Ensuring Cultural Fit Is Biggest Talent Acquisition Challenge, New Lee Hecht Harrison Research Reveals

Press Release

Identifying cultural fit is a bigger issue than finding candidates with the right skills; Technology is changing recruitment but human evaluation remains crucial

WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ--November 15, 2016: The biggest challenge facing hiring managers today is ensuring a cultural fit between the individual and the organization (7.9 out of 10 difficulty rating); according to new research conducted by global talent development and transition firm Lee Hecht Harrison.

This may explain why respondents currently rate traditional recruitment methods, such as personal referrals (8.3 out of 10) and networking (7.7 out of 10), as more effective than technological and social network solutions like Twitter, YouTube and Instagram (2.9, 2.3 and 2 out of 10 respectively).


The best solution in talent acquisition will strike a careful balance between technology as an enabler and personal interaction to assess the fit beyond what the facts and figures indicate.

Greg Simpson SVP & Career Transition Practice Leader


However, the 2016 Recruiting and Hiring Trends Study reveals that the usefulness of technological resources is likely to increase significantly in the future, with the future effectiveness of LinkedIn® recruiting tools rising from 7.6 out of 10 now to 8.2, and similarly the score for LinkedIn's personal profile rising from 7.5 to 7.9.

While the effectiveness of other social media tools like Twitter and Instagram is also expected to grow (2.9 to 5.1, and 2 to 4.1 respectively), they are still rated behind methods requiring human intervention now and in the future.

Greg Simpson, Senior Vice President and Career Transition Practice Leader at Lee Hecht Harrison, said: "Our research clearly shows that recruitment technology will become more useful going forward, but these solutions cannot replace the personal touch in finding the right candidate for the job. While automated processes can scan resumes and skills data in order to build a talent pipeline, they cannot yet adequately recognize whether an individual will mesh with an organization's culture, goals, vision and values."

"The best solution in talent acquisition will strike a careful balance between technology as an enabler and personal interaction to assess the fit beyond what the facts and figures indicate."

LinkedIn led the social network pack, and is rated particularly highly for its search facility using key terms or hashtags, connecting hiring managers with a volume of candidates, as well as for advertising open positions. While the strength of Facebook, Twitter and Glassdoor as recruitment tools is mainly for advertising jobs.

While hiring managers acknowledge that a lack of job related skills and experience will remain a challenge for them in filling positions over the next two to three years, it will be how to find people whose attitude, personality and approach to work will fit in the organization that will be keeping them awake at night.

Simpson adds: "This stems from the realization that skills can always be taught to a candidate, whereas cultural fit is something that is bred in the bone of a new hire. If a candidate's values and overall working style run contrary to the hiring organization, very little can be done to teach these attributes. Complicating matters is the reality that cultural fit is a nuanced quality, which is really difficult to identify and assess. Face-to-face interactions remain fundamental to achieving this hiring objective."

About the research 

The 2016 Recruiting and Hiring Trends Study examined candidate sourcing and hiring trends among Human Resources managers with responsibility for sourcing and/or hiring candidates for their companies. A total of 277 online interviews were conducted, representing all company sizes, across North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific, and represented all major industries. A copy of the full report can be downloaded here.

About Lee Hecht Harrison

Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) helps companies simplify the complexity associated with transforming their leadership and workforce so they can accelerate results, with less risk. We do this by helping their employees navigate change, become better leaders, develop better careers, and transition into new jobs. As the world's leading integrated Talent Development and Transition company, we have the local expertise, global infrastructure, and industry-leading technology required to simplify the complexity associated with executing critical talent and workforce initiatives, reducing brand and operational risk. Teams in more than 60 countries around the world leverage our proven programmes and global experience to deliver tailored solutions to clients that align talent with the needs of their business.

For further information contact:
Helene Cavalli
Vice President, Marketing
Lee Hecht Harrison
P 267-322-1300
E helene.cavalli@lhh.com

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