How to Hire for Culture Fit without Killing Diversity

Posted by Steve Carter on Jun 14, 2016 5:29:00 PM
Steve Carter
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In recent years, talent acquisition based on cultural fit has become a popular concept. This is no surprise, since this practice has been proven to positively impact retention rates, employee engagement and productivity.


Hiring solely based on cultural fit does have its critics, however. By choosing talent based on personality type, rather than skill or experience, organizations, while diverse in appearance, may be filled with employees all fitting the same profile.

So, can we hire based on cultural fit and still maintain the diversity so that the different skills, backgrounds and experiences positively impact the success of the whole organization? The answer to this question is yes, but only if we consider other factors as well. When we base our hiring decisions solely on homogeneity, we end up creating two main barriers to diversity:

First, interdepartmental personality silos that occur as a result of bringing together people with similar personality types. This creates cliche groups like “customer service people” or “marketing people” where a team becomes its own personality type. When a department is filled with employees who have similar traits and viewpoints, communication between the groups becomes problematic.

Second, what do you do when in any given homogeneous team there are people who don't really fit the basic group "norm"? These are the creators -- employees who readily challenge the status quo and help your company attain goals by introducing unique and innovative solutions to the common problems. Creators don't fit into any specific category because by thinking “outside the box” they challenge the established norms and help find unique ways to solve a problem. 

Personality silos and inability to hire creators should be your main concerns when you hire solely based on cultural fit. If you want to be able to hire for culture fit while still maintaining diversity in the workplace, consider incorporating  the following tips:

  • Create an inclusive culture where everyone can openly contribute opinions and share ideas
  • Hire candidates based on their ability to challenge status quo 
  • Never stop hiring for diverse demographics, skills and experience
  • Consider using hiring tools that help predict an accurate cultural and interpersonal fit 

Creating an inclusive culture is the first step in culture-fit based hiring. It should be cultivated by you, the leader. If you struggle to keep valuable talent or find the right people, let us introduce to you our culture match prediction engine. Contact us today, and we'll walk you through the process of creating a diverse team of employees who are willing to work hard in fulfilling high standards and achieving remarkable results.


Topics: new hires, culture fit, cultural diversity

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