The Danger of Hiring for Culture Fit

Why values are so important in the hiring process. 
Blog Hiring for Diversity

In recent years, one of the most common hiring trends has been to hire candidates that fit your organizational culture, then train them on the job. This is made possible by organizations investing heavily in robust learning programs that facilitate skill and career development.

However, hiring for culture fit can pose problems.

Take, as an extreme example, the bank whose hiring process consisted of hiring only former lacrosse players. They decided that because all their managing directors played lacrosse, that the best way to fill out their workplace roster was with candidates who also played lacrosse.

Cultural fit, while understandable, can overwhelm your assessment of people’s ability to do a job effectively.

As Adam Grant puts it, “when interviewers go in looking for culture fit, they often end up weeding out diversity of background and diversity of thought.”

Culture fit is not about hiring those who might be able to trade sports stories or people you want to hang out with. Culture fit is really about similarity in core values.

Core values like flexibility, attention to detail, and learning habits have been shown as great cultural unifiers. It’s not just about extracurriculars, but our approach to learning, to growing, to evolving, and helping those around you to do the same.

Hiring and empowering those who love to learn, and those who push others to learn, ripples through an organizational culture and provides the foundation for growth in the midst of uncertainty.


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