I often quote the statistic that the average job interview is only about 12% accurate when predicting job performance (eg Robertson and Smith 1989). There are a range of reasons for this, but one of them is the fact that we are all prey to biases.

There are many biases which have been identified in people, but one of my favourites is the False Consensus Effect (Ross et al 1977). You have seen this yourself on many occasions. This is where a person has a particular opinion on something or someone and they assume that everyone else will think the same way.

Here is how it works in a recruitment setting. Bill Smith the interviewer meets a candidate. He doesn’t like the person. He concludes that the person is not a culture match for the organisation because, after all, everybody will feel the same way about this person, won’t they?

Here is the evidence based way to achieve culture match:

  1. Identify a group of employees you consider to be good examples of your corporate culture
  2. Psych test them for Personality (HEXACO model is a highly contemporary and accurate approach) and Values (We use the Schwartz model of values due to the impeccable research credentials behind it). It is also a good idea to run them through cognitive ability assessment for some roles to see if IQ is a culture match factor for your organisation.
  3. Develop a profile based on these results to recruit against.
  4. When we do this for clients we develop a tailored report which automatically tells them if a prospective hire is a culture match. Click here to find out more.

This is way better than relying on people’s personal impressions. Culture match should not be a matter of guesswork.

Robertson, I. T., & Smith, M. (1989). Personnel selection methods. In M. Smith & I. T. Robertson (Eds.), Advances in selection and assessment (pp. 89-112). Oxford, England: John Wiley & Sons.

Ross, L, Greene, D, & House, P. The “false consensus effect”: An egocentric bias in social perception and attribution processes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 1977;13(3):279-301.

    Andrew Marty
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