2 Out of 3 Companies Have Lost Employees Who Didn’t Fit the Company Culture


2 Out of 3 Companies Have Lost Employees Who Didn’t Fit the Company Culture by @HRTMExec


In many ways, landing the right employee is similar to playing the popular game show, “Wheel of Fortune.” You’re competing with other contestants (companies) to solve puzzles and win big prizes (employees) while sidestepping those pesky landmines like candidates whose actions can bankrupt your company. You’re also doing more than a fair amount of guess work during the interviews: Is there a “T” as in “teamwork?” or “Is there a “C” as in “critical thinking?”

And as with any game of guessing, there will be mistakes. According to a recent OfficeTeam survey of more than 300 HR managers in companies with at least twenty employees, 64% of respondents admitted that they were wrong regarding how well a candidate would fit with the company and 66% admitted that they lost an employee who wasn’t a good fit with the company’s culture.

The survey, conducted by an independent research firm, asked HR mangers to what extent did they agree with the statement “On at least one occasion in the past, I’ve misjudged a job candidate’s fit with the company’s work environment.”

Strongly agree


Somewhat agree


Somewhat disagree


Strongly disagree


Don’t know




They were also asked to what extent they agreed with the statement, “My company has lost a staff member because he or she wasn’t a good fit with the company’s work environment.”

Strongly agree


Somewhat agree


Somewhat disagree


Strongly disagree


Don’t know




* Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding

OfficeTeam Corporate Culture Infographic

Unlike a game show, guessing wrong can have implications that reverberate throughout the organization. According to Robert Hosking, Executive Director of OfficeTeam, there are several disadvantages of hiring an employee who isn’t a match with the company’s culture. “If the corporate culture doesn’t align with an employee’s work style and personality, the professional’s morale and work performance may suffer.”

He says that if the employee leaves, the company will need to start from square one to find a replacement. “Lost time, energy and money are just a few consequences employers face when they hire someone who isn’t a good match for their work environment.” Hosking adds, “A manager’s judgment also could come into question for choosing the wrong candidate for the job.”

That’s why it’s critical for companies to ensure that candidates are well-suited for their work environment. And while companies should try to create a positive work environment, Hosking warns that they can’t be all things to all people. “What’s important to one employee might not be important to another. So companies should try to attract the types of people they think will thrive in their work environment.”

He also says employers should maximize the interview by asking questions to help assess a job seeker’s personality and work style, and recommends open-ended interview questions that reveal a candidate’s past experience on the job to help determine if the individual will be a good fit. For example:

  • What type of work environment brings out your best performance?
  • What type of work environment are you least likely to thrive in?
  • What did you like best/least about your last job and why?
  • Considering your greatest accomplishments in previous roles, what were the factors that allowed you to be successful?

Besides the interview, there are other steps that you can take to increase your chances of making the best hire. Hosking provides the following 6 tips:

  1. Create finely-tuned job descriptions that attract the specific talent you need.

  2. Don’t procrastinate when you identify strong applicants or you risk losing them to competitors.

  3. Work with a specialized recruiter. These firms have access to a vast network of professionals – including those who are not actively applying for another position but may be open to a new opportunity.

  4. Consider bringing in candidates on a temporary or project basis to assess their performance before making a full-time job offer.

  5. Paying more than competitors is still one of the best ways to attract top talent.

  6. Highlight the company’s strong corporate culture, benefits packages, work/life balance offerings, and any other programs that would appeal to applicants.

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