Hire for a Better Cultural Fit Using Video Interviews

For decades, researchers have studied what makes one person a more successful hire in an organization than another.  In 1975, researcher John Morse found that employees placed in jobs that were “congruent” with their personality reported more positive feelings associated with their job- feelings of increased job competency, higher self-esteem, and an overall feeling of enhanced well-being.  It’s no surprise that decades later, the recruiting industry has embraced the concept of hiring for cultural fit

Hiring for cultural fit means finding the right employee who fits in with the group’s shared vision, values, and work culture.  This can be a difficult task for recruiters seeking to fill the position with the most talented individuals.  How do recruiters determine whether the candidate would fit in with the group as a successful employee?  How do they pinpoint the behaviors, attitudes, or values that may be out of sync with the team?

Increasingly, recruiters are turning to video interviews to provide the advantage in hiring for cultural fit.   This impressive technology is allowing recruiters, who are already experts at reading people and analyzing their skill set, to move beyond and determine how well the candidate will fit in with the team.  This has resulted in better hires overall across industries.


Video Interviews and Cultural Fit: the Secret Weapon


From the candidate perspective, cultural fit has become a key reason behind their decisions to join one organization over another.  According to Tiny Pulse, employees who feel their company culture is poor are 15% more likely to start looking for another job.  Additionally, employees with no access to cross- training are 10% less likely to stay at their jobs.  Unfortunately, if employees leave their position, the costs to recruit, hire, and train a new employee can be outstanding.  Resoomay cites these so-called bad hires produce a -298% return on investment and can cost an organization up to 50% of their annual salary in lost productivity, hiring costs, and more.  This suggests that employers should be looking closer at cultural fit when hiring a new employee. It’s important to determine up front whether a candidate might potentially sink in their new position or swim to glory.  Using video interviews, employers have an opportunity to more successfully hire for cultural fit.  Consider the following ways you can use video interviews to hire for cultural fit:

  • Conduct panel interviews.  What better way to determine whether a candidate would be the right cultural fit for an organization than to let the team interview the candidate?  Panel interviews are excellent opportunities to involve the team in the decision making process.  Right away, the team will be able to tell whether or not that candidate will fit into their working style, if they can keep up with the pace of activities, and if there are lacking soft skills.  Diverse panel interviews are also a great way to involve multiple voices from within the company in the interviewing process.  This enhances an employer’s ability to hire for cultural fit and to identify the potential for success.
  • Introduce the company and its culture with a welcome video.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, video must be worth a million.  People are visual creatures and prefer video content to written statements about the company culture.  Candidates prefer to see the team in action and thriving in the work environment as well.  No list of vague statements about company culture in a job posting will obtain the same results as a welcome video in your video interview environment.  Put the team on display in their natural environment, interview team members about their work day, and let candidates see the culture they might be joining.  These are all great ways to signal to a candidate whether or not they may be an appropriate cultural fit for the team.
  • Ask screening questions that uncover work styles and values.  Often, what makes a candidate a poor fit for a company’s culture is a mismatch between work styles and values.  It can be detrimental to sell the company to candidates as a laid back organization when it’s really fast paced and deadline driven.  Different kinds of employees will be attracted to these positions as one may thrive in one environment over another.  In the initial video interview screening, send the candidate a list of questions intended to communicate how they work best on the job.  When the recruiting team receives their video interview on demand, they can filter through responses for those that identify closest with the company’s culture.
  • Offer assessments in a live video interview.   Assessments can be very helpful to employers seeking to match working styles and values with an existing team.  Consider the kinds of values your most successful employees possess and how to recognize those traits in candidates applying to be a part of the team.  This can enhance your success in hiring for cultural fit.


When it comes to hiring for cultural fit, there are many ways in which employers can go wrong.  Sometimes, despite best efforts, team members miss the brilliant jerk in the talent pool.  However, video interviews offer many ways in which an employer can weed out candidates that won’t fit into the existing team at a fraction of the effort.


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