • Loyalty increases.
  • Forces modernization and technology adoption.

However, it’s the disadvantages and potential downsides where things get a little more complicated.

For employees

  • Visibility for promotion: When you’re not in the office, it can be harder for your manager and other decision-makers to see your work, accomplishments, how you deal with challenges, and your communication with other employees. This can make it more difficult to get promoted.
  • Separating work and home: It can be challenging to create a clear boundary between work and personal time when you’re working from home. This can lead to burnout, as you may find yourself working longer hours or checking work emails outside of work hours.
  • Distractions: When you’re working from home, there are many more potential distractions than there are in an office. Whether it be household chores, pets, family, or perhaps without direct supervision you have a tendency to procrastinate.
  • Meeting overload: What could be a quick question in the office may turn into an ineffective meeting when working remotely. In an effort to boost communication and collaboration too many meetings are booked with too many people.
  • Learning and growth opportunities: It can be harder to learn new skills and grow your career when you’re not in the office and interacting with your colleagues. This is because you miss out on the informal learning that happens naturally in the office, such as asking questions and brainstorming ideas with your colleagues.
  • Communication: You miss out on the informal but important chats that happen naturally in the office. Not only for building relationships with colleagues but keeping up to date on projects, asking quick questions, and nudging a colleague politely that you are waiting on something from them.
  • Innovation: It can be harder to be innovative and feel connected to the business when you’re not in the office. You may miss out on the day-to-day interactions with customers, clients, and other stakeholders, understanding those things that will really make a difference and need to get done.
  • Loneliness/isolation: It can be lonely working from home all day, and you may miss the social interaction of the office. This can lead to isolation and depression.
  • Increased technology dependency: You become more reliant on technology when you’re working remotely. This can lead to burnout, as you may be constantly checking emails, messages, and other notifications.

For employers

  • Difficulty onboarding new hires: It can be more difficult to onboard new hires when they’re not in the office. This is because you miss out on the opportunity to tangibly introduce them to the company culture and team members in person.
  • Identifying training needs: The work might be getting done, but you may not be able to see the challenges that remote employees are facing, which can make it difficult to identify the training and support they need.
  • Identifying leadership potential: Those informal interactions in the office, the help provided, the suggestions, and the attitude can’t be seen as easily in a remote environment.
  • Security risks: The risk of data breaches, sensitive or confidential information being misplaced, malware or network intrusions are reportedly far greater.
  • Team building: Getting to know people on video is far different than in the office or the after-work social, familiarity builds trust
  • Collaboration: Even with some amazing tech to assist collaboration, sometimes the best ideas occur outside of meetings and formal situations, and getting validation for ideas is less simple. Familiarity with the work of others is limited when you aren’t in close proximity.
  • Fostering a company culture: That sense of community and belonging is harder to feel a part of. Successes of the team may feel intangible.
  • Employees feeling disconnected: When employees don’t feel part of something it can lead to a lack of motivation and engagement.

So, what can be done to ensure remote working is actually working?

Here are a few tips:

Visibility for promotion:

  • Set clear expectations and guidelines for remote employees. This should include what is expected of them in terms of their work output, communication, and availability.
  • Provide regular feedback and performance reviews. This will help employees track their progress and identify areas where they can improve.
  • Encourage remote employees to participate in company events and activities. This will help them stay connected to the company and their colleagues.
  • Consider implementing a formal mentorship program for remote employees. This will give them the opportunity to learn from and network with more experienced employees.

Separating work and home:

  • Encourage remote employees to set up a dedicated workspace in their homes, if possible, and get to know their individual circumstances to support their needs. This will help them create a clear boundary between work and personal time.
  • Set clear boundaries with family members or housemates. Let them know when you are available and unavailable.
  • Take breaks throughout the day to get away from your computer and relax.
  • Exercise regularly. This will help you reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.


  • Identify the distractions that are most common for you and develop strategies to deal with them. For example, if you find yourself getting distracted by social media, try turning off your notifications or using a website blocker.
  • Set aside specific times for checking email and social media. This will help you avoid checking them constantly throughout the day.
  • Take breaks throughout the day to get away from your computer and work on something else. This will help you stay focused and productive.

Meeting overload:

  • Use video conferencing tools to make meetings more efficient. This will help you avoid having to travel to meetings and save time.
  • Have a clear and written agenda with clear expectations for meetings. This should include the purpose of the meeting, who should attend, and what should be accomplished.
  • Keep meetings short and to the point.
  • Don’t over-invite.

