95% of employers surveyed by Totaljobs consider a candidate’s cultural fit as important in the application process. The high figure is unsurprising, as like-mindedness and productivity often go hand-in-hand; something recognised by over half of employers. No matter how many benefits a role has, if a candidate is not a good cultural fit within the pre-existing team, it’s unlikely they will stay around in the long term.

It’s in the best interests of both employer and employee that there is a universally immersive and open company culture. Employees, particularly graduates, want to feel that they are contributing to a shared business goal and by feeling that they are an integral ‘fit’, friendships will most likely be formed. This sense of community is crucial both in terms of business and employee welfare.

While some graduates may not possess masses of work experience, recognising potential and how this can be realised and utilised within the pre-existing team is important when choosing a candidate.

Work Friendships

Friendships in the office are greatly beneficial, as long as they do not teeter over the line of focus into distraction. In fact, only 4% of employees think close relationships at work make them less productive. 39% feel more productive working alongside friends, and 60% look forward to going to work as a result of a close bond formed with like-minded people.

The business value of friendships is clearly recognised, as three-quarters of employers routinely organise social events, from seasonal parties, to drinks and meals out and company milestone celebrations.

Company culture and mental health

If a graduate, or any new starter, does not comfortably fit into your company culture, it may lead to workplace loneliness. Good&Co highlight research that reveals feeling excluded is more negative for personal wellbeing than bullying or harassment.

This loneliness may manifest itself in different ways: the outdated view that emotions should remain outside of the workplace can contribute to feelings of isolation. Not everyone is able to compartmentalise their work and home life – nor should they feel like they have to.

Mental health is a topic that is rightfully being discussed more in the context of a professional working environment – the story of a CEO responding to an employee taking a mental health day is hopefully a sign that this will become standard practice. Millennials have grown up being more aware of the importance of mental health and being open when it comes to discussing this. Employers need to continue to place equal value on mental welfare as they would do physical health.

The relationships within a team should be considered just as vital as a candidate’s skills and potential. After all, young people who do not feel welcomed as part of a supportive team are unlikely to reach their full potential and will be less likely to feel comfortable seeking advice or voicing concerns. A flourishing social environment is essential for a successful business.


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