What are the ways your company ensures cultural fit for prospective/new hires?


Maia Josebachvili 

Maia Josebachvili is the VP of People and Strategy at Greenhouse, where she oversees Recruiting, People Operations, Talent Strategy, Employee Experience, and Greenhouse's Strategy Consulting practice. Maia has a decade of experience building teams at high-growth tech companies. This includes Urban Escapes, a company she founded and sold to Living Social. In her time there, she was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 and led Living Social’s new initiatives group, during which she hired nearly 800 full and part-time employees across the country. Follow her on Twitter @Josebachvili.

This question was originally asked on Quora.

You can't assess what you don't understand.
The first step in assessing culture fit in a company is defining the company culture. Even when we were 30 people at Greenhouse, I was amazed at how differently people described the culture. There were absolutely common themes, but we didn't have a consistent way of explaining what we valued.

So we started what's become a huge part of our identity: Culture 1.0. I went around and had a one-on-one with every employee at the time, asking them to articulate how they defined the culture at Greenhouse and what they loved about it. From there, we aggregated the responses into common themes. At the same time, I did a lot of research on how other companies who have a great reputation for culture defined their values and made sure we weren't missing anything.
Four months later, we had the Greenhouse Culture Credo - a set of six values that represent our culture! The whole project took a lot of time, and it was worth every minute. We now have a set of six values that are true to who we are and also aspirational - they are who we want to be.

We include our values on every candidate scorecard that we use to assess candidates during the interview process. Interviewers evaluate for these throughout the process. 

And for all candidates who make it onsite for an interview, we have a specific culture-fit interview that is always conducted by someone on a different team who has no direct investment into whether or not the role gets filled that day. We ask questions that ask for examples of when the candidates have demonstrated different aspects of our Credo. We're fanatical about that interview. If someone is technically competent but wouldn't fit in with our culture (for example, they're not collaborative), we don't make an offer.

Culture is incredibly important to the success of a business, so it's an easy justification. Plus, we're building more than a business - we're creating an organization, and culture is the foundation of that.

For reference, our Culture Credo is:
We are...

We act and talk like real people. 
We are honest, candid, and sincere with our customers and colleagues.

We are purposeful in the focus of our efforts. 
We have a strong bias for action. 
We deliver.

We care about the success of our customers.
We are thoughtful about delivering a positive customer experience. 
We act in the long-term best interests of our customers.
Inclusive and Open-Minded

We are committed to an environment where people from a diversity of backgrounds feel included and comfortable.
We encourage different perspectives and opinions.

We work toward common goals. 
We trust and help each other. 

We challenge ourselves and each other to do great work.
We empower people to do the best work of their career.

To ensure candidates meet your culture fit criteria, list them out on a candidate scorecard. Download a customizable template below:

                    Interview Scorecard

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Talent Operations