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Job-Seeker Competitive Advantage: The Link Between Personal Core Values and “Culture Fit”


When organizations (wisely) “hire for cultural fit”, they are showing a commitment to brand, company culture and employee engagement, productivity, and they’re better able to attract and retain top talent. Does this impact their bottom line? You bet. Does hiring a poor cultural fit impact their bottom line? You bet.


Hiring for cultural fit – at the end of the day – means that an organization’s talent acquisition team has spent the time to ensure that they bring in employees who have the right combination of attributes: education, relevant and real-world work experience, technical skill, and knowledge. It also means that the team brings in employees whose beliefs, values, and behaviours align to those of the organization. Don’t mistake this for bringing in all “like-minded” people with the same roadmap of experience; that’s a death knell to creativity, diversity of thought, innovation. Hiring for cultural fit means that you’re bringing in people with different perspectives, but together, they shape the culture of an organization.


So, just what is “culture” in an organization?


While the definition of “company culture” may well vary between organizations, commonly it is defined by the mission, vision, and values that steer day-to-day processes and create a blueprint for expected behaviour in a company. One thing is for certain: culture defines the organization and recruiters have to see that you can fit within it. It is better for you (if your values align to the organization’s, you’re going to be more engaged) and it is better for them (a happier employee is an employee that stays and engages/contributes in a meaningful way).


“How can I get invited for an interview to even get the chance to show that I am a potential cultural fit?”


If this question hasn’t been one that you’ve asked yourself, it should be. Thinking from the perspective of an organization’s talent acquisition team, you know it is their accountability to hire for skill and cultural fit. Remember the impact this has on bottom line! So, what if there was a way that you could increase the odds that a recruiter can see you as a [potential] cultural fit at the pre-interview stage of the recruitment cycle? You can’t get your dream job if you don’t get invited for an interview; this is always about increasing your competitive advantage early on in your job search. Enter personal core values. You’ve got them, we’ve all got them…but most people underestimate the power of showing them to the world.


Personal Core Values

They are the core of you, personal core values. Whether you’re consciously aware of them or not, they drive your actions and decisions every day of your life. And spending time in self-exploration to really distill what yours are is never time poorly spent. Think of it this way…have you ever been asked to do something at work that inherently feels wrong? Perhaps someone has asked you to sacrifice quality in order to meet a deadline. You do it because you have been asked to, but you go home at night and it weighs on your mind. This is something to seriously pay attention to. Chances are the discomfort comes from a personal core value being betrayed. Maybe quality is a core value of yours and when you had to sacrifice it, your value compass felt in flux.


Defining, understanding, and being able to show your personal core values to others allows them to picture how you may fit into their organization. By providing a snapshot of your personal core values as part of your applicant package, you are providing a deeper and more well-rounded story of you. This is your competitive advantage. Give a recruiter ALL the right reasons to invite you in for an interview. And here’s a bit of a sidebar: when you really understand your own personal core values, you may hold those up against the organizations you’re applying to: do they have similar values? If so, that’s a great indicator that you could be really engaged and happy working there.


Cultural fit. Personal core values. They go hand in hand and, as such, you need to communicate your values early on to secure interviews. SparksResults can help you define, distill, and present your unique personal core values to potential employers – we’d be pleased to help you in this critical journey of self-discovery.


Click here to learn more!


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