UNITED STATES—The great debate in the hiring conversation always boils down to two issues. Whether to hire for skill set or cultural fit. Is it possible to have both? In the dream scenario the candidate has a resume brimming with every necessary skill and beyond, and their personality is like a puzzle piece that fits perfectly into the cultural landscape of the company. However, it is rare that the stars will align in this way and so we must ask ourselves what we value more.

In the wake of the pandemic, hiring and talent spotting are becoming more and more difficult, and so this question becomes more impactful. Organizations now have the added challenge of ensuring that once an employee joins, they stay. When it comes to retention, the types of hiring decisions that are made are critical. When evaluating employees, you can assess their capabilities based on a resume and what information was presented on paper.

However, when it comes to a culture fit, making a decision becomes more difficult. While it’s easier to focus on skill sets, research shows that 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or communication as the reason for workplace failures. Of that same group, 97% feel misalignment is responsible for workplace failures, indicating that a culture fit is most critical when seeking to hire for the long term.

Camille Nicita, Managing Director North America & Managing Partner for Gongos, is a seasoned business executive with years of experience growing a company, where making strategic hires was critical to the long-term success of the company. “Employees that thrive in an environment that matches their values, are employees that see the most personal and professional growth,” Nicita shared. “My mantra is, a company will only grow at the rate at which it can attract, develop, and retain great people. People are at the core of every brand’s promise, so intangible qualities like curiosity, problem solving, and adaptability are essential to ensuring your company can flex with the demands of an ever-changing marketplace.”

Making great hires is difficult and in the current job market, it’s going to be more difficult than ever. Job candidates have more grounds to be selective about their next career step. By focusing on candidates with qualities that lend themselves to the workplace culture of your organization, you are more likely to not only see that employee thrive, but see greater success for the company in the long term.