Skill vs. Culture Fit

Written by Chris West

Compared to cultural fit, a skill set is easier to define and identify because you’re looking for specific keywords. Most of a candidate’s CV is dedicated to showcasing skills and work-related accomplishments. These skills, or lack thereof, listed on a CV can make or break a recruiter’s decision about a candidate in as little as six seconds.



What is company culture?

Company culture can simply be described as the shared ethos of an organization. It’s the way people feel about the work they do, the values they believe in, where they see the company going and what they’re doing to get it there.

A major part of your talent strategy should always be to find people who will help realize your company’s mission and values. When you onboard new employees who feel connected to your company vision, their fresh perspectives will allow your culture to evolve naturally. This in turn will attract talented job seekers who want to work for companies that are both committed to strong values and flexible enough to meet changing times.


So does skillset trump cultural fit? Not exactly.

A candidate with great skills will require less on-the-job training, however, a candidate with great cultural fit possesses something that is oftentimes untrainable – the embodiment of your organisation’s values and the ability to work with the existing team.

In fact, teams that work well together are proven to be more successful than those that don’t. According to a recent survey, 86% of employees and executives say that a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.

Most of us won’t be lucky enough to find a candidate that perfectly aligns with our culture and has all of the desired skills and qualifications required. Just remember – each employee is an individual within your company. With little time and training, an employee who initially lacked certain abilities, but fit in perfectly with the organisation, can flourish into a skilled team member.

So, it looks like you can have both.

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