The demand for ‘culture fit’ when hiring new staff has become increasingly common among digital businesses in recent years. In line with this trend, we have also seen a rise in employers choosing to turn down top candidates if they are not the right culture fit for their organisation and this is now one of if not the most commonly used reasons for rejecting an applicant.
When given the choice between a candidate who is an outstanding technical fit, and a second who is less technically adept but is an extremely strong culture fit, businesses commonly opt for the latter. We are finding that very few clients will sacrifice culture fit in these cases. Some of the commonalities among definitions by our clients of what would deem a candidate the right culture fit include; team player, collaborative, agile, accountable, customer-focused, forward-thinking and adaptable.
However, it’s not just businesses prioritising culture in the recruitment process - it works the other way too. Present day candidates position company culture fit in their top three ‘must haves’. There’s little surprise that the terms teamwork, progressive, open, inclusive, dynamic and fun are very commonplace in conversations with candidates, but in recent years there has been a meteoric rise in ‘dynamic working’. 
Dynamic working forms part of many company cultures in the present day but it’s only one of the many benefits an employee might experience working for a company that holds their culture in high regard. To name a few, employees at such companies often receive continued focus on their training and development, superb benefits to help maintain a healthy lifestyle, have fun at work, give back to the community through CSR initiatives, job share, progress quickly and have clearly communicated career paths/goals. 
Having a great culture requires a company to go beyond their mission statement. A strong culture is a direct reflection on how the company facilitates an environment where the mission statement and company values can actually be realised on a day-to-day level. Talented employees are the key to the success of every business and one of the main benefits of having a great culture that is well-defined and clearly communicated is that it can be a great tool in hiring and retaining the right calibre of people. In addition to this, it’s also known that a strong culture is one of the best ways to get the most out of individuals and teams in terms of output and productivity, so getting it wrong can have a huge adverse impact on both business costs and team performance.
Perhaps this explains why clients are prepared to sacrifice slightly on technical fit in favour of protecting their culture.
Michael Page Digital, a relatively new team within PageGroup, have developed a culture which promotes collaboration and customer-focused working in order to best serve the sector. Our team of expert consultants are driven, career-minded, and always success and service oriented. Each consultant brings a different dynamic to the table which enables us to offer a specialist boutique-like approach. We choose to operate in this way as it allows us to be fleet-footed in the same way a boutique agency can be, whilst maintaining the benefits associated with being part of a large global organisation. 
We provide national coverage to businesses and professionals, currently operating through a network of five offices across the UK. As with the rapidly expanding digital sector, we too continue to grow and are facing the same growing pains as our clients. Identifying, hiring, training and retaining the best people remains a key focus day in and day out. We place a huge emphasis on meeting as many clients and candidates as possible, this way we can better match on a cultural level, not just technical. 
We’re working hard to reinforce ourselves as a unique service provider which combines the individuality and agility of a boutique with the rigour, credibility and strength of reach that a global recruiter can offer.
During a recent conference involving our team, highlighted in the video above, we spent the day discussing what we believe to be our business’ key differentiating aspect that will help us become the market leader in the digital field - our culture. We pride ourselves on our unique and memorable service, our consultants are specialists in their field, driven, competitive, collaborative, social, agile, open and fun!
Are we right as an industry to place such a high level of importance on the culture of our teams and businesses? What extent do or should we go to in order to protect our company/team culture?
If you would like to discuss this topic further or for more information on how we can help you build a workforce and culture to best fit your organisation, contact our team of specialist consultants today.
David Slater
Operating Director, Michael Page Digital
T: +44 113 388 9073