Learning and growth opportunities:

  • Encourage remote employees to take online courses or workshops. This will help them stay up-to-date on the latest trends in their field.
  • Provide remote employees with access to mentorship programs and other resources. This will help them develop their skills and knowledge.
  • Encourage remote employees to network with colleagues and other professionals in their field. This will help them stay connected and learn from others.

Informal learning moments and communication:

  • Use instant messaging or video conferencing tools to stay connected with colleagues.
  • Encourage remote employees to participate in company chat rooms or forums.
  • Schedule regular team lunches or coffee breaks. This will give remote employees the opportunity to socialize and connect with their colleagues. Think speed-dating for work.


  • Encourage remote employees to share their ideas and suggestions.
  • Give remote employees the opportunity to work on projects that they are passionate about.
  • Provide remote employees with access to the same information and resources as in-office employees.
  • Share company objectives regularly, share challenges and priorities for different teams within the organisation and encourage people to ask questions.


  • Encourage remote employees to stay connected with their colleagues and friends. This could involve setting up regular video calls or coffee breaks.
  • Encourage remote employees to join clubs or groups related to their interests.
  • Provide remote employees with access to mental health resources.

Increased technology dependency:

  • Encourage remote employees to take breaks throughout the day to get away from their computers and relax.
  • Encourage phone calls, where appropriate.
  • Have days with no online meetings or dont expect responses to BAU emails on some days.
  • Provide remote employees with ergonomic equipment to help prevent injuries.

Being a manager of a remote team comes with its own unique challenges; empathy is key! Taking time to understand, regularly, each person’s situation, challenges, desires etc can be so valuable in helping to appreciate and work towards mitigating many of the potential problems outlined above.

The decision of whether to work remotely or in the office is a complex one.

There are pros and cons to both approaches. Ultimately, the best approach for a particular company or employee will depend on a variety of factors and even within a company, different teams may benefit from different approaches.

Why Leaders Should Invest in Their Own Personal Development

As a leader, you know that your success depends on the success of your team. But what if I told you that your own personal development is just as important as your team’s?

That’s right. If you want to be a successful leader, you should. No! you need to invest in your own personal development. This means taking the time to learn new skills, improve your leadership abilities, and grow as a person.

There are many reasons why leaders should invest in their own personal development. Here are just a few:

  • The obvious one. To become more effective leaders. When you invest in your own personal development, you learn new skills and techniques that can help you become a more effective leader. You’ll learn how to better motivate your team, solve problems, and make decisions.
  • To stay ahead of the curve. The world of business is constantly changing. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to be constantly learning and growing. By investing in your own personal development, you’ll stay ahead of the competition and ensure that your team is always up-to-date on the latest trends.
  • To be better role models. As a leader, you’re a role model for your team. If you want your team to be successful, you need to be setting a good example. By investing in your own personal development, you’re showing your team that you’re committed to learning and growing. This will inspire them to do the same.

And the advantages are numerous:

  • Increased self-awareness. Personal development helps leaders become more self-aware. This means that they become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses, their values, and their goals. Increased self-awareness can help leaders make better decisions, build stronger relationships, and be more effective communicators.
  • Improved leadership skills. Personal development can help leaders improve their leadership skills. This includes skills such as communication, delegation, problem-solving, and decision-making. Improved leadership skills can help leaders motivate their team, achieve goals, and build a successful organization.
  • Increased motivation. Personal development can help leaders increase their motivation. This is because it helps them set goals, develop a plan to achieve those goals, and track their progress. Increased motivation can help leaders stay focused and on track, even when faced with challenges.
  • Greater job satisfaction. Personal development can help leaders increase their job satisfaction. This is because it helps them feel more confident in their abilities, more fulfilled in their work, and more connected to their purpose. Greater job satisfaction can lead to increased productivity, decreased turnover, and a more positive work environment.

But, the benefits of personal development for leaders don’t stop there. The people that work around leaders also benefit from their leaders’ personal development.

  • Better leadership. When leaders invest in their own personal development, they become better leaders. This means that they are more effective at motivating, inspiring, and developing their team members.
  • Increased opportunities. When leaders are constantly learning and growing, they create opportunities for their team members to do the same. This can lead to increased job satisfaction, motivation, and productivity.
  • A more positive work environment. When leaders are positive and engaged, it creates a more positive work environment for their team members. This can lead to decreased stress, increased creativity, and better decision-making.
  • Depending on the type of training or development, it may include the opportunity to network and converse with people in related industries or roles, allowing the opportunity to exchange ideas, talk through problems and see things from different perspectives.

