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Ultimate guide on how to assess cultural fit while hiring remotely!

November 18, 2021

The importance of remote culture, and cultural fit, at least now in the age of social networks, in which the never-ending gossip is the game battalion even within the businesses, even among the small ones, is the main concern of the founder and recruiters. By the growth of the people who work remotely, it took new facets we need to be aware of.  

Even before the pandemic, the number of our colleagues working remotely had increased. As a matter of fact, over 29% of the American workforce will be working remotely through 2022. It is also reported that 22% of the workforce (36.2 Million Americans) will work remotely by 2025 even in the post-pandemic era. In the UK, circumstances are the same. A study evinces around 1.7 million people in the UK mainly work from home, which may seem like quite a large figure. 

Even in my small business, we had to turn to be hybrid as well; 50% of my hiring has been carried out remotely. This percentage in 2013 was 10% which related to pregnant women of the country or some major students. Thus, we didn’t need to assess and hire for the remote culture that much. 

But now, a large part of the workforce is working from home. Overall, it is reported that the future of labor will be remotely pro-freedom. According to an exciting study,  remote workers make 8.3 percent more than non-remote workers with the same experience doing the same job (controlled) and 7.5 percent more than non-remote workers generally (uncontrolled). 

In order to better recruit troops, we need to have a comprehensive assessment of individuals, and remote culture is an integral part of our affairs.  It is not that difficult task that to comprehend how we can have a comprehensive assessment, but it cannot be done without a roadmap that more or less defines us. So in this article, I try to convey to you in the form of experience what I have done during my 10 years of work as a founder/recruiter for different startups such as my recent one QPage

All in all, ensuring cultural fit when hiring remotely is highly critical and also a needed step; otherwise, how can we choose a good employee for hard times? 

Hence, the remote culture and cultural fit is our business in the following. 

What is the cultural fit at work?

The first step is building our proper understanding of the subject. The proper culture, or the remote culture, or better to say the cultural fit, here is rolling over on how well an employee adheres to the values, ubiquitous practices, and beliefs of an organization. In short, do they complement or improve the way of their colleagues at work? Do they feel comfortable being in the atmosphere that their company values ​​and beliefs have created?

Simply, the cultural fit is about the personality and not whether you like someone or not. What you need to evaluate is how well a candidate fits in with the morale of the co-workers and the environment in which s/he potentially joins.

After it, you need to define the culture of your organization and in this regard, there are 4 main cultural orders that can be considered as the basic concepts:

  1. Clan Culture.
  2. Adhocracy Culture.
  3. Market Culture.
  4. Hierarchy Culture.


Assessing the remote culture status

Open out, this new work condition made us be faced with many problems. One of them indissolubly wicked ones put our cultural values at risk. It is the problem if you don’t care about it, and can make a wide domino of related issues ahead. Nevertheless, we can tackle the issue with some measures through which a suitable remote work environment will be shaped. 

In this regard, the question is how to assess employees’ cultural fit when we are hiring remotely?

To be more explicit, every company has its own organizational identity, and this is the footstone of the cultural fit. This draws the lines, and with these defined boundaries you are able to make out if some specific behaviors embedded themselves within the outfit or vice versa.

On the other hand, we had some among hiring teams who are always obsessed with checking out employees’ behaviors. Henceforth, it seems that we’ve lost our sense of cultural fit. For instance, a manager had stated a policy regime years ago once I was a little junior at an international corporate, instead of a human resources circle. They had been observing every move the staff made. It doesn’t work, the surveillance assessment, but a more lenient approach does. But saying that is easier than done.

Make long story short, cultural-fit in a conceptual definition is the way through which your workplace environment can make out how to align with the company goal. Beliefs, values, procedures, principles, ethics etc. And in this context we assess and hire for the remote culture nowadays more that the past. A great deal of your fulfillment at any company is determined by the extent to which the values of the people and the organization align with your own. It’s hard to assess culture from the outside and most companies are not good at describing their own nature. (How do fish describe water?)

1.   Ask probing cultural fit questions

Asking the right questions to assess and fix hermetically is the next step. According to the survey in 2018, 97% of recruiters corroborated that being culturally fit is an essential part of recruiting process, and one reason for this is that there is always a tendency to hire for the long term. Organizations are thinking on a sustainable staff nowadays, and owing to this, notwithstanding the fact that flexibility in freelance working has been raised, long-lasting collaborations are really fruitful for us. It’s a fact that people who are fit culturally can gather and mingle with each other friendly and this reduces the anxiety and other psychological issues that have spread in offices right now. 

Well, let’s consider the way we can assess and hire for the remote culture by cultural fit principles when we are hiring remotely. There are 3 main types of questions with which you can assess the cultural fit of whom you are about to hire, especially for a remote position. 

✔   Firstly, ask the candidate about the atmosphere they like a workplace to have. If they like it disciplined, or an openly tolerant one would be pleasurable.

✔   Secondly, you need to use a psychometric assessment to dig up more information about the candidate. While you gather more data about your candidate, and if it was deeper, then it would clear out if he or she is fit culturally or not.

✔   Finally, it would be illuminating to speak out directly on their routine. But make it genuine. Let them feel comfortable being in their skins. 

In general, you should be able to assess whether the candidate is fit in your workspace culture. While you have more information about your fiancé de position, and it is deeper, then it is clear whether s/he is culturally appropriate or not. QPage is a platform providing the whole assessing and candidate evaluation process.

