Hiring for cultural fit is critical for the long-term success of your business, and hiring remotely is even more difficult. After all, company culture defines how employees interact with each other and work together towards common goals. But what does “cultural fit” actually mean? And how can you tell if someone is an excellent cultural fit for your team when hiring remotely?

Unfortunately, it isn’t easy, especially when hiring remotely.  You can’t just pop over to someone’s desk to see how they interact with their co-workers or gauge their overall attitude.

In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on determining cultural fit while hiring remotely — so that you can make the best hiring decisions for your business. Whether hiring the right fit for your startup culture or trying to build a more diverse team, these tips will help you find the perfect candidates.

6 Steps to Determine Culture Fit, Especially When Hiring Remotely

The following are some of the best ways to determine if a candidate is an excellent cultural fit for your company.

1. Ask Your Employees

A great way to assess culture fit is to find and replicate what already works. Then, all you need to do is go to your employees and ask them about it.

See what your top-performing employees are like.

What are their qualities, hobbies, and passions, and how are they communicating with others? You should study them vigorously and get as much information as possible.

It would help if you always used surveys to your advantage. An example of a good question is: “How do you feel working here?” or “Do you have friends at work?”

Once you have the answers, you can start looking for candidates that fit that description.

Candidates that are a good fit

A great benefit of this is that word of mouth will quickly start to bring in candidates that are a good fit for the company. 

Once your employees understand that you’re hiring (and that the qualities they possess are being sought out), they’ll be more likely to recommend friends and people they know who fit that description.

As an added benefit, this will also help you retain your best employees, who are likely to feel more valued knowing that their company is interested in replicating their qualities.

2. Create a Set of Values You’re Looking for in a Remote Hire

Now that you’ve surveyed your employees, it’s time to organize the results and find out the key characteristics of your ideal employee.

This step will probably take quite some time, but it’s vital for the success of your future hire.

After you’ve evaluated your employees, you should write a short overview of your ideal hire

An ideal remote hire overview may look something like this:

“Our ideal candidate is a problem-solver who is proactive and takes the initiative. They should be adaptable and able to work in a fast-paced environment. They should also be a strong communicator, both written and verbally. Finally, they should be coachable and always looking to improve their skills.”

Creating a short description of your ideal employees is crucial and will help you better determine if a candidate is a good fit for your organization.

Identifying the qualities, you are looking for

The process is about identifying the qualities of your best employees and looking for those qualities in future hires.

Similar to how marketing teams create the ideal buyer persona they want to target with their product, you want to do the same thing with your hiring.

Creating this persona will help you better understand what kind of person would be a good fit for your company and what kind of person you should avoid.

3. Reference These Values in a Job Description

After you’ve written down all the characteristics, you should include them in the job description to help potential employees find out what you’re looking for.

You might be thinking, “But that’s what many companies already do.”

And you’re not wrong.

Spend time on your “value”s description. Use better words that describe you well.

Go the extra mile and include why these values are essential to your company.

This will help job seekers understand what kind of environment they’ll work in and if the position is a good fit.

A job description that includes your company’s values will also attract candidates with those values.

And as we all know, it’s much easier to work with someone who shares your values than with someone who doesn’t.

Here’s an example of a job ad that includes the company’s values. This especially helps remote hires understand how they would fit in — or not.

“At our company, we pride ourselves on being problem-solvers. We’re always looking for proactive people who take initiative and are adaptable to change. If you’re a strong communicator, both written and verbally, we want you on our team. Finally, we’re looking for someone who is coachable and always looking to improve their skills.

These values are important to us because they help create a positive work environment where everyone is working towards the same goal.

We’re looking for an employee who will embody these values and help contribute to our company culture.”

Including your company’s values in the job description will help you find candidates that are a good fit for your organization.

It will also help potential employees better understand what kind of company they’ll work for, if the position is correct for them, and if they feel they can fit in with your business.

4. Conduct Video Interviews With Remote Hires

Now that you know what you’re looking for in a hire, the number of suitable applicants will drastically reduce.

While this may seem like a bad thing at first, it will make your job more accessible in the long run as you’ll have a smaller pool of candidates to choose from. These candidates are also more highly qualified as they possess the characteristics you’re looking for.

Time for the video interview

This is the best time to introduce video interviews to get to know them better. In addition, it will help you discover applicants’ personalities and if they are the right fit for you. 

