Outsourced recruiters partner with businesses to get exceptional talent through the door. Likewise, they need a strong pool of candidates with the desired skill sets and personalities to fit the company culture.

Company culture is not easily defined but generally means a business’s values, standards and behaviors. A good cultural fit means employers’ and employees’ standards and values align. Some believe culture comes down to friendliness, flexible working environments, a gossip-free office and an open floor plan that sparks creativity. Ultimately, culture should improve job satisfaction and help attract and retain excellent talent.

Whatever the company culture, outsourced recruiters must use the right tools and methods to sort through candidates and find the best person for the job.

Company Culture Is a Two-Way Street

For as much as companies seek candidates who align with the company mission, purpose and norms, prospective employees also want to work somewhere they feel valued and have a sense of belonging. According to a 2019 Glassdoor survey, 77% of job candidates consider company culture before applying for a role at a particular organization. Culture is also more important than salary for 56% of respondents.

Many companies understand the importance of workplace culture, honing in on diversity and inclusion, professional development, employee recognition and mentorship. Positive company culture is also less toxic, with less turnover. A negative turnover rate of over 15% indicates trouble regarding culture and compensation.

Only 19% of companies agree they have developed the right workplace environment. Amid the Great Resignation, quiet quitting and a Gen Z workforce prone to job hopping, companies have the difficult task of enhancing their culture to align with their employees’ professional desires.

Losing employees is dire for business health and revenue. Therefore, investments in employee retention are the obvious choice and can entice new talent.

5 Ways to Evaluate Candidates for Company Culture

Outsourced recruiters must sift through job seekers to ensure optimal compatibility with company culture. Fortunately, these five methods can give outsourced recruiters insight into suitable candidates for the job and workplace.

  • Decide on Deal Breakers

Determining the deal breakers before interviewing potential candidates can save outsourced recruiters and companies time in the hiring process. There is no reason to conduct multiple interviews with someone unfit for the role or business culture.

It is a red flag when candidates bad-mouth former employers, complain about collaborating with co-workers and are disrespectful of authority. Likewise, someone who lies on their resume or checks their device during an interview is likely unreliable.

  • Ask the Right Questions

With proper screening, outsourced recruiters and hiring managers can gain valuable insight into whether potential candidates are compatible with company culture. Questions might include the following:

  • What motivates you at work?
  • What excites you about this position?
  • How do you deal with office conflicts?
  • In what ways might this role challenge you?
  • How would former colleagues describe you?
  • What do you feel are essential qualities in the workplace?
  • How do you handle criticism from your colleague or supervisor?
  • What is your ideal working environment to benefit your productivity?
  • Do you collaborate well with co-workers or prefer independent work?

Recruiters should also include company-specific questions, such as which company values candidates most and least agree with.

  • Use Advanced AI Tools

Although somewhat divisive, artificial intelligence (AI) has its role in recruiting. AI can sift through hundreds of candidates simultaneously, looking for specific skills and experience.

Additionally, nearly 70% of passive candidates are on LinkedIn and other job sites — a much broader candidate pool for outsourced recruiters to seek talent.

AI should never be the deciding factor for job candidates, though. AI recruiting systems may have human biases built into them, such as targeting gender or race for jobs. Likewise, job seekers may revoke their interest if AI replaces human connection.

  • Promote the Employee Value Proposition 

The employee value proposition (EVP) is crucial to candidates. What is everything the employer offers its employees? When a company ties EVP into its culture, candidates are more likely to get excited about the role

For instance, 87% of employees accept a position if it is flexible. Remote or hybrid work schedules demonstrate a company cares about its employees’ mental health and personal obligations.

For instance, candidates may care for an older relative or be responsible for picking up their kids from school. Recognizing employees’ need to care for loved ones showcases a company’s commitment to family values.

  • Convey Company Culture in the Job Posting

Companies that clearly define their company culture in the job description make finding the perfect candidates much more straightforward for an outsourced recruiter. Job ads should always reflect the company’s culture and values so candidates know what they are after.

There should be as much emphasis on traits as on experience and skills. For instance, companies seeking an excellent collaborator who is innovative and customer-focused should say so while also listing the job responsibilities and expectations.

Candidates will then know they must work well with others and come ready to brainstorm and share their ideas with the team.

Communicate Company Culture to Candidates

A skilled outsourced recruiter will use the available tools and resources to find ideal candidates to match their client’s company culture. Like anything else, there is always a perfect candidate to fit every role.

Devin Partida

Devin Partida is a business technology and talent recruitment writer. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of ReHack.com.