April 27, 2021

151: How to Hire for Values Fit (Not Culture Fit) with Bretton Putter

No one wants to be part of a team where they don’t feel like they fit in. But hiring for ‘culture fit’ has lots of unintended consequences. So how do we hire great people who will thrive within our team or organization without relying on ‘that good feeling you got during the interview’?

Today’s guest is Bretton Putter. Brett is an expert in company culture development who is consulted by companies and leaders worldwide to help design, develop and build high-performing cultures. He is the CEO of CultureGene, a culture leadership software and services platform. Prior to founding CultureGene Brett spent 16 years as the Managing Partner of a leading executive search firm based in London working with startups and high-growth companies in the UK, Europe and USA. In 2018 he published his first book, Culture Decks Decoded and his second book Own Your Culture: How to Define, Embed and Manage your Company Culture in September 2020.

Brett and I talk about how to hire and onboard a new team member who will contribute to and thrive within your organizational culture. We talk about whether there is such a thing as culture fit, how to hire for values fit and what to do if your company or team doesn’t have explicit values, and what onboarding is really all about.

Get 15% off on the CultureGene culture development program, plus a free PDF copy of the book Culture Decks Decoded and a PDF of chapter 5 ‘The Interview Process’ from the new book Own Your Culture when you become a member at themodernmanager.com/join. Plus, 5 community members will receive a complimentary culture consultancy call to discuss how to build or strengthen their culture or adapt to remote or hybrid work. (Available to the first five members to claim this call).

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Read the related blog article: Don’t Hire for Culture Fit. Hire For Values Fit.


Website: https://www.culturegene.ai/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brettonputter/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrettonPutter

Key Takeaways:

  • Don’t hire for culture-fit, hire for values-fit.
  • Hiring based on culture relies on gut instinct and personal preference versus what we believe in and how we want to operate.
  • To figure out your team’s values, have your team create a list of what they believe is important to the team. Narrow the list down to no more than 6 core values. Be explicit about what behaviors you expect from each of those values.
  • When interviewing, ask the interviewee to tell a story about when they exemplified one of your team’s core behaviors. Ask follow-up questions to dig deeper to understand their story, the context and their approach to the value. The more vivid and believable the story, the more the candidate lives those values.
  • Use the job description, interview process, and onboarding as a way to educate the candidate on your team culture and values.
  • Start onboarding a new hire 30 days before their start date. Send a series of emails and videos that start to build trust and relationships with the new hire’s team mates before he begins working.
  • We don’t need to be in person to communicate our values. Use opportunities such as team meetings to demonstrate your values in action, by showcasing stories of team members exemplifying a team value.

Additional Resources:


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