Companies have one obsession. The obsession of hiring someone who shares the common idea of culture in the company. In other words, HR managers and recruiters emphasis on having candidates who are culturally fit. Why am I calling it an obsession? The reason is quite obvious and it does make a concrete valid point. They lose on good candidates because of it.
Imagine the sheer amount of hard work that goes behind the scene - a complete recruitment process. And managers doesn't hesitate to not consider the qualified applicant to get through the final round. Why? Yes, you have guessed it right. The candidate doesn't share the idea or values with the company.
What shocks me is the popularity of this very notion in almost every company. We've have made this cultural setting so crucial that we have given the heaviest weight to it in the recruitment process. Even when the technical skills of the candidate is at par, managers still prefer the heavy dominance of cultural fit.
I know what you must be thinking by now - “Cultural fit is indeed important. How can we hire a person who doesn't share the similar values and ethics?” Well, it does make sense to have such apprehensions. In fact, I used to have such mindset. But, it turns out the cultural fit is not so much of the prime importance. If you disagree with this statement then don't judge me so quickly. Read further and you will know the reason behind making such vehement statement.
Unfitting definition of cultural fit
The monumental problem I see is when companies do not have a structured definition of cultural fit. Is it the attitude? Is it sharing the similar opinions? Or is it the way you treat your team members? Every company is different and so is its culture. Thus, the very first step that companies need to take is to define what culture of their company is.
The next step is to gauge the importance of the same against more significant traits like technical skills of the candidate. Ask yourself if you can afford to lose the brilliant candidate just because he/she doesn’t fit into your definition of cultural fit. More often than not, people do incline towards the company’s culture eventually. So you simply shouldn’t overlook the technical skills of the candidate.
False implementation of cultural fit
Most managers don't select candidates because either they are not satisfied with their working style or they disagree with their opinions. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration in the fact that managers vets the cultural fit of the candidate according to their definition of the same.
For example, it is quite possible that companies do require people with different opinions and who can ask questions and try to bring the positive change in the company. But if the hiring manager does have the problem with someone who is proactive in raising questions then the candidate certainly wouldn’t make through the last round.
This false implementation of a cultural idea does hurt the hiring process of the company. In fact, cultural fit can not be vetted perfectly in the interview. Moreover, a candidate can easily imbibe the culture of the company in a few weeks.
Problem of overlooking the diversity in team
One common thing that every successful company shares are the diverse workforce. Businesses certainly don’t want people with a similar mindset who always say yes to everything. Otherwise, it would make their growth stagnant. Because there would be no different opinions, counter questions, and different perspective to look at the problems.
The time has come to throw away your meaningless fixation on hiring people with a similar mindset and cultural traits. Rather start looking at the precise connotation of your company’s culture and weighs the importance of the other traits.