2.   Using high-Quality Video application!

The best, easiest, and most effective way to do an interview while hiring remotely, is to carry out a video interview with the interviewee. In this situation, the way they present themselves to you, the background, the mood they are in, will all convey some valuable pieces of information. Thus, you need a tête-à-tête conversation. 

I remember a web developer who had a very strange accent. I didn’t see him and I can say that I never had such an otherworldly voice of a boy in his early 20s. He seemed a bit drunk all the time, and this made me nervous. One day I took my cell phone and texted him we need to talk face-to-face via Meet. Surprisingly, our envisage was quite ordinary because he had just had some teeth surgery. I was just a bit paranoid around him. 

So, it could be grasped that things such as emails, texting or similar ways of corresponding aren't as effective as direct communication. If we can get them to be honest with us in a comfortable and genuine way, this is a way to get along with people to follow our values. 


3.   Keep out mistaken candidates: how to assess and hire for remote culture infallibly  

To hire a remote employee infallibly, we need to find out common mistakes by recruiters. There are two major errors you must avoid making.

Ask about remote work experience

In the case of hiring remotely, if I want to draw on my personal experience, I never asked if the candidates had experience working remotely yet. This was because there was a presumption that teleworking was not much different from office work. My view was, well, work is work!

On the one hand, some recruiters are still in the same raw fantasy. But you have to ask yourself, will these people be busy? Will they enjoy working remotely and can they really grow up in your workplace environment?

As a final point, As CEO, do not ask the recruiter if they "like" a candidate - this has different consequences for different people. Try to move accurately and explicitly towards the subject. You control transparency. Previous experience tells us that hiring agents use the phrase "I loved them" as a short term for many concepts.

It is even more important for those who are going to work remotely to know that the recruiter has selected them based on a set of specific and relevant criteria. This is something I have encountered a lot in the past, but over time, I have seen that as senior managers become more aware, recruiters are doing better at the task.

As the process progressed, we’ve learned the best indicator of candidate's suitability, is whether they have been taught to be familiar with the difficulties of WFH so far.

Ask why the candidate wants to work remotely

People who could not even manage their personal affairs are really dirty when it comes to working remotely. So logical reasons are needed to work with a person as a remote force. It is important that they have a leadership spirit. See their personality test, and it can be a good assessment if they have leadership and personality traits.

To get it right, be sure to ask the candidate two key questions:

✔  Why did you choose to work remotely?

✔  Which part of life do you enable by being a remote professional?

It was with these two questions that I realized that Shivali is the right one to work remotely as an SDR from Dublin. She is someone who has never seen me, but it is enough for me to write a short message for her to guess the end of the story herself. She is an inborn entrepreneur.

4.   Assess remote work-related skills:

Using personality Tests!  

People want to work away for a variety of reasons. If someone wants to progress and not find a decent job in the place that has been settled, why not give him the opportunity to work remotely ?

It is important that we give the same dignity to those who work with us. One reason is that many people still do not have much respect for someone who works from home. Again, it is important to note that remote workers are not paid more because they work remotely. It is not that good for our organizations. 

However, those who work from home have strange abilities. They are more patient, passionate and cheerful. It is indeed increased our overall productivity by 80%! They are self-taught, progressive and more pro-freedom. If these characteristics are not present in your job vacancy, know that you are choosing the wrong person, and you will have faced the troubles that this person will definitely cause to your organization during the work cycle. Let’s check some facts on suitable candidates for a remote positions:

✔  One must be able to adapt to the asynchronies that occur in working remotely.

✔  Working remotely requires laser discipline and superhuman focus.

✔  Those who are able to continue working are automatic and self-starters. They have the creativity and the courage to act sovereignly.

✔  A person who specializes in long-distance communication, without any operation, makes the organizational belonging and cultivates the organizational harmony.

✔  Digital literacy is one of the most important pieces of knowledge that one who works remotely should be aware of.

✔  They are leaders by nature.

✔  They have empathy with others.

Latterly, the result of a survey in Canada has revealed that approximately 69 percent of the employee’s surveyed cited higher productivity when working remotely, and 75 percent of those surveyed said the timeliness of their work improved. This might have been caused by the strong character of remote workers. 

Personality assessment is one of the important tests that help us to know people with a wide spectrum of facets. From Social Boldness to Emotional stability. A recruiter needs to measure personal characteristics of a candidate to be inline with the job itself. So, carrying out a personality test online can help you to know them better. QPage provides position based psychometric assessments to help hiring team decide unbiasedly and data-driven.

5.   Include probation period

Once the candidate is finally found, do not go for a long-term contract first. First, try to reach an agreement with the candidate to work with him for a few months as a probation period. Indeed, many remote companies use trial courses to ensure they are confident before making an offer. A pilot course not only allows you to see how skilled a candidate is for a job, but you can also see how well he or she can learn and how integrated he or she is well-adjusted with your distance position. After completing this course and ensuring cultural fit and other aspects, you should try to keep your telecommuter with the right behavior. 

Final words 

98% of employers and 97% of professionals agree that cultural fit between employees and workplace is momentous even while we work remotely. Hence, if you choose the right person to work remotely, it can be a holy grail for both of you, both the employee and the company; it could be something that businesses have always been waiting for. But if the character of the person who is going to work with you from home is not suitable, or even does not have a suitable environment at home, this can be problematic.

For this reason, the assessment of cultural fit is considered crucial by the experts. Streamline your hiring workflow for free with QPage Now.


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