If you’re a leader, I encourage you to invest in your own personal development. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself, your team, and your organization.

How To Become a Great Leader: Key Qualities to Develop

When you think of a great leader who do you think of?

Steve Jobs – had a clear vision for Apple and was able to inspire and motivate his team to achieve that vision.

Jeff Bezos – Amazon has evolved and adapted to the changing marketplace to make it one of the most successful companies in the world.

Elon Musk – A risk taker who has shown considerable innovation with the likes of Tesla and SpaceX.

What makes them great leaders?

There are many qualities that make a top performing leader, but some of the most important include:

  • Vision: Top performing leaders have a clear vision for the future of their organization. They are able to articulate that vision to others and inspire them to share it.
  • Communication: Top performing leaders are effective communicators. They are able to clearly and concisely communicate their ideas and goals to others. They are also good listeners and are able to build rapport with their team members.
  • Decision-making: Top performing leaders are able to make sound decisions under pressure. They are able to weigh the pros and cons of different options and make the best decision for the organization, even when there is no easy answer. They take calculated risks.
  • Problem-solving: Top performing leaders are able to identify and solve problems. They are able to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions.
  • Teamwork: Top performing leaders are able to build and lead high-performing teams. They are able to delegate tasks effectively and create a positive and productive work environment.
  • Adaptability: Top performing leaders are able to adapt to change. They are able to anticipate and respond to changes in the market, industry, and organization. They are also able to lead their teams through periods of change.

Once you have cracked all of those, then its time to work on:

  • Empathy: Great leaders understand and empathize with the needs and emotions of their team members. They treat others with respect and compassion.
  • Integrity: Great leaders act with honesty and integrity. They set a good example and hold themselves accountable for their actions.
  • Continuous Learning: Great leaders are always seeking knowledge and self-improvement. They stay updated on industry trends and seek feedback to grow personally and professionally.
  • Resilience: Great leaders are resilient in the face of challenges and setbacks. They demonstrate perseverance and stay determined to achieve their goals.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Great leaders have a high level of emotional intelligence. They understand and manage their own emotions effectively and can empathize with and support others in managing their emotions.
  • Empowerment: Great leaders empower their team members by giving them autonomy and responsibility. They trust their team to make decisions and take ownership of their work.
  • Innovation: Great leaders foster a culture of innovation. They encourage creativity and are open to new ideas and approaches.
  • Flexibility: Great leaders are flexible and adaptable. They can adjust their plans and strategies based on new information or changing circumstances.
  • Authenticity: Great leaders are authentic and genuine. They stay true to their values and principles, which helps build trust and credibility with their team.
  • Servant Leadership: Great leaders prioritize the needs of their team members. They are servant leaders who support and serve their team, rather than just giving orders.

Some of these may come naturally to you, some may not, but if you have got the desire to lead then here are some additional tips for developing your leadership skills:

  • Set goals for yourself and track your progress. This will help you stay motivated and focused.
  • Seek out opportunities to lead. This could mean volunteering for a leadership position in your community or taking on a leadership role at work.
  • Get feedback from others. Learn to identify areas where you can improve.
  • Read books and articles about leadership. This will help you learn from the experiences of other leaders.
  • Attend leadership training courses. This is a great way to learn new skills and techniques.

Developing your leadership skills takes time and effort, but it is definitely worth it. By following these tips, you can become a top performing leader and make a positive impact on the world.

Good luck.

Tips for writing a great CV

Now, I’m not a professional CV writer who will go through your background tooth and nail to pick out every skill and minor achievement and consolidate those into a perfectly drafted document, but I have over 20 years of recruitment experience so probably seen over 100,000 CVs, some good, some not so.

The role of a CV shouldn’t be taken lightly, it could be the difference between being invited for an interview or not so make sure its doing its job and telling your story the right way.

There is a stat I recall, I don’t know how accurate, that someone will spend 6 seconds looking at your CV before making a decision. I hope its wrong, but its good to have that in mind so you adapt it so the relevant information is easy to find.