Video interviews can uncover candidates’ personalities and better understand the cultural fit for the job. For example, you can ask questions to have them speak about a success story or a specific weakness. This will give you an insight into their real personality that they might not typically show when first meeting someone.

When it comes to using video interviews to determine culture fit, there are a few key questions you can ask:

  • What made you decide to apply for this job?
  • What do you think makes our company culture unique?
  • How would you describe your ideal work environment?
  • Tell me about a time when you didn’t feel like you fit in at a previous job. How did you handle it?

What does the new remotely hired candidate think about your company?

Asking these questions will help give you a better understanding of how the candidate perceives your company and if they’re likely to be a good fit.

Also, it’s worth pointing out that the remote recruitment tools and technology that have come to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic can be used to your advantage when conducting video interviews.

There are now many free and paid options that make it easy to record, store, and share video interviews.

Each of these platforms has its own unique features and pricing plans, so be sure to do your research to find the one that’s right for you. Once you’ve selected a platform, sign up for an account and familiarize yourself with how it works. This will ensure that everything runs smoothly when it’s time to conduct your first video interview.

Another point worth mentioning is thinking about diversity when looking at candidates and holding video interviews. It’s vital in today’s climate to try and have a diverse workforce, and video interviews open up the talent pool as the location isn’t as important.

5. Get a Trial Run Going

After you’ve narrowed down your candidates, it’s time to start the trial run.

The trial run is a period of about 2-4 weeks where the candidate works with you on a project basis. This will give you both a chance to see if the working relationship is a good fit before making any long-term commitments.

At the end of this period, you and the employee will assess whether or not they’re the right fit for the job and if they should be offered a permanent position. Trial runs are beneficial as they allow both parties to ‘try before they buy,’ so to speak.

This method eliminates any surprises down the road as you would’ve already had a chance to work with the person and see how they perform in their role. If everything goes well and you decide to offer them a permanent position, they’ll already be familiar with the company, their coworkers, and the job itself.

Trial runs are a great way to test out a new employee when hiring remotely — before fully committing to them.

A trial run allows both parties to ensure it’s a good fit and eliminates any surprises down the road.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to go down this route. First, be sure to put everything in writing so there’s no confusion about what is expected of each party. Second, you’ll need to agree on a start and end date for the trial period, as well as how much the employee will be paid. Lastly, set some measurable goals that need to be met during the trial period so you can adequately assess their performance.

Taking a leaf out of what happens with the hiring process in the context of the best self-employed jobs, a trial run is an excellent way of seeing if someone has what it takes to work for your company on a long-term basis. In the self-employed world, hiring is a little different as you don’t have the same safety net of an employment contract. Instead, you’re effectively taking on someone freelance, so it’s essential to ensure that they’re the right fit for the job.

Though more prominent companies might have varying requirements, the concept of a trial run might be something to consider. Trials also allow both parties to get to know each other and build trust. This is especially important when working remotely, as it can be harder to build relationships when you’re not in the same office.

6. Check-In After the First Few Weeks

Once you’ve decided to hire someone, it’s essential to chat with them after the first few weeks on the job.

The “chat” will allow you to see how they’re settling in and if they have any questions or concerns. It’s also an opportunity for you to give feedback on their performance and let them know what they’re doing well and where they can improve.

Regular check-ins (hive dot com; check-in questions for meetings) are a great way to ensure that everyone is happy with the arrangement and that things are going smoothly.

Don’t forget to chat with the new hire when hiring remotely

It’s also worth mentioning that these check-ins also work in a remote context. With more and more companies adopting remote work, it’s essential to ensure everyone is still on the same page.


Hiring employees remotely can be difficult, especially if you’re looking to hire for a culture fit to achieve the best results.

In this article, we’ve looked at the steps required to make this process easier and faster. Following the advice above, you should have no trouble filling your vacant positions in no time with people that are the right match for your business.

Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!

Neal Taparia

Entrepreneur & Investor

Neal Taparia is the co-founder of Imagine Easy Solutions, a portfolio of online educational services that reached over 30 million students yearly. Neal sold the business to Chegg (NYSE: CHGG), where he stayed there as an executive for three years. He's now pursuing a new initiative, Solitaired, which ties classical games with memory and attention training.