14 August 2019

How AI can help you hire for cultural fit.

Letting a robot with no sense of feelings and emotions tell me which person fits into my company’s culture? No way.

Alright, challenge accepted. After reading this blog you will know how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help you hire the candidates who fit best into your company’s culture.

The importance of cultural fit

The principle of hiring for cultural fit is the #1 rising star in recruitment. But why is that actually? Why did we all of a sudden wake up realising that we need to take cultural fit into consideration when hiring a new colleague?

Well, that’s because company culture is like having a group of friends. And every friend joining that group will impact the interaction within this group – for better of for worse. Just like every new colleague shakes up the interaction within a team.

At first sight, most of my friends are completely different from me. They are doing other things for work, they wear different clothes and they vote for different political parties. However, we do have something in common, maybe small, maybe big, that connects us and makes this friendship work. Maybe it’s just about norms, beliefs and values. Or about the internal driver that makes us jump up from our bed every day. But either way there’s something that makes us good friends. And if it turns out we’re missing that one thing, our friendship will slowly die.

That’s exactly how it works with company culture. Teams can (and should be!) super diverse, but there’s something in this culture that connects every team member to the company. And if your team member is missing that connection, the motivation will drop and satisfaction will disappear, just like your team member.

So that’s why cultural fit is so important.

When hiring for cultural fit, step one is validating your company culture. So you should start measuring your current team. Although a brainstorming session with your team might sound really cool and beneficial, it’s also an open door for unconscious bias and different interpretations. It will never be objective. And objective is the one thing you really need in this situation.

Keen to learn more about Equalture’s pre-employment assessments to hire for cultural fit?

This is why you should use AI to assess cultural fit

When it comes to measuring cultural fit, data is your friend and AI is your actual relationship.

Why data is your best friend

Data standardizes

There’s always more than one person involved in hiring a new colleague. What happens if you let more than one person assess a candidate on cultural fit is that these persons might be misaligned on what traits constitute a cultural fit and how to measure these traits. The willingness to use data in this process forces you to work with an assessment tool with a standardized framework, meaning that all candidates are assessed equally in terms of traits and measurements.

Data won’t judge

I think this is a no-brainer, but I’m going to mention it anyway: data won’t judge. I, however, will judge. And you will judge as well. That’s not because we want to judge, but because we all have created a frame of reference that helps us making ten thousands decisions a day – and to be able to do so it works with certain assumptions – your unconscious bias.

Algorithms work with assumptions as well, but if you train it correctly, these assumptions are based on actual data analytics instead of bias. Therefore data is your most objective friend in the room.

Why AI is your actual relationship.

So data makes it possible to objectively measure your company culture and assess whether candidates are aligned to this culture. So data is helping you to make new friends. Artificial Intelligence is all about the next step: Building a relationship together.

The most important aspect of AI in this story is Machine Learning (ML). ML is a method of data analysis that’s focused on using historical data to improve an algorithm and therefore providing us with better predictions.

An example: I keep saying that blue is my favourite colour, while objective measurements show that I’m really into yellow. This doesn’t mean that an algorithm is going to say that I’m wrong, but it will search for evidence to more accurately predict which colour will actually make me happy. And maybe that’s not blue but green, since I really like yellow as well. That’s basically how ML works.

Machine Learning will help you understand

So data helps you measuring your initial culture and being objective. Cool, that’s how you can hiring someone that, on that moment, fits your company culture.

But company culture isn’t a one-time-thing. Like every friend will add something to a group of friends, every colleague will add something to your team. And this will always impact your company culture, even though it might be a minimal impact. Maybe it results into the fact that certain traits representing your company culture will be strengthened or less important traits become more important.

Machine Learning helps you collecting, remembering and processing all data per candidate to ensure your algorithm will continuously adapt to and represent the most ‘recent’ version of your company culture. This prevents you from hiring a colleague that might have fit into your culture two years ago, but not the culture you have today. Cause let’s be honest, the fundament of a relation will hopefully never change, but small changes can make your relationship actually better. And that’s also how it works with company culture.

How to start hiring for cultural fit through AI

Hopefully this blog has convinced you of the fact that smart data can actually help you building winning teams. Now all you need to do is finding an assessment tool that can help you using AI to assess cultural fit.

The market for cultural assessments is enormous. In our platform we use gamified assessments to measure cultural fit, but you can also decide to work with traditional assessments. This blog explains the main differences and also tells you why I would recommend you to go for games.

Curious to hear more about how Equalture’s pre-employment assessments can help you hire for cultural fit? Just let us know, we’re more than happy to help.

Cheers, Charlotte