Hiring for Culture, Training for Skills
August 23, 2017

You spend a third of your lives at work. That is a lot of time. Time that impacts varied aspects of your lives and has the potential to greatly influence your identity, mental peace, and growth. If work is what you do the most then choosing it should be a conscious decision. The work environment, team, and culture of the organization can both push you to do your best and stop you from doing anything productive. 


And as for an organization, the people we want to hire should be a thoughtful step. Anyone new that joins in will either add to the team dynamics or struggle matching it and in turn disturb the momentum. That is why hiring for culture is not just a need but a sensible step for improving the work environment and providing everyone with a space where they like to work.


Culture fit does not mean hiring people who are same or, not having diversity. It is just about finding someone that resonates with the organization’s core beliefs, attitudes, and collective behaviors. For instance, if communication or learning is a key organizational value, people who genuinely understand the value of it will be a stronger culture fit. A deep-rooted belief in these values is independent of the background or experience people come from.



If someone fits well with the organization and enjoys the work environment then it is but natural that the person will have a greater work satisfaction. A 2005 study talks about how people who have a better culture fitment with the organization have superior performance and longer association. Culture fit is the adhesive that binds the organization together. We all have different personalities, attitudes, and values that impact our small and big choices. If a candidate’s values and behavior aligns with the organization than he fits well in the dynamics and contributes to the growth of the organization while naturally rising to the top.


While hiring cultural fit and functional fit is largely the two criteria that are considered for evaluation of a candidate. The functional fit is about candidate’s hard skills like education, core competencies, and experience, etc. and Cultural fit as mentioned earlier is about the alignment with organization’s core values. We believe that during hiring, culture fitment plays a larger role than functional or skill fitment. Why? Because you can teach someone a programming language if (s)he has the desire to learn but you can not teach them the passion to learn. Skills can be taught but being able to teach alignment with values to people that don’t resonate with is highly unlikely.



Solely analyzing someone on their skills, is further not the most ideal way of understanding someone’s potential. A lot of talented people and good companies miss out on opportunities because of restricted criteria like these. Moreover, opportunities open doors but a culture fit lets you stay in and flourish. People can do amazing when they get the right environment as it may inspire them to work collectively under the same set of values.


So, if someone is not there yet with his/her skills but they believe they are passionate enough to reach there then we think it is not a bad idea to bet on them and help them polish themselves. People with the passion for the work they want to do, the passion to learn, the passion for living a meaningful life and the passion to create something, never fail to surprise you. With that thought, hiring for culture and training for skills does make a lot of sense.