  1. Keep It Concise – A CV should include the most important information about you and should be kept concise. Best practice is reverse chronological (i.e. most recent first), and assuming your relevant experience is the most recent, include more about this than that of your first job (if it was many years ago). Use bullet points.It doesn’t need to be kept to 2 pages, but anything over 4 and you are probably losing your reader.
  2. Highlight Your Achievements – Make sure to highlight your key achievements and successes which could help you stand out from other applicants. This is probably the most common omission I see on CVs, listing your duties will get you so far, but if you want to differentiate yourself from others this is a way to do it.
  3. If you have external links to your GitHub repo or portfolio then ensure these have decent content and arent a graveyard of your old work.
  4. Explain gaps. Rather than leaving the reader with questions, give them answers.
  5. Accuracy is important. Don’t exaggerate, check your dates and certainly don’t make stuff up. I would even go so far as to remove old tech skills that you only worked on for one semester or over 10 years ago for one project. Be prepared to answer questions about anything on your CV and if you aren’t confident with it, leave it out, or make it very clear it’s minor knowledge (see point 1 – be concise).
  6. If you are including a summary or profile then make it useful, not just a load of meaningless fluff.
  7. Make sure your contact information is included, correct, and up to date. Sounds obvious, but you’ll be surprised.
  8. Be aware of your language, I don’t mean foul language, with more and more automation being used think about the terms that you use and what keywords may get picked up by systems. Avoid using uncommon acronyms, or provide an explanation if you do.
  9. Lastly, and just as important. make sure you proofread it and ideally get someone else to proof it too.

What is the STAR interview method? Why should you know about it?

The star interview technique is a structured approach to interviewing that focuses on past performance and experiences. The technique is based on the idea that an individual’s past experiences can be used as indicators of their future performance. Pretty normal stuff, right!

Many interviewers will ask questions that require a STAR response without really knowing it and that’s why you need to know and be able to present your examples in this way for maximum impact and benefit. In fact most questions where you are required to give an example would benefit from a STAR response.

The STAR technique is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.

Situation – explain the context of a situation you faced

Task – what was expected or required of you in that situation.

Action – what steps you took to address the situation.

Result – what was the outcome of their actions in the situation.

It is important that you understand when a question would benefit from a STAR response as by providing specific and detailed examples of how you have handled situations in the past, you are giving the interviewer greater reassurance of how you would deal with a similar situation in the future and in my experience, how someone presents their answer can make all the difference.  Not only that, but clear, succinct yet comprehensive answers demonstrate you understand how your roles or task fits into the wider objective and is generally a sign of good communication which features as a must in most job specs.

How does this look in reality. So, a simple example answer for a star interview technique type question could be:

I was working on a project with a tight deadline (situation) and my role was to ensure that the project met the deadline and all deliverables were completed (task).

I assigned tasks to each team member and set up regular check-ins to track progress. I also worked with the team to troubleshoot any issues that arose (action) and we successfully completed the project on time, and all deliverables were met (result).

This is a basic example, and you would certainly want to be more detailed than this, but you can see how it would flow in an interview.

Interviewing for Cultural Add: Crafting the Perfect Interview Questions

As we looked at in a previous article, Cultural Add or Cultural Contribution alongside ‘fit’ can be a very important element of assessment for hiring, but how does one go about determining if a candidate meets this criteria?

Firstly, we must understand that in many cases Hiring for culture fit began to be confused with hiring for similar personal backgrounds, interests, or even appearances. That mindset could result in companies full of employees who looked, thought, and acted alike. This often would lead to discrimination and stagnation in company growth and innovation.

Before thinking about questions for the candidate, there are questions you should go over before and after you’ve interviewed a promising candidate. They help determine what exactly you are looking for, why you require that, and how a person can fulfil that need.

  • What gaps in our company’s knowledge or culture can this candidate fill?
  • Does the candidate have skills in new processes or techniques that we would benefit from having?
  • Could this employee challenge our way of thinking and suggest improvements to our processes?
  • Does this candidate represent a voice or viewpoint for our customers that we lack? Would they help us better communicate with potential customers by having this voice or perspective?

Crafting the Perfect Questions

When it comes to crafting the perfect interview questions to assess cultural contribution, the key is knowing what is important to your organization. Is it service-mindedness, team work traditions, or a particular way of working? Once you know what you are looking for, you can craft the perfect questions to assess this.

For example, if you are looking for a service-minded attitude, you might ask questions such as:

  • How do you handle difficult customer requests?
  • What have you done to ensure customer satisfaction?
  • How do you approach problem solving with a customer?

