There's a great post, Please: Stop “Hiring to Cultural Fit”. Laura Bergells explains the problems of what she sees when people supposedly hire for cultural fit:
- They consider for personality first
- They consider tech and business skills second
If you read this blog on a regular basis, you are shaking your head in disbelief. That's not hiring for cultural fit. That's nuts. That's what happens when you don't do a job analysis, when you don't organize your hiring team, and when you actively discriminate against people who are different from you. It's crazy. It's counter to everything I write about in Hiring Geeks That Fit.
How do people get such ideas?
It's easy if you take memes and don't read anything other than 140 characters on Twitter. It's easy if you don't track your hiring data. It's easy if you don't evaluate how your teams are doing or how you as a manager are doing.
When you hire for cultural fit, you make sure that the person has the technical chops to do the job. I recommend you do that and that you understand your culture, so that you know what your culture rewards, what your culture allows people to discuss, and how people treat each other.
If you have someone who has the technical skills, but wants to fight loudly in a team where they are soft-spoken, will that work? Maybe yes, maybe no. You should discuss it. It's not a make or break decision, but a point for discussion. That person might not fit the team immediately, but might learn to fit into the team. Or, you might want to hire the candidate to inject a little excitement into the team.
When you hire people who are just like you, you lose the value of different ideas. And, if you hire people who don't have the technical skills but who fit the culture, well, you know what they say: “A people hire A people. B people hire C people.” You will have proven it.
Laura has a great point. You're not hiring for cultural fit. You're hiring the people you want to, and you now have a label you can blame it on. Don't discriminate against the people you don't feel comfortable with, just because you don't know how to hire. Learn how to hire. Then hire for cultural fit.