The Perils of a Job Mismatch

Survey Reveals Two in Three Companies Have Lost Employees Because the Work Environment Wasn't a Fit

TORONTO, March 31, 2015 /CNW/ - A successful job match is often more art than science when it comes to corporate culture, a new OfficeTeam survey suggests. Nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) human resources (HR) managers interviewed admitted they have misjudged a candidate's fit with their company's work environment. Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents also said their organizations have lost an employee because he or she was not suited to the work environment.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 300 HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees across Canada. 

HR managers were asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed with the statement, "On at least one occasion in the past, I've misjudged a job candidate's fit with my company's work environment." Their responses:

Strongly agree


Somewhat agree


Somewhat disagree


Strongly disagree


Don't know




HR managers also were asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed with the statement, "My company has lost a staff member because he or she wasn't a good fit with the company's work environment." Their responses*:

Strongly agree


Somewhat agree


Somewhat disagree


Strongly disagree


Don't know




*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

"Employers often focus on ensuring a skills fit when recruiting, but a corporate culture fit is equally important and more challenging to gauge," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Both hiring managers and candidates can ask questions during the interview to check that their values align."

OfficeTeam highlights seven questions job seekers should consider when assessing their fit with an employer's corporate culture:

  1. What values are important to you? It's challenging to work at a company if its principles are at odds with yours. Information about a firm's vision, philanthropic activities and awards may be available on its website. You also can ask the hiring manager about characteristics the employer values. 
  2. Are you a team player? Someone who enjoys collaboration would thrive at a company that emphasizes teamwork over autonomy. During the interview, ask how often projects are completed as a group versus independently.   
  3. How much of a risk-taker are you? If you're keen to try new ideas, a conservative organization may not be the best match. Read up on the employer's recent initiatives to get a sense of its direction and inquire if the company encourages innovation.
  4. What type of work environment do you thrive in? You may prefer a quiet, closed office over one that's open and lively. Take a look at the setup when you're on-site for an interview.
  5. Do you like hanging out with coworkers? Socializing with colleagues both inside and outside the office can be common. Find out if there are any fun company traditions and how milestones are celebrated. You also may glean clues about the corporate culture from what you observe while walking around the building.  
  6. Which perks are on your wish list? Many professionals appreciate organizations that promote work-life balance. Information about some benefits, such as flexible schedules or on-site services, may be listed in the job posting or on the website. It's usually best to hold off on asking about perks until an employer has expressed serious intent in extending a job offer.
  7. What are your long-term goals? It's important to make sure a company is a good fit for your career objectives. Ask about advancement opportunities, and determine what professional development and training options are available.

About OfficeTeam
OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation's leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide. More information, including online job search services and the OfficeTeam Take Note blog, can be found at Follow @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

SOURCE OfficeTeam

Image with caption: "HR Managers Often Misjudge Employee Fit (CNW Group/OfficeTeam)". Image available at:

For further information: Naz Araghian, 416.865.2140,

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