How to Conduct Cultural Fit Test Correctly

Recruitment Strategies
27 Oct 2023
How to Conduct Cultural Fit Test Correctly

When it comes to building a successful and harmonious work environment, one crucial aspect often overlooked is the cultural fit of employees within a company. Understanding and assessing cultural fit can significantly impact employee satisfaction, productivity, and ultimately, the success of your business.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of cultural fit tests, exploring what they are, the different types available, and how to conduct them effectively. Let’s get started!

What are Cultural Fit Tests?

Cultural fit tests are a crucial component of the recruitment process that assess whether a potential employee’s values, attitudes, and behaviours align with the culture of the hiring organisation. They are designed to determine if a candidate is likely to thrive in the work environment and integrate seamlessly into the existing team. In essence, cultural fit tests help organisations identify individuals who not only possess the necessary skills and qualifications but also exhibit the right mindset and attitude to contribute positively to the workplace culture.

Cultural fit is an intangible yet highly influential aspect of an employee’s suitability for a role within a company. It goes beyond qualifications and experience, delving into the soft skills and personal attributes that make an individual a good fit for the organisation. Cultural fit tests are not about screening out diverse perspectives or hiring people who are exactly like the existing workforce. Instead, this test aim to create a balanced and harmonious work environment where employees share core values while bringing a range of perspectives and skills to the table.

Types of Cultural Fit Tests

Cultural fit tests come in various forms, each designed to assess different aspects of a candidate’s compatibility with an organisation’s culture. Here are five key types of cultural fit assessments:

1. Values Assessment

Values assessment is a fundamental type of cultural fit test. It evaluates whether a candidate’s personal values align with the core values of the company. Candidates are presented with scenarios or questions that require them to express their beliefs and principles. For example, they may be asked about their views on ethics, teamwork, innovation, and social responsibility. This assessment helps ensure that employees share a common set of values, which is vital for a cohesive and ethical work environment.

2. Personality Assessment

Personality assessments are used to gauge whether a candidate’s personality traits are a good fit for the company culture. These assessments often employ established personality frameworks, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the Big Five personality traits (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism). By understanding a candidate’s personality, organisations can determine if they possess the right temperament for the role and the team they will be working with.

3. Cognitive Assessment

Cognitive assessments evaluate a candidate’s problem-solving abilities, critical thinking skills, and cognitive aptitude. While these assessments are more focused on skills, they are essential for cultural fit in roles that require analytical thinking or innovation. For instance, a technology company may seek candidates who demonstrate a high level of cognitive agility, while a research institution may value strong analytical skills.

4. Behavioural Assessment

Behavioural assessments examine how a candidate typically responds to various workplace situations. This type of cultural fit test looks at behaviours such as adaptability, communication style, and conflict resolution. It helps determine if a candidate’s behaviours are in sync with the expected norms and interpersonal dynamics within the organisation.

5. Situational Assessment

Situational assessments present candidates with hypothetical workplace scenarios and ask them how they would respond. These scenarios are designed to simulate real work situations and evaluate a candidate’s problem-solving skills, decision-making abilities, and alignment with the company’s expected responses to challenges. Situational assessments are particularly valuable for roles that require quick thinking and the ability to handle unexpected situations.

How to Conduct Cultural Fit Tests

Conducting cultural fit tests requires careful planning and integration into the recruitment process. Here are eight essential steps to ensure the effective implementation of cultural fit assessments:

1. Define Your Company’s Culture

Before embarking on the assessment process, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your company’s culture. Define your organisation’s core values, mission, and vision. This foundational knowledge will guide the development of relevant assessments and help you identify the attributes you seek in potential employees.

2. Identify the Key Cultural Fit Elements

Determine the key cultural fit elements that are vital for success within your organisation. This involves identifying the specific values, behaviours, and attitudes that align with your company culture. For example, if innovation is a core value, you may want to assess a candidate’s ability to think creatively.

3. Choose the Right Cultural Fit Tests

Select the cultural fit tests that align with your company’s values and the specific requirements of the role you are hiring for. The choice of assessments should reflect the key cultural fit elements identified earlier. Consider using a combination of values assessments, personality assessments, cognitive assessments, behavioural assessments, and situational assessments, as appropriate.

4. Integrate Cultural Fit Assessments into the Hiring Process

Incorporate cultural fit assessments at various stages of the recruitment process. This can be done by including them in initial application questionnaires, interviews, and even reference checks. Ensure that these assessments complement other evaluation criteria and do not overshadow the importance of skills and qualifications.

5. Develop Clear Assessment Criteria

Establish clear assessment criteria for each type of cultural fit test you plan to use. Define what constitutes a good fit and what doesn’t. Having specific criteria will help you evaluate candidates consistently and objectively.

6. Train Interviewers and Assessors

Those involved in the recruitment process, especially interviewers and assessors, should be well-trained in conducting cultural fit assessments. This training should include understanding the purpose of these tests, asking relevant questions, and interpreting responses effectively. Interviewers should also be trained to avoid biases and discrimination in the evaluation process.

7. Combine Qualitative and Quantitative Data

Cultural fit assessments often provide qualitative data in the form of interview responses and behavioural observations. It’s essential to combine this qualitative data with quantitative metrics, such as scores from standardised assessments, to create a comprehensive view of a candidate’s cultural fit.

8. Evaluate and Adjust

Periodically assess the effectiveness of your cultural fit tests and make necessary adjustments. This can be based on feedback from employees, the success of recent hires, or changes in your company’s culture. Cultural fit is not static and may evolve over time, so your assessment methods should adapt accordingly.

In conclusion, the significance of cultural fit in the workplace cannot be overstated. It plays a pivotal role in creating a cohesive and productive environment where employees share common values and contribute to the overall success of the organisation. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your recruitment process effectively evaluates cultural fit, leading to well-rounded hiring decisions.

If you’re looking for expert assistance in finding the right talent that aligns with your company’s culture and values, consider using a reputable outsourcing company in Jakarta like RecruitFirst. With extensive experience in matching the right talent to the right opportunities, RecruitFirst can help you build a cohesive and high-performing workforce. Contact us today and take the first step towards building a thriving and harmonious workforce!


Debby Lim

As the practice leader of RecruitFirst Indonesia, Debby brings to the table over 13 years of industry experience.