Ahh the old “Culture fit” when it comes to hiring. It’s complicated. We do want to hire people who will work well in the current team, and not disrupt things negatively, but we have to come to grips with this too:
“At best, we pick out those indicators that align with those we already believe are important. When we say a candidate is not a fit, it is often a thinly disguised code for not hiring someone who does not fit our bias.”
In my experience, cultural fit is a double-edged sword. It can be used to find someone who will slide right into our team comfortably. It can also be used as an excuse to only hire a certain type of person.
For example, if your sales team is a bunch of “bros”, hiring more will keep them running without any HR issues, but should you? Would having a diverse sales team actually be the better choice for your business and society as a whole? Similarly, if your culture revolves around families, and people talking every Monday morning about their kids, a good cultural fit is going to be a parent. That’s not all that diverse.
On the other hand, if your culture stresses wellness and work-life balance, hiring someone who strolls into an interview talking about how no one who works less than 80 hours a week is important might not be a great culture fit, right?
There’s no simple answer here but I would look at how you define culture. There should be an organizational culture that includes diversity. Think more about “we value a variety of experiences and viewpoints” as opposed to “we like to work in a locker room environment” and then find the diverse group of people who “fit” your culture.
I will agree with Kevin on this though, “culture fit” is too frequently just code for people like me, and that needs to go away.
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