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Building a Winning Team with the Right Tech Skills and Culture

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​When hiring for a tech team, it is important to consider candidates with the necessary tech skills needed to succeed within the job role you’re hiring for. However, building a successful team requires a specific balance between technical proficiency and cultural alignment. It is equally important to understand the role that cultural fit plays in creating collaboration, innovation, and positive client relationships within tech teams.

In this guide, we will explore the importance of hiring for cultural fit within a tech team and uncover the key strategies employers can use to incorporate both technical and cultural fit into a workforce.

First, let’s explore the importance of employing candidates with strong cultural fit into your tech team and explore the benefits it brings to businesses:

The Importance of Cultural Fit in Tech Teams

Treating cultural fit as a priority brings endless benefits to businesses. Employers can create a positive workplace atmosphere, maximise team performance, and deliver success within their company. A well-coordinated team is the key to unlocking innovation within the technology sector.

So, why is culture fit in tech teams particularly beneficial? Here are the key reasons:

Increased collaboration - A team that possesses similar values and goals enhances trust among colleagues and creates a collective sense of purpose among its members, promoting open communication, collaboration, and mutual support. Shared alignment minimises conflicts arising from differences in work styles or values. A workforce with a strong cultural fit encourages knowledge sharing, and meaning professionals can learn from one another and creatively solve problems as a team.

Enhanced productivity - A positive company culture increases employee productivity and morale. When employees feel valued, motivation and engagement increase, allowing employees to take ownership of their work and achieve the best results possible. A strong cultural fit reduces turnover and burnout, creating a stable and focused team environment. A positive atmosphere ignites creativity and innovation, contributing to a positive and successful work environment.

Improved client relationships - Enhanced client and stakeholder relationships stem from a team with a strong cultural fit. The positivity and shared values within the workforce contribute to excellent client service, forming stronger bonds and earning client trust. A team with a solid cultural fit positively represents the company, attracting investors, partners, and talent, contributing to the organisation's overall success and reputation.

Well Structured Interviews

The tech interview stages must be designed to assess both tech skills and cultural fit. Tech hiring managers should incorporate aspects such as a skills assessment into interview stages that account for both aspects.

According to recent research, 90% of employers say sourcing candidates of good cultural fit is vital in improving performance and positivity within the workplace. So, conducting effective and efficient interviews to assess whether an employee would bring technical and cultural value to your team is crucial.

Technical skills

Below are some of the key features you should include within your interviews to effectively assess tech skills in potential employees:

Coding challenges - Tech skills assessment procedures such as coding challenges can be beneficial for employers when deciding whether candidates have the necessary tech skills required for the role. For example, a coding skills assessment is conducted in real-time and designed for hiring managers to identify how well candidates can solve and communicate complex coding issues by using tech tools such as programming languages.

Written tests - Another easy way employers can identify candidates with the fundamental tech skills and knowledge necessary for the role is by implementing written tests during the tech hiring process. A written test is another skills assessment involving a series of technical-based questions or writing pieces of code, where employers can quickly gauge a candidate's technical expertise level.

Portfolio - Portfolios effectively showcase relevant tech skills, past projects and problem-solving approaches. Candidates can present their best work, giving context, including which technologies were used and how the project was approached. Portfolios make it easy for employers to evaluate candidates' work and relevant tech experience.

Culture fit

Here are some of the most important factors employers should incorporate into the interview process to evaluate whether a candidate is a good cultural fit for the team:

Tailored, open-ended questions - Customising interview questions that explore different aspects of cultural fit is essential. Asking questions such as ‘How do you handle conflict in the workplace?’ allows employers to gain insight into a candidate's personality and values. Personality assessments are also an excellent way for employers to unlock candidates' work styles and cultural fit.

Case studies - Setting realistic scenarios relevant to your business challenges and working style is an excellent way for employers to analyse how well a candidate would respond to and approach challenging tasks within the workplace environment. Tech hiring managers can also assess how well they communicate their thought processes and work well with others.

Culture simulations - Team exercises and assessments are prime examples of cultural simulations, where employers can evaluate how well candidates work as part of a team, interact with others and demonstrate leadership and collaboration, all essential for cultural fit within the workplace.

To gain an insight into how employers can master the technical interview to attract suitable talent, discover our insightful guide - Employers Advice for Mastering the Technical Interview.

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion that reflect your company values are essential in creating an inclusive, positive work environment where employees feel valued and comfortable expressing themselves. Having a range of diverse perspectives is also highly beneficial in driving innovation within the company, where different approaches boost overall success.

Want to know how to hire for culture fit, diversity and inclusion? Here are the key recruitment strategies employers should take:

Tailor your job descriptions - Job descriptions must be adapted to include diverse language, making them more inclusive and allowing employers to target various target audiences while avoiding discriminatory language.

