You’ve interviewed what seems like a never-ending stream of candidates for your open position and narrowed the field down to a handful of qualified applicants. Relevant experience: check. Educational requirements: check. Technical skills: check. Soft skills: check. With all of the candidates hitting all of these marks, what could possibly go wrong?

A lot. While all of the requirements above are important, they neglect what many consider to be the most important trait to identify in a potential hire – cultural fit. It’s not enough that successful applicants have the aptitude to perform the job. To be truly successful a new employee must fit into your corporate culture and be aligned with your company’s values. How do you assess a candidate’s likelihood to be a fit or a mismatch? To identify the candidate who best fits into your organization you must be deliberate in your assessment. I follow this three-step approach.

Create a profile

You know your corporate culture and values well. You also know what traits successful current, and former employees had. Translate these traits into a profile describing the perfect hire. It is also helpful to write down the not-so-desirable traits so you can avoid those.

Address and assess during the interview

Perhaps the most important part of an interview is to determine if the candidate is a good cultural fit. Use open-ended questions to get the candidate to tell you stories about how they have handled specific situations in the past. This will provide you with insight into their problem-solving skills, and how they relate to other stakeholders.

Additionally, I recommend a separate social interview. Meet informally with the candidate and a cross-section of the team they will be working with. This will give you a glimpse of how the applicant may interact with other team members if hired.

Research the candidate

Researching a candidate can reveal a lot about their personality, behavior, and way of thinking. In addition to performing a thorough criminal background check make sure you research the candidate’s online profiles via social media platforms, et al. Getting a peek into their lives outside of your organization can prove helpful in determining if they will fit into your team. Finally, follow up with every reference.

Hiring an employee who fits into your operation like a glove doesn’t have to be impossible, or even difficult if you prepare and take a deliberate approach.

Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.