Finding the right candidates to join your team is no easy endeavor, is it?

Identifying candidates who will succeed in your position is tough, and is more challenging with the painful fact that the number of qualified candidates for open positions is much lower than a few years ago.

We know we need to screen and select for experience, aptitude, and skill. Yet we can’t ignore the importance of “fit” with the company’s culture, environment, and style. Will this person get what they need to succeed on your team? In your company?

Success within one culture may not lead to success within another. It’s a huge mistake to ignore fit criteria: people who can succeed within your culture will outperform those that don’t.

Here are two recent situations that sum up why “fit” is so important:

  • An employee who was a rock star in a culture that did not have clear goals, plans, and accountability for deadlines, but valued independent work and results, suffocated in a culture with daily huddles, clear expectations, accountability for deadlines, and group planning.
  • A sales rep who struggled within the culture of a startup company that did not have a lot of support materials, clear objectives, or coaching, is a top performer after one year with a company who has a well-defined sales process, supportive manager, and tried-and-true product.

[Tweet “New hires screened for and found to be a fit for your culture will outperform those who aren’t.”]

The environment, intangibles, and culture matter!

I can hear the groans—adding another layer of  selection criteria while screening may  eliminate contenders from the ever-diminishing pool of candidates. “We already have such a narrow pool to select from; if we add more criteria, we’ll never hire anyone!” I’m told.

That mindset leads to a huge hiring mistake. The “fit” should be one of the first things screened for (our sales candidate assessment includes these intangibles). If they can’t perform within your environment, you will lose money, sales, relationships, and sleep.

With regard to fit, what do you need to consider to ensure you hire the people who can succeed in your culture?


First, identify what your culture is and is not.

  • Are individual goals identified, focused on, and adhered to? Who sets the goals? Is it from the top down? Or does rep contribution play a part?
  • What level of communication is consistently used–CYA messages and documentation, or a free flow of ideas along with reinforcement?
  • Is the corporate language formal or casual?
  • Is excuse-making allowed, and more importantly, accepted and used by all levels within the company? Is there accountability for doing what you say you will do?
  • What type of accountability is present? Are managers supposed to be responsible for holding others accountable or is there personal accountability?
  • Are successes celebrated?
  • How effective are managers at engaging their team members? Is trust and respect fostered?
  • How closely are reps managed? Is there regular coaching or daily huddles? Or is each rep expected to manage themselves?
  • Do employees enjoy their work and each other?
  • Is the “internal speak” of the organization kind and supportive to each other?
  • Is there a concern for the well-being of team members outside of work? Do you know what is most important to your team members before they step in the door in the morning or leave at night?

The culture is not good or bad based on your responses. All types of company cultures can lead to success.

What’s most important is whether your culture, environment, and leadership will allow each person who is on your team to get what they need to succeed.

Adding a screen for fit into the culture and leadership style of your organization will save you time, energy, customers, and sales. As you recruit less, and gain productivity with higher performers more quickly, you will have time to focus on other priorities.

p.s. Interesting as I listed the various culture questions, a funny story for each one came to mind. If you want an example, send me a personal note.


Our efficient and cost-effective process provides you with the data you need to make the most of your time, energy, and resources to grow your company.

4 Success Drivers You Need to Know...and Grow


How do you strengthen this "Will" among your sales associates? How does the lack of drive impact your daily life? I discussed this and so much more on a recent virtual training event you can access below. It's valuable information for any business leader who needs to maximize performance of their people to grow their company.

Click here to access the replay.