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The importance of cultural fit in finance and accounting

accounting, finance, company culture...

As a task and process-heavy department, finance and accounting recruitment tends to focus on the hard, technical skills a candidate can bring to the organisation. While finding a candidate to match the necessary technical skills is clearly critical, onboarding candidates who are the right fit culturally can be the difference between a high turnover of staff and a loyal, dedicated team. 

Hiring for cultural fit vs hiring for skills

Recruiting a candidate for their skills alone risks having to re-recruit for the position in the short term. Not only is this expensive it creates a wider impact in the business, the knock-on effect that rapid turnover has on existing staff. Making sure cultural fit features as part of your finance and accounting recruitment strategy is key to achieving a workforce that is content, thriving and productive.

What is ‘culture fit’? 

This can be an ambivalent term so make sure senior management agree on a meaningful definition of a company culture in the first place before deciding what your company culture is. Being vague about what cultural fit is and what yours looks like risks, at best, your efforts to incorporate it into your recruitment strategy redundant or, worse, detrimental.

It might effectively be considered the ethos behind your business - beyond the ‘what’ (that you buy, sell, do)’ it’s the ‘how’ and the ‘why’. What are your guiding values, ethos and working environment? Is yours a fairly formal, corporate organisation, or are you relaxed and informal? Hierarchical or fluid? Establishing your company culture and what exactly that means to you requires some self-reflection and honest appraisal. 

Communicating that effectively during your recruitment process allows the candidate to determine if you are a fit for them, and vice versa.

Be careful not to conflate company culture to hiring mirror images of the management team as diversity of thought, perspectives and backgrounds is vital to a team that thrives. It is shared work principles and practices that unites, not ‘sameness’. 

The benefits of ensuring cultural fit:

  • It ensures a dynamic and harmonious working environment

  • If employees at all levels share a common ethos and working style, friction is far less likely to occur. 

  • It can lead to better work and happier employees

  • When people can work and get on with their colleagues and appreciate the wider values of the organisation, job satisfaction and employee engagement increase. According to Forbes, highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability for the entire company.

  • Those who fit the culture and company are likelier to be more productive and to become ambassadors for the organisation, the result is a positive to employer brand, possibly even for the brand more broadly.

  • It can positively impact staff retention and your bottom line

  • When employees are a good cultural fit, as we have discussed above, they’re generally happier and work better together. However, they are also more inclined to work for you for longer, reducing your staff turnover and the prices and costs that come from continual recruitment to replace employees. Indeed, 89% of employees who leave a new role is due to a bad cultural fit.

  • Reducing staff turnover also creates a better perception of you as an employer, attracting higher-calibre talent to your vacancies and allowing you to scale-up with key employees who are going to have a positive and lasting impact on your organisation. 

The challenges of implementing cultural fit:

  • An unclear understanding of your own company culture

  • Not knowing how to assess cultural fit during the CV review and interview stages

  • Time and budget pressures brought on by the need to fill business-critical roles 

At Edward Mann, we would be happy to offer bespoke support to help you find the right cultural fit for your finance and accounting recruitment. With our extensive database and deep networks,we source high-calibre candidates to suit the specific needs of your business goals to make sure you’re equipped for the future.

Get in touch today and find out how we can help