top of page
  • BONUM Staff

Defining Your Company Culture to Find Best Fit

diverse staff cheering

A key aspect of hiring is selecting a candidate that matches the company's culture. It is common for organizations to define their culture through their corporate values. While alignment with corporate values is critical, it is not getting at the core aspects of what helps an employee integrate into the workplace.

Dutch social psychologist and former IBM employee, Geert Hofstede has a model for conceptualizing organizational culture. Using his 6-dimensional national cultural model can help companies define their desired culture and seek candidates that bring diversity and alignment.


The equity in which power is distributed impacts how meetings are conducted, decisions are made, and employees voice their opinions. In high hierarchical organizations there is a tight reporting structure. Employees are expected to voice opinions through a chain of command. In more egalitarian environments it is not uncommon for an employee to take their concerns directly to the top.


Collective organizations function as a cohesive team where an employee's value is closely tied to their contributions to the team's efforts. In contrast, individualistic organizations focus on the role and efforts of the individual. Autonomy and personal success are often recognized.


Culturally, masculinity is often associated with heroism, assertiveness, and competitiveness. While femininity is related to cooperation, caring, and humility. How these qualities are valued and demonstrated, especially as they relate to gender, impacts employee interactions and roles.


Expectations are key in how people function within an organization. In organizations with high uncertainty avoidance people need explicit and detailed directions before taking action. While working with more general guidance is common in low uncertainty avoidance organizations. Extending the concept, the degree to which employees are comfortable with an uncertain outcome or future also varies.


Often associated with time, prioritization, and decision making, this orientation impacts how people manage tasks. Those with a long term orientation may be less concerned with the issues of the day. They prioritize and make decisions based on long-term needs and outcomes. People with a short term orientation live in the moment and are not as concerned about saving or working towards a distant objective.


Everybody likes to have fun... or do they? Incorporating fun, breaks, time-off, celebrations, and general gratification varies. In restraint organizations, it is "let's get down to business", gratification is suppressed. There is a time, place, and degree in which to celebrate. Indulgent organizations seek to incorporate fun into all they do, "work hard, play hard". They link rest with improved focus and productivity.

These are general orientations meant to guide. Conceptually people and organizations fall on a spectrum within these dimensions. An individual's identity may be different from their ethnic and corporate identity. The key is finding candidates with complimentary orientations or opposing orientations intended to shift the company's culture.

bottom of page