Can assessments help identify candidates who will fit our culture?


In a recent survey of 495 human resource managers conducted by The Society for Human Research Management, 71% of respondents noted that the “tests can be useful in predicting job related behavior or ‘fit’ with a company’s culture.”  Oftentimes, little is gained if a person is simply good at his or her job, but does not share the organization’s values, philosophy, and mission.  Carr’s assessment process not only identifies targeted performance characteristics, but also thoughtfully examines how these characteristics, in combination, speak to cultural fit.


When examining culture more in-depth, it is important to remember the following:


Culture flows from the Top – Regardless of your mission statement, philosophies, and truths, employees look to their leaders to see what they care about which determines directly what is followed and, sometimes more importantly, what is ignored.

Culture cannot be faked – Well, in actuality, a leader can try and be something he or she is not values-wise, but such a façade typically cannot be maintained when pressure mounts, in novel situations, and/or during periods of uncertainty.  In such scenarios, the real you often comes out (individuals tend to “default” to their more natural self).

Cultural Values are tough to define – On many blogs and posts, when experts are asked how to define this elusive concept, the solution that keeps coming up is “going into a room and hashing these out.”  Doing so, fails to gauge what is truly going on within the organization – the ideal and the actual are many times not one and the same.

There is no “right culture” – Consultants often claim that “the best culture is an engaged culture where employees get a voice in shaping direction.”  The problem here is that ideals (engaged employees) and activities (giving them the right to help make decisions) are not mutually inclusive.  The research is clear: only 30% of employees actually want this right, 30% of them want this right, but only when the organization asks them to do something they do not want to do, and 30% do not want this right at all and it has nothing to do with engagement.  In short, emulating Apple will not lead to performance.


In summary, the complexities and subtleties of culture are quite difficult to identify and incorporate in isolation.  An outside entity such as Carr can step in and provide well-tested measures and metrics to better “flesh these out” and give you greater success in practicing these company-wide.