Lack of cultural fit is a key reason for employees to leave a role

21 June 2016

The importance of cultural fit cannot be underestimated in attracting and retaining talent. Research by leading global recruitment firm Robert Half confirms three out of four CFOs and finance directors have lost a staff member because he/she wasn’t a good fit with the company’s work environment.

Lack of cultural fit is a common reason for employees to seek a new role, and failing to consider this factor during the recruitment process can be a costly oversight for employers. Yet two-thirds (66%) of CFOs and finance directors admit to having misjudged a candidate’s fit with the organisation’s culture on at least one occasion.

David Jones, Senior Managing Director Robert Half Asia Pacific said: “Successfully hiring any position in an organisation requires more than just finding someone who can do the job. Taking the time to asses a candidate’s cultural fit is also important. A good fit can lead to higher job satisfaction and see employees more engaged in their role as well as boosting loyalty to their employer, potentially enhancing retention rates.”

Throughout the recruitment process it is essential to determine if the candidate at hand will fit well within the company. There are several stages in the recruitment process that can provide insights in the matter: 38% of finance leaders find the face to face interview the most important element in providing insights into a job candidate’s potential fit, followed by 20% who refer to personality or competency questionnaire, and 14% that identify the CV as being the most important element. 

With only 13% saying a probationary period provides the greatest insights into a fit with corporate culture, it seems such test periods haven’t gained traction and finance leaders are putting more emphasis on the actual recruitment process.

“Being mindful of corporate culture and how well a candidate will fit in within a team is an essential part of the hiring process. It can be tempting to solely focus on skills and qualifications but checking whether a candidate’s personality matches the corporate work environment makes good business sense too,” David Jones said.

Which one of the following provides the greatest insight into a job candidate's potential fit with the corporate culture?

Face to face interview 38%
Personality or competency questionnaire 20%
CV or resume 14%
New employee probation period 13%
Phone interview 8%
Situational or simulation test 4%
References 3%

Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 300 Australian CFOs and finance directors.

David Jones concluded: “Importantly, this cultural fit works both ways. Just as business leaders need to consider what their corporate culture looks like, candidates should consider what type of culture they are best suited to. This highlights the need for candidates to ask about company culture before accepting a job offer.”

Questions hiring managers can ask to determine a good cultural fit

Several key questions can help employers decide how well an employee is suited to their company’s corporate culture:

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What are some of the characteristics of your ideal workplace?
  • Describe the best manager you have ever worked for?
  • What do you like most about your current co-workers?

Questions job seekers can ask to determine a good cultural fit

Candidates need to pose questions of their own to ensure a good candidate/corporate match, including:

  • How would you describe your company’s work environment and the team?
  • What is the dress code – formal or casual?
  • Are projects individually driven or team-oriented?
  • Is the office open plan or divided into smaller sections?


About the research

The annual study is developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm, surveying 300 Chief Financial Officers (CFO) and finance directors in Australia. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.

Contact Us


Gabrielle Nagy  
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
Tel: 02 8028 7751
Email: [email protected]

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