Expand your talent pools - Targeting diverse, unrepresented groups through various recruitment channels, such as specific job fairs and social media, is an excellent way employers can access broader talent pools. Embracing diversity referrals from existing employees also allows tech hiring managers to access wider talent pools.

Train employees on avoiding bias - Ensuring employees are educated on the strategies needed to avoid bias is essential in creating a respectful and equal work environment. Implementing workshops and activities to address bias and prevention techniques increases the likelihood of cultural fit and a diverse workforce.

Set goals and track progress - Effectively managing diversity involves tracking key metrics such as retention rates to gauge progress and identify areas for improvement. Encouraging regular reporting of diversity data and progress updates drives motivation across the entire team. Rewarding individuals who contribute to promoting diversity encourages a collective commitment to achieving cultural fit goals.

Assess Soft Skills

According to a recent study, 89% of hiring managers felt that employees with no soft skills were considered bad hires. Evaluating soft skills for cultural fit is essential in complementing tech skills and proficiency. Prioritising technical expertise and soft skills effectively create a strong team driven by collaboration, adaptability, and good cultural fit.

Here are some of the most essential soft skills employers should look out for when hiring for cultural fit within a tech team:

Teamwork - One of the most essential elements of cultural fit is teamwork. Collaboration is vital to cultural fit within a technology workforce, as it builds teamwork and a collaborative workforce. Cultural compatibility unites team members, resulting in improved team environments, employee satisfaction, productivity, and reduced turnover rates.

Problem-solving - Within the tech industry, projects often encounter challenges, bugs, and complexities. Strong problem-solving skills are essential for persevering through challenging situations and implementing a positive attitude required to address any technical issues.

Communication - Open communication is essential in building shared values and understanding within a team. Clearly expressing expectations, goals, and priorities enables individuals to work well as one team. Honest and respectful communication is essential in building trust, strengthening relationships, and forming a collaborative and supportive environment and culture.

Emotional intelligence - Strong emotional intelligence creates a positive and supportive workforce where employees feel respected and comfortable expressing their emotions, enhancing morale and overall well-being. This, in turn, results in a more productive and engaged team.

Reference Checks

Reference checks provide crucial insights into an employee's skill set, cultural values and behaviour that go beyond their resume/CV. As an employer, asking for references is essential in gaining insight into a candidate’s qualities and experience to create a streamlined, efficient tech hiring process.

So, what benefits do references bring, and how are they useful for incorporating cultural fit into a tech team? Here are some examples of the reasons:

Verifying Soft Skills - Effective navigation of challenges and successful collaboration requires essential soft skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence. References act as a skills assessment, providing examples of the application of these skills in previous projects and their impact on workplace environments in the real world.

Values and behaviour - Utilising reference checks can assist employers in evaluating a candidate's values to see if they are in line with their company culture. For instance, if collaboration and teamwork are highly valued, references can be queried, acting as a skills assessment by filling in the gaps about the candidate's working experiences and interpersonal skills.

Streamlined onboarding process - Selecting an individual whose values and work style align with yours contributes to a more streamlined hiring process.

Reference checks reduce the risk of personality clashes and cultural misfits, creating a positive team environment from the beginning.

Final Thoughts on the Importance of Tech Skills and Culture

Building a successful tech team comes down to two focus areas, which are strong cultural fit and tech skills. Acknowledging the impact of cultural alignment within tech teams is essential, leading to engagement, productivity, and positive client relationships.

Diversity and inclusion are essential in creating an innovative and inclusive work environment. Strategies for effective recruitment, bias reduction, goal-setting, and tracking progress are presented to encourage a diverse and culturally aligned workforce.

Soft skills, essential for driving cultural fit, are highlighted as crucial elements for a collaborative tech team. From teamwork and problem-solving to communication and emotional intelligence, these soft skills contribute to a positive work environment and overall team success.

This guide outlines the significance of reference checks in verifying both technical and soft skills, ensuring a seamless onboarding process. By selecting individuals whose values align with the company culture, employers can manage potential challenges and set the stage for a positive team environment from the very beginning.

Aligning Businesses With Culture Fit and Tech Skills

At Cpl, our team of over 30 recruitment consultants can connect your business with suitable professionals who offer technical ability and cultural fit. Our business solutions allow us to align top talent with global technology firms. We use our vast networks, resources, and industry expertise to deliver optimal solutions.

Whether you are a professional looking for your next career opportunity in the technology sector or a business looking for your next ideal hire, contact us today to discuss your requirements.


The role of workplace culture in recruiting top talent, Robert Walters.

Soft Skills Facts & Statistics, Trvst, Feb 2023.