The idea of culture in a small company is often talked about in relation to things like team lunchs and company soccer teams, but I think the foundation for great company culture is built through the hiring process. A candidate's skill set or reference is what gets them in the door for an interview, then it's up to you to determine if they are a "culture fit." Culture fit is a pretty vague idea, and it's easy to head down a rabbit hole of "Who are we?" "What is our company culture?" "What do we value?" "What is our spirit animal?" style questions. While solidifying company values are great, it's still difficult to translate them into a hiring criteria.
The following 5 criteria are what we use to determine if a candidate is a culture fit.
1. Like the person
2. Respect the person
3. Trust the person
4. They're quick to learn
5. They're a hard worker
I've rushed someone in the door to fill a needed role, they didn't meet all the criteria, and it didn't work out. We now make sure every new team member meets all 5. It's become central to our hiring process and we've found it provides clarity when thinking about what it means for someone to be a "culture fit."