How to Find Staff Who Fit YOUR Culture

What creates a successful culture?

One key aspect of creating a successful culture, is really understanding what your culture is and how it makes your business unique. Your culture is your competitive advantage. In a world where products and even services can be replicated by competitors, its culture that is your completely unique and sustainable competitive advantage.

In the same way that no two people are the same, no two companies are the same. There isn’t a particular type of culture that will make your business X% more profitable, implementing a culture that isn’t your own is likely to have an adverse effect. (Hence why trying to change it should only be in extreme cases).

How to understand your culture within your business 

To really understand your culture, it’s vital to sit down with trusted team members from a variety of levels. The culture at board level may differ to the culture at entry level - it’s important to understand these differences and how they affect your business.

Deduce what attributes your successful employees have, do they correlate with your culture? Following on from thinking about what negative traits unsuccessful employees have had. Why did they leave the business? You’d be surprised at how many of these negative traits are cultural.

Culture TIp:  “Think about what negative traits unsuccessful employees have had. Why did they leave the business?”


Once you understand what it is that makes your culture unique, the next step is protecting it. Whatever the size of your company it is important to hire people that fit into it, after all, one bad apple can spoil the bunch.

How to hire someone according to your culture - 3 killers questions.

It’s important to note that finding someone who fits your culture isn’t necessarily someone who will bring a breath of fresh air into your business. Often what you’re really looking for isn’t a someone who fits your culture, but a culture add.

The difficulty is to find someone similar enough seamlessly slot into the team, but someone original enough to push the boundaries and bring in some fresh ideas where necessary.

‘Birds of a feather flock together’

Interview questions

Knowing the importance of employing people who add to the culture, the difficult bit is working out who matches your requirements.

The recruitment process needs to be in place to allow the candidate to showcase what they can do and how they fit these values. The most important way for you to work them out is by asking the right questions at the interview.

Question #1: Why do you want to work for us?

Why ask it:

Although this might seem like a simple question many candidates fall at the first hurdle. This question is an opportunity to see not only if the candidate has put the effort in to research your company, but also see what the candidate prioritises from what their research has shown.

What to listen out for:

  • Whether or not the candidate has researched your company.
  • What specifically about your company the candidate has noted and prioritised?
  • Does it sound overly rehearsed or does it come across as genuine?

Question #2: Describe a time when you were tasked with something you didn’t know how to do and how you overcame it.

Why ask it:

The nature of a new job will entail new challenges and there is always a learning process involved. There will be times when a new employee will be challenged with something new, are they likely to take a risk and try something without guidance or are they more risk in their approach?

What to listen out for:

  • How comfortable are they admitting their lack of knowledge?
  • How self-aware do they seem? Do they know their own limitations? Did it take them a long time to think of something?
  • How did they overcome this challenge?

Question #3: Tell me about a time when something unfair happened at work.

Why ask it:

Frustration is something that is likely to happen in any job at some stage. When an employee gets frustrated it can have a profound effect on their colleagues and the business as a whole. The important aspect of this question is seeing how they handled their frustration, were they proactive in going to the source and talking about or did they let it fester and turn into something divisive in the team.

What to listen out for:

  • What does the candidate believe is unfair?
  • Did they take into account the accountability for the situation?
  • What effect did they let their frustration have on them? Did they channel it into something productive?

   “Hiring people is an art, not a science.” - Howard Schultz, Chairman of Starbucks


Your culture is the most important thing your company has whether your a manufacturing plant, a fabrication business or you distribute construction products - knowing what it is and how to manage it for success is the biggest sustainable competitive advantage your company can have.

Once you have the right people in place, keeping them motivated is the next challenge, why not check out our blog on 7 powerful ways to motivate your team.

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5th April