Cultural fit is crucial – even for external experts
The ongoing shortage of skilled workers requires us to break new ground more and more often. Speed and professional qualifications are crucial when it comes to filling positions. In addition to professional qualifications, however, the specialists must also fit into the team. Finding this cultural fit requires experience and empathy. We give you 3 tips on how to achieve this.
The Corona crisis has only mitigated the much-cited shortage of skilled workers, but not stopped it. As a head of department or specialist area, you will certainly have had this experience too. Especially in MINT professions (mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology), there are many vacancies throughout Germany and it is difficult to recruit freelance experts for individual projects. If you have found someone who has the professional qualifications, it does not necessarily mean that he or she will fit into your team and the company. If this is not the case and the new expert is nevertheless hired, you will have to part with him or her again soon or he or she will leave voluntarily, if possible before the end of the probationary period. In any case, you need to find a replacement quickly. Sustainable staffing looks different because it takes cultural fit into account.
This cultural match or fit is attracting more and more attention in HR circles. After all, it determines how sustainable a job filling is. This can also be reflected in your personnel budget. The better the respective specialist and manager fits into your team and company, the greater the chance that they will stay longer and not leave or have to leave after just a few months.
By the way, cultural fit in STEM professions has little or nothing to do with national-cultural identity. Did you know that in the 1980s, the TU Berlin was considered the second largest Turkish university in the world? Maybe it still is. Mother tongue doesn’t matter either, especially in large companies, because the business language is often English anyway.
In order to find the right candidate for the job or project profile advertised, it is advisable to follow these three tips.
Why cultural fit is so important – even reciprocally
Cultural fit means that the experts also fit in with the company or your team in terms of values and working methods. Many young professionals from generations Y to Z, for example, want the company or team in question to match their values and wishes in terms of a better work-life balance.
This also needs to be taken into account when filling vacancies. A major issue here is employer branding. Not only your company, but you yourself as the head of the department often see yourself in the same role as the applicant – in this case, the expert or the specialist or the expert. From this reciprocal point of view of the candidates, Cultural Fit also has approaches of New Work, as originally intended by Frithjof Bergmann around 1980, according to t3n. The Saxon-born U.S. philosopher did not use the term to refer to the digital foundations for flexible remote work, but rather to a new understanding of work with the central values of
Independence, freedom and participation in the community. In this respect, cultural fit must be measured not only by the employee, but increasingly also by the employer, according to the t3n article. As described there, collaboration often fails because new employees are not flexible enough to deviate from the course after failures. As a personnel decision-maker in a specialist department, you don’t have to take all the sensitivities and sensitivities of the applicants into account. In a one- or two-hour interview, it is often not even possible to check them for their cultural fit.
1: Meeting demand in the short term is not everything
Traditionally, many talents and companies prefer permanent employment. On the part of companies or individual business units, this is still the tried-and-true path when it comes to filling new or existing positions on a long-term basis. But often companies or departments, such as yours, are only interested in covering their short-term needs with freelancers or other specialists from outside, for example by hiring out experts for individual projects. For more on this, see point 3. Whether you are looking for a permanent employee or a short-term replacement, you should always keep an eye on the cultural fit. This is very important for sustainable staffing or long-term collaboration with external experts. And so cultural fit is also the key to the success of the company and your team.
Statt Abteilungen und festen Teams gibt es nun wechselnde „Squads“ und „Tribes“ sowie „Expertise Teams“, die für einzelne Projekte unternehmensübergreifende Kompetenzen bündeln. Der Vorstandschef des Unternehmens hat sich an die Spitze der agilen Bewegung gesetzt und selbst gelernt, sich zurückzunehmen – so wie die Leiter auf mittlerer Managementebene lernen mussten, in ihre neuen Rollen hineinzuwachsen.
2: STEM recruiting needs more flexibility
The Corona crisis has exacerbated the shortage of skilled workers in STEM professions. That’s because if you take the IT sector alone, companies around the world have suddenly had to switch to online commerce and send large portions, if not all, of their workforce to home offices. As a result, many companies have begun to fundamentally reorganize their IT and business processes. IT professionals are therefore more in demand than ever.
Thus, a tug-of-war for STEM professionals has begun. The choice of employment offers companies a high degree of flexibility. In this context, a permanent position brings long-term support for companies and a good perspective in the professional life for the skilled worker. For project-related, short-term needs, IT service providers with their own experts are also an option.
External specialists always bring fresh ideas to the company or team and have learned to quickly adapt to new projects. Due to the good situation
However, they are usually not actively looking for new jobs or orders on the market. In many cases, the application process itself has already been “reversed,” so that employers are asked to apply to the experts. This is referred to as reverse recruiting. From their point of view, the cultural fit is also quite decisive in terms of accepting the project or the job. “Permanent freelancers” are a good middle ground between permanent employment and the flexibility of freelancers for many companies and also for the experts themselves. Therefore, another option for meeting short- or long-term needs is the expert leasing offered by Computer Futures.
3: More flexibility with expert leasing
Many freelancers, especially in the IT environment, were booked up virtually around the clock in 2020. In addition to freelancers, temporary staffing experts are also becoming increasingly attractive to companies, as this type of employment offers yet another set of advantages. The demand for experts in employee leasing has more than doubled for computer futures since 2018. For companies, expert leasing is characterized by supplementing and relieving the workload of permanent staff and offers professionals the opportunity to be deployed in high-level positions, with all the benefits of permanent employment and freelancing. Companies thus gain a freer choice and more flexibility to fill positions on a long-term basis or for projects on a short- or medium-term basis. In any case, attention should be paid to the cultural fit in order to make the project a success.
It all comes down to the right intersection
When filling a position, it is important to find the right intersection between the applicant and your own team, both professionally and personally. As a department head or product owner, you often don’t have the time to examine the candidates for cultural fit in addition to their professional qualifications.
Computer Futures’ recruiters not only have many years of experience, but also have the necessary intuition or empathy to combine professional qualifications and cultural fit for sustainable staffing. You have the choice between permanent employment and flexible employment relationships with freelancers or self-employed persons and expert leasing. A very important USP of Computer Futures consultants is that they ask the right questions in each case to get to know the respective company and the candidates in detail and thus to see whether both sides fit together culturally. That is, after all, cultural fit.
Source coverimage: iStock /Laurence Dutton