Hiring for cultural fit means not merely looking for skills, but also finding someone who fits into the company’s culture and values. However, in the last few years, the concept has acquired a different meaning from the original one, and people started to hire candidates with whom they identify. And here is when unconscious biases enter the game. Often people tend to follow their gut when they interview candidates with similar backgrounds, interests, behavioural traits and ideas, and forget about facts. This trend is leading people to interchange the alignment between the candidate and the company with the alignment between the candidate and themselves.
Before starting to test for cultural fit, companies should first define their culture tightly, and then loosen the grip on how values can be personified. Is essential to be broad-minded and hire candidates who maybe seem not to fit the culture, but by being different, being what the company needs.
The “hiring for cultural fit” trend can lead to creating a homogeneous culture and undermining diversity. Moreover, this behaviour can be the root cause of low retention if the culture sponsored by the company during the recruitment process doesn’t represent the perception of the employees; this misalignment can lead to higher turnover if employees value a lot the working culture.
This is why is important to stop hiring for cultural fit, and let diversity bring additional value to the organizations. By relying on different cultures, different opinions and points of view, companies can improve their culture, grow faster and succeed.