Hiring for Culture Fit: Why Company Perks Are Not Culture

There seems to be a current trend among employers to offer more unique and diverse office perks in the hopes of attracting and retaining talent. While perks can be fun and bring momentary happiness, they do not meaningfully move the needle on employee satisfaction or retention. One such example was highlighted by Payscale’s list of employee tenure at Fortune 500 companies, which denotes that Google, a company that offers top-notch perks, has a median employee tenure of 1.1 years.

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Hiring for Culture Fit: Why Company Perks Are Not Culture

There seems to be a current trend among employers to offer more unique and diverse office perks in the hopes of attracting and retaining talent. While perks can be fun and bring momentary happiness, they do not meaningfully move the needle on employee satisfaction or retention. One such example was highlighted by Payscale’s list of employee tenure at Fortune 500 companies, which denotes that Google, a company that offers top-notch perks, has a median employee tenure of 1.1 years.


A company’s culture is not the perks or benefits offered to employees. Culture is the shared values and behaviors specific to that organization. Perks can demonstrate work-life balance or another value but, unless that value is also seen in the behaviors of the employees and reflected by management, then it’s not part of your culture.


Ben Horowitz, the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, explained the difference between culture and perks with the following, “Startups today do all kinds of things to distinguish themselves. Many great, many original, many quirky, but most of them will not define the company’s culture. Yes, yoga may make your company a better place to work for people who like yoga. It may also be a great team-building exercise for people who like yoga. Nonetheless, it’s not culture. It will not establish a core value that drives the business.


Hire For Cultural Fit


When hiring, promote the core values that make your company unique and look for candidates that reflect those core values. Research has shown that employees that fit well with their coworkers and within their organization have greater job performance, satisfaction, and retention. By attracting and hiring candidates that fit culturally within your organization, you can decrease turnover and increase performance and satisfaction.


There are several ways you can gauge a candidate’s core values and test for organizational fit. You can screen using assessments that provide data on a candidate’s values. You can also ask interview questions about the values that are specific to your workplaces, as well as questions about overall culture fit. Here are some example questions for overall cultural fit:

  • What values are important to you in the workplace?

  • Tell me about the culture at your current company. What do you like and what would you change?

  • Imagine your ideal work environment. What kind of culture would be present?

Focusing on culture and not perks in the hiring process, helps you attract the right talent that will fit within your organization. It also helps you prevent the individuals that may alter the culture or the work environment in negative ways.


Journeyfront takes the guessing out of finding a good cultural fit. You can know based on data collected during the screening and interviewing process which candidates will fit well with your organization. 


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Angela Carmack
ABOUT THE AUTHOR | Angela Carmack
Angela has always been passionate about helping build high performing teams. Organizational behavior was a favorite subject that she chose to make a primary focus of her master's degree. After helping several organizations roll out global initiatives, she transitioned to lead teams of customer success managers and advocating for customers for SaaS companies. Now at Journeyfront, she's excited to combine her passions of leading customer advocacy and helping companies hire and manage their teams more effectively.

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