Cultural fit: the top thing to look for when recruiting

By Rebecca Thurlow, Compass Point Recruitment

At Compass Point Recruitment, we feel that culture is up there with the top things we look for when conducting any piece of recruitment.

Published in Suffolk Director Magazine, Spring 2021
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Compass Point Recruitment: Recruiting Professionals

Defined as the shared values, attributes and characteristics, every organisation no matter the size, has their own culture. It is seen in the attitudes and behaviours of a company and its employees and is evident in the way people interact with each other.

At Compass Point Recruitment, we feel that culture is up there with the top things we look for when conducting any piece of recruitment. And, with it playing such a huge part in whether an employer/employee relationship works, it is pretty imperative that this match is right!

Culture in a business is about more than just values and the little extra freebies offered to staff. It is about how a company cultivates business growth by offering employees a voice, therefore making them feel valued.

Suffolk’s SMEs have got company culture right

In Suffolk, we are fortunate to have many SMEs who have got their company culture right. They have less red tape and bureaucracy and are, therefore, best placed to respond quickly to internal concerns, restoring the equilibrium in their work environment. The result is that many local companies, who focus on retaining their talent by providing a positive company culture, feature highly on the list of Top 100 Suffolk Businesses.

Some inexperienced recruiters identify the needs of their clients with a view to matching the right skill set. For example, an accountancy business may require a payroll manager, which invariably requires someone with appropriate experience, frequently at a qualified level. However, we are knowledgeable enough to know that a new hire with the ideal skill set, but an ill-fitting cultural fit to your organisation, can be both costly and detrimental to your team and your business.  

We recognise that the success of our candidates who were hired for their cultural fit rather than 100% skill set were usually the placements that were the most successful. In fact, those candidates often went the furthest in the business due to having the right attitude from the offset!

Businesses can be positively and negatively affected by company culture and this could impact their growth, staff retention and results. Getting this right from the start is an imperative factor, as well as delivering the right messages to your business partners, future recruits, and competitors.  

So, how do you sense test your culture? 

One of the best ways is by conducting exit interviews, otherwise you are only getting one perspective.  As recruiters, we see ourselves as the barometer for the local market. When candidates register, the questions we ask about why they left their previous role gives an independent view of the organisation’s culture; something we can then feedback to their previous employer.

Compass Point Recruitment’s values are at the heart of every decision we make, feeding our organisation’s culture:  For ease of memorising them we use the acronym PEOPLE which stands for Professional, Ethical, Ownership, Passionate, Listening and finally Excellent Service.

Should anyone reading this feel they would like to have some input into helping them identify and establish their company’s culture and values, please do get in touch. I would be delighted to offer my assistance free of charge.

Photo of Rebecca taken by Warren Page

Rebecca Thurlow is MD at Compass Point Recruitment. If you are looking for a recruitment partner that is passionate about connecting the right people together and that thinks outside the box to provide solutions and add value to the recruitment process, then contact E:
T: 01284 765700
or visit

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