What are some other common culture add interview questions?

Here are some questions hiring managers can ask in a culture add interview.

  • Describe a time when you helped a coworker or direct report with a work problem.
  • Describe a time when you received feedback from a supervisor or someone on another team. How did you react? What was the result? What lessons did you learn? 
  • How do you measure success at work? How does a successful day at work look for you? 
  • A team member calls in sick 2 hours before a team presentation is scheduled. What do you do?
  • What does a healthy work-life balance look like for you?
  • In what ways do your colleagues benefit from working with you as opposed to one of your coworkers? 
  • Tell me about a time when understanding someone else’s perspective helped you accomplish a goal or resolve a conflict. 
  • What is your impression of our company’s culture, values, and mission? 
  • From your perspective, how do you think we can improve our culture or values? What values would you bring to our organization? 
  • Tell us about a time when you came across a situation or decision that you didn’t agree with. How did you handle it?
  • What’s something you’ve learned in the past year that you’re proud of? 
  • Tell us about a time when you changed your perspective about a situation or issue at work. What happened, and what was the end result? 
  • How do you like to be managed? What characteristics do you look for in a leader? 
  • How do you typically approach working through a tough problem? What’s your approach to teamwork and collaboration? 
  • What key values or behaviours are most important to you in a company?
  • How do you see your personal value system aligning with the organization?  
  • Tell us about a time you learned something you’ve never done before. How did you approach it? What was the outcome? 
  • What attracts you to the company values? How do our core values align with your own personal value system? 

The questions you ask will depend on what you are looking for? But being aware of what you want and why will go a long way.

Hiring for Culture Fit vs. Culture Add

Cultural fit is often cited as one of the key criteria for new hires, which is all well and good but if you base your hiring decisions on culture fit, you can be promoting bias (especially unconscious bias).Also, similar-minded, uniform groups can foster groupthink, which can lead to negativity or even animosity in the workplace.

Groupthink as the name suggests is the tendency for people to unanimously support a popular opinion or decision. Choosing group consensus over thinking critically. When groupthink happens, people silence their own objective thoughts in favour of conforming.

When it comes to hiring decisions, it’s important to consider both the candidate’s cultural fit and their ability to add to the existing culture. Cultural fit is a good indicator of how well an individual will fit into the organization, but it shouldn’t be the only factor. Evaluating a candidate’s cultural contribution will provide a more complete picture of the value they can bring to an organization. Some research tells us that cultural fit can actually be detrimental to your organization’s success. Hiring for culture fit can be extremely detrimental to your belonging, equity, inclusion, and diversity efforts as well as inhibiting growth and innovation.  

Culture Fit

Culture fit considers how a candidate’s values and beliefs align with the organization’s values and beliefs. It determines whether a new hire can work well with existing members of the team and integrate into the existing culture. Candidates with a high degree of cultural fit will likely be able to adjust quickly and become productive quickly. So its very easy to understand why this is an important element when deciding who to hire.

Culture Add

Culture add essentially looks at how a new hire can contribute to and expand the existing culture. It evaluates a candidate’s capacity to bring new perspectives, skills, and expertise to the table. It’s an important factor to consider when an organization is aiming to innovate or make a shift in direction.

By taking both culture fit and culture add into account, organizations can ensure they are making the best possible hiring decisions and maximizing their potential for innovation and growth. This is especially important as organizations become increasingly global and diverse, as different cultures can bring unique perspectives that can drive change and help expand the existing culture.

In summary, examining a candidate’s cultural fit and cultural contribution can provide a more comprehensive understanding of their potential value to an organization. When making hiring decisions, look for candidates who can not only fit into the existing culture, but can also add something meaningful and unique. By doing so, organizations can ensure they are making the best possible hiring decisions and unlocking their full potential.

Look out for the next post which will provide some examples on how you can interview for Culture Add.

Get the Most Out of Your Interviews: Move Beyond Asking the ‘Biggest Weakness’ Question

Have you ever asked this question or a variation of it? What did you learn from it? That someone has prepared for their interview in advance by coming up with an answer that could equally be considered a positive or negative.

If you have asked this question, I’m sure you have heard something along the lines of “I work too hard”, “I strive to find the perfect solution and put myself under greater pressure than is necessary” or “I can be overly critical of my own work”.

Continue reading “Get the Most Out of Your Interviews: Move Beyond Asking the ‘Biggest Weakness’ Question”