Culture Fit as Part of a Role Description

Yesterday, I got a question from a participant in our Hiring Talent online program. In the Field Work assignment to create a Role Description (according to a specific template), the question came up.

I wasn’t sure about including the culture/values piece, as it is not something I typically see in role descriptions, however I felt strongly in doing so, as I think this is something that really lives in our organization, provides a compass for how decisions are made, how people interact, and is why we are able to attract and retain top talent.

Just curious – is the culture/value piece something you are seeing companies incorporate more and more into their role descriptions?

The culture/values piece is rare to find in a role description, but think about this.

What is culture? It is that unwritten set of rules, intentional or not, that governs the way we behave as a group. It governs the way we work together.

Here are the four criteria I interview for –
1. Capability for the level of work in the role (Time Span)
2. Skill (Technical knowledge and practiced performance)
3. Interest, passion (Value for the work)
4. Reasonable behavior (Habits, absence of an extreme negative temperament, -T)

The elements you describe in the Role Description, related to culture/values have a distinct place in the interview process. Where I can ask questions related to values, specifically value for the work we do, I am looking for interest or passion. Where I can ask questions related to habits, reasonable behavior, I am looking for fit with our culture.

These elements, interest, passion and culture fit are as critical to success as capability and skills. I look forward to seeing the questions generated by this Key Result Area in the Role Description.

If you would like more information about our online program Hiring Talent, let me know. I am gathering the next group to start on March 19, 2012.

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