Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

Can technology determine good 'cultural fit'?

Can technology determine good 'cultural fit'?

Whilst it may seem like an extra burden, with sourcing the right skillset an already arduous task, it can be the main contributing factor to tenure. Not only that, but the consequences of hiring someone who doesn’t fit culturally can impact the wider business.

Research from Robert Half found that the consequences of a bad hiring decision can be dire – with the top three problems including an increased workload for colleagues (50%), increased stress on colleagues (39%) and lost productivity (33%).

However, it can be difficult to decide whether someone will slot into a team with ease when you’re not an employee yourself. 

Whilst 82% of professionals believe measuring cultural fit is an important factor in recruitment, according to research from Saberr, too few firms are applying scientific principles to it. Tom Marsden, CEO at Saberr, explains: “Often, they aren’t approaching it in an evidence-based or disciplined way, and as a result it tends to be affected by bias.”

Marsden believes that software could help understand the way a culture is impacted by each person, and assist within finding a candidate that will be compatible with the colleagues they’ll be working alongside.


of professionals believe measuring cultural fit is an important factor in recruitment. However only...


are currently doing anything about it


How it works

First, each member of the team you’re finding a new member for must complete a 15-minute survey, which measures their personality and values in several key areas. “It also measures their tolerance for working with others who may hold different values,” said Marsden.

Then, your candidates take the test too, to find out who is a good match. You can even see which members of the team they will likely get along with best.

The results

It’s not as simple as making sure you hire the person who has the most similar profile to the other members of the team. “Research shows that if you want a team to be able to solve complex problems, the most successful teams have a variety of people who think and behave differently,” Marsden explained. “On the other hand, if you put people together with drastically different values, that might be problematic.”

It’s all about meeting in the middle – someone different enough to be able to offer something new to the team, but not so different they disrupt the team’s harmony.