Hire For Fit

I recently had the opportunity to talk to Paul Herbert over at Incentive Intelligence about the foundations of a strong corporate culture. I was pleased to see that the first in a series of three blogs based on that conversation went live today.

He touches on one of my favorite theories which is that it’s always better to hire for culture fit over technical expertise. That’s right. I don’t care what you have the skills to do because if you don’t align with our culture then we’re not going to hire you. It’s just not worth it to us. We want candidates who not only have the technical aptitude to complete the job but who will add to the experience of being part of our company.

This idea makes some people cringe, I know because I’ve seen them do it right before my very eyes. Historically, HR and legal teams around the world have argued that hiring for ‘culture fit’ could open doors for discrimination issues. I argue that if you do it correctly it doesn’t do that at all. Below are the things you should do if you’re serious about building a great place to work via hiring for culture fit.

  • Get Serious about your Core Values: Decide who you are as a company, how you want your employees to live, what your values are.
  • Live your Core Values from the top down: You can’t hire for ‘culture fit’ unless you have a clearly defined culture based around your values.
  • Interview for Fit: Create a process where ‘fit’ questions are consistently built into every interview.

The best companies in the world have figured out what they value, what type of employees can help them live those values, and how to ensure they aren’t hiring people who don’t align with their vision. You can do it too.

By: Jamie Naughton

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About Marisa

Marisa Keegan is a leadership coach, trainer, and HR consultant for quickly growing organizations who are passionate about strengthening their employees, their brand, and their culture. She has helped lead the HR, culture, and engagement initiatives at two nationally recognized great places to work; Rackspace as Culture Maven and Modea as Talent Manger. She is an author at Fistful of Talent and Culture Fanatics. Marisa has her Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology and currently lives with her husband and twin boys in Richmond, Virginia.
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