Who Fits Here? – The Power of CultureFit

Who Fits Here? – The Power of CultureFit
Michelle M. Crosby, Ph.D.

Early on in my career, I was working as an organizational psychologist in one of the largest hotel companies in the world with responsibility for talent, leadership and culture. Over time, I noticed a disturbing trend -many of the executives and leaders we hired were exceptionally well-qualified candidates with great education, relevant experience, and strong profiles who interviewed well for their roles. They were great candidates on paper. But, unfortunately, many failed and left the organization in the first two years. Why? What were we missing in our selection process? The answer came to me one day as I was reviewing a long list of departed executives – it wasn’t that they weren’t smart enough, talented enough, or experienced enough to succeed – they simply didn’t understand how to navigate the organization, build relationships or get things done here. In short, they did not fit in.

We have all had the gratifying experience of working with a team or in an organization that just “clicks” – where people are in synch with each other regarding where we are going, what we value and “how we do things around here”. Many of us have also had the painful experience of being in a place where we did not fit in – where our values and ways of working clashed with others even though we had the right skill and experience profile for the job. In other words, how well we fit the culture of the organization and how well the culture of the organization fits us is critical not only for success but also for satisfaction, engagement and productivity. We developed CultureFit to address this specific issue.

The CultureFit assessment identifies the culture or work environment that best suits an individual. After an extensive review of research on organizational culture, a model was adopted that suggests organizations focus on one of four key areas as their organizational priority – people, ideas, competition and operations – in order to achieve success.

In the previous research on these cultural models, the focus has been on understanding what type of culture a given organization exhibits, along with the strengths and potential blind spots of that culture, in order to increase organizational effectiveness and drive culture change efforts. Our focus is quite different – our focus is on the individual and the type of organization for which they are best suited. A series of 25 questions, related to leadership, management style, preferred work and team environment, identify an individual’s cultural and values preference that point to the type of organization where they would fit and perform best – benefiting both the individual and the organization though a better person-culture match. A profile is created against these four cultural types and insights provided in the feedback report on the type of work environment that will best suit this candidate, helping recruiters and hiring managers pinpoint the best fitting candidates.

In other words, CultureFit creates insights and understanding regarding “Who Fits Here?”.