Does the Culture Fit?

Have you ever been a finalist in a career opportunity only to find you were not successful? Did this make you wonder why? Then, when you asked for feedback, you received only a vague response – something about “cultural fit”. While this of course is disappointing and maybe even mystifying, the concept of cultural fit itself is very true and very applicable. You see, recruiting for a new staff person is like a blind date. You typically meet a person once or twice, talk to the individual, assess whether or not there is a feeling of fit or “chemistry” and then make a decision.

But what does this chemistry or cultural fit look like? Cultural fit is all about whether or not the interviewer sees an integration of personal, professional and corporate values during the interview process and in the initial assessment. Appearance plays a big role. If the organization is very corporate in all of its business dealings and a candidate attends the interview far too informal and perhaps with rings and jingles on their toes…. clearly, there will not be a fit. If an organization is known for its aggressiveness and self-confidence, then a candidate who is timid and non-assertive will get eaten alive and therefore, once again, there is no fit. It is all a question of perceived values.

Values are personal and professional motivators that drive us in one direction or another. People and organizations both have values. For people, these are demonstrated by what individuals are interested in and what they want to do with their career. Values in organizations are demonstrated by professional ethics, which social agencies they support and how they conduct their business. In other words, if a candidate is inclined towards a helping profession, more than likely they won’t fit well in an organization that is focused on compliance of some sort or another.

What are some of these personal and professional values? Many of the values that are encountered in the workplace include such things as a desire for advancement, independence and autonomy, security and safety, fighting for a just cause, the ability to apply managerial or technical expertise, or the need for life work balance. Many individuals also have a geographic value in that they are not willing to move away from their home territory for a job. Still others value being associated with a large organization with a well known name and reputation because they get their security from this arrangement.

Organizations develop a reputation the same way individuals do. These reputations are typically well known in a community as people who leave these organizations often have stories to tell. As well, there are often news reports of organizational successes and/or trials and tribulations. Therefore, from a candidate perspective, it is important prior to any interview that you check out the values of your potential employer as best you can. Review their website, do a Google search on the web to see what type of profile they have. Ask for advice with your professional network.

Determine what is being said about your potential employer at street level. If you see nothing but conflictual situations, evidence of high turnover, or stories that pose even more questions, then you need to do a lot more research about the culture of the organization, whether or not you fit and even whether or not you wish to apply.

In addition, prepare yourself to ask some questions of the corporate recruiter. Ask for examples of how the values stated on the organizational website or in the job advertisement are applied in the workplace. Then assess these examples to determine for yourself indeed there is a fit for you.

As I have said earlier, recruiting for a new staff person is like a blind date. You typically meet a person once or twice, talk to the individual, assess whether or not there is a feeling of fit or “chemistry” and then make a decision. However, this decision making process should occur with both parties. So, the next time you are mystified about the lack of success with a particular job opportunity, take a moment to reassess the cultural fit.

Exotic Caribbean Culture

This Caribbean vacation getaway has a rich history of French, English, and African settlers that have all contributed their unique traditions and essence to the St. Lucia. The fertile, volcanic soil of the island shields an abundance of fresh produce including several different types of banana, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, passion fruits, guavas and coconut.

St. Lucia resembles nearby Dominica in its mountainous, volcanic appearance. In fact, its two most widely known landmarks are Les Pitons, twin mountain peaks that drop dramatically to the water’s edge near Anse des Pitons on the island’s west coast. St. Lucia offers an adventure experience for everyone. Take a hike along twenty-nine miles of trails throughout the rain forest.

Its exotic beauty truly captures the luxuriant allure of the Caribbean. From the distinctive twin peaks of Les Pitons to the cascading majesty of Diamond Falls and the translucent turquoise sea that frames it all, St. Lucia is the sort of island that travellers to the Caribbean dream about–a small, lush tropical gem that is still relatively unknown. Lucia is only 27 miles long and 14 miles wide, with a shape that is said to resemble either a mango or an avocado. In St. Lucia, there are plenty of options.

St. Lucia possesses a true tropical rainforest – 19,000 colour splashed acres filled with vivid flowering vines, luxuriant greenery, bamboo, close to 30 species of birds, and a whole menagerie of spectacular fauna. And with 29 miles of trails running through this natural wonder, you can completely immerse yourself in the very soul of this remarkable environment. St. Lucia was first settled by France in 1650. During French rule, it used the same flag as Martinique, its neighbouring island to the north. St. Lucia’s economy was originally built on its agricultural exports. For over 200 years the island’s main export was sugar; however bananas took over in the 1950’s.

St. Lucia was originally inhabited by the Arawak, who were driven out by the Caribs before the arrival of Europeans. Accounts differ as to the first Europeans to visit St. Lucia harbours a variety of awesome, unique beaches that beg to be explored. The easiest to reach from the port is Pigeon State Beach, about 20 minutes north of Castries.

St.Lucia has a very Creole flavour. There is also Indian culture and so curry is a prominent spice. The food consists of root tubers to green bananas. St. Lucia has the usual variety of Caribbean things to do, mainly water sports but also hiking, ATV rides and horseback rides. But it also has unique attractions that emphasize history, culture and the island’s natural environment.

St. Lucia’s abundant tropical fruits include mangoes, papayas, pineapples, soursops, passion fruit, guavas, and coconuts. Local chefs combine the island’s fresh produce with a wide variety of equally fresh seafood to create tantalizing curries, Creole-style entrees, and pepperpot stews. St. Lucia’s beauty is unmatched by other islands. Its culture is a unique fusion of French, British and African traditions, and its population of approximately 160,000 people brings the island’s beauty and rich heritage to life.

St. Lucia is an increasingly popular honeymoon location, and not without reason. St. Lucia has everything most newlyweds could want, with romantic sunsets, picturesque beaches, and wonderful history and culture.