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Hire for Cultural Fit, Train for the Right IT Skills

Fact: Retaining top talent is just as important as finding it. As finding candidates with top skills becomes more difficult due to our ever-evolving economy, CIO writer Sharon Florentine makes the suggestion that business should shift their focus. That is why it is critical that companies have a strong workplace culture to bring in and retain the right kind of employees. According to Chris Duchesnes, vice president of Workplace Solutions,, “sourcing and hiring with retention in mind requires companies to focus less on skills and experience and more on cultural fit and development potential.” Hire employees that are a strong culture fit because skills can be taught, but culture…not so much.


Take for example. At the core of’s hiring process is the acronym EAGER. This acronym represents the qualities that they seek within their candidates.

  • Ethical – Trust should be the foundation for any successful working relationship. All business practices should be ethical and every individual employee should be capable of making the right, ethical decision.  
  • Adaptable – Candidates should possess the ability to readily adapt to changing situations. They should also possess the desire to learn and continually grow within their position.
  • Gritty- Candidates should be goal-oriented and passionate. They should be ambitious and not afraid of pursuing long-term goals.
  • Empathetic – Candidates are expected to adhere to the “Golden Rule” if hired: Treat others how you want to be treated. This promotes cohesiveness within the team.
  • Remarkable – Candidates are expected to possess the desire to excel within their role, to pave the way towards a brighter future by the accomplishment of their personal and company goals. They should strive for recognition, however, remain level-headed and humble, and ready to take on what’s next.

One Degree

A company dedicated to “identify better employees based on culture, values, and mission” is One Degree. One Degree is a recruiting and networking site that throws away the resume. Similar to the workings of Pandora, One Degree matches candidates with companies and positions based on their interests, values, and lifestyle.

Todd Raphael, editor in chief of recruiting site, says:

“Hiring for cultural fit above skills is a great idea, because you never know how much an employee will be developing, growing and changing over time — they could be in a completely different role by next year,” Raphael says. “And it makes sense to do so based on the industry and market you're in, too: If you're an accounting company, for instance, you don't necessarily want to hire someone who's chaotic and extremely creative. If you're a cutthroat, uber-competitive, cutting-edge company, you don't want to hire someone who's very laid-back and not as driven by competition, for instance.”

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About Gavin Martin

Information systems architect / technical design authority with over 20 years experience delivering small-scale through enterprise systems to commercial, finance and government customers.

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