How to Define and Improve Quality of Hire (Hint: Culture Fit is Only 12% of the Answer)

September 4, 2013

CEB asked thousands of hiring managers globally a simple question: what percentage of hires on your team do you think are “bad” or “regretted decisions”?

More than one in five, was the most common answer. In fact, hiring managers admitted that 20% of their team shouldn’t have been hired in the first place.

This challenge in new hire quality couldn’t come at a worse time: the work environment is changing faster than employees can develop the skills needed to succeed. What’s more, business leaders globally need a 20% improvement in employee performance to achieve growth expectations.

How can we get higher-quality hires who are ready to perform in today’s dynamic work environment?

Simply put, driving breakthrough quality of hire today requires more focus on candidate fit, not just ability.


When we talk about “fit” most people think about culture fit. Studies, however, show that culture fit accounts for only 12% of what makes up a quality hire. What really matters is network fit. Network fit is how well the new hire works with his or her colleagues—which boosts quality of hire up to 30%.

For example, while a candidate may have be a perfect cultural fit for your company as a whole – collaborative, high attention to detail, intelligent risk-taker - if his immediate supervisor and him have completely different communication styles he may not be the best network fit.

Want to learn how identify network fit and how to work with hiring managers to identify top talent? Go through the slides from the webinar What the Best Hires Have in Common: How to Define (and Improve!) Quality of Hire.”

* image by Victor1558