Adding new members to a team is difficult. Not only does the new hire need to have a specific set of skills to perform a certain job, but they also need to fit in as a new “work family” member. It becomes very complicated to find the perfect match in terms of education, experience, skills, and personality.

Determining cultural fit is one of the most complex points in the hiring process. Not understanding or taking cultural fit into consideration can be an expensive mistake. It is easy to get caught up in a candidate’s resume or appearance, though neither are great indicators of personality and cultural fit.

How does one determine cultural fit? First, recognize and disregard personal bias based upon first impressions. Dig deeper. Some of the most important questions to ask aren’t about education or work experience at all. What types of non-technical skills does the candidate possess and how would they impact the position? How would their most notable personality traits fit into the office environment?

During the interview, be sure to discover what motivates the candidate. This is essential information to establish whether the candidate would be a good, long-term fit with the organization.

Once the ideal candidate is hired, ensure they feel welcome and prepared with a thoughtful on-boarding process. Introduce them personally to their new co-workers, and encourage team bonding activities. Check in periodically with both the new hire and their team members to verify the new employee is settling in well.

Many people spend more time at the office than at home during the week, and co-workers often become like a second family. Strategically determining and accounting for cultural fit during the hiring process will make your teams happier, more efficient, and more collaborative.