Rethinking the Concept of Culture Fit

Rethinking the Concept of Culture Fit
From Recruiter - January 23, 2017

Article by Aly Merritt

Ive been doing a lot of culture interviews lately.

SalesLoft is growing at a crazy rate, but hiring people means participating in a lengthy process that includes everything from phone screeningsand email questionnaires to filling out assessments and speaking withcandidates in person.

Recruitment software company Workable reports on a metric called average number of interviews per hire, which the company says is key in revealing how much time senior members of the team are spending on each individual hire. Workable found that, regardless of industry or country, the average number of interviews per hire is 13. Marketing automation company Marketo reportsthat it conducts eight interviews per hire, though this number varies depending on the role. For example, finance takes more interviews while, interestingly, engineering takes fewer.

I know, it seems like a lot of time to spend just talking to people, but making a bad hire can be really costly. According to the SHRM Foundation, Research suggests that direct replacement costs can reach as high as 50-60 percent of an employees annual salary, with total costs associated with turnover ranging from 90 to 200 percent of annual salary (emphasis added). Furthermore,applicant tracking system Recruiterboxsays that 38 percent of bad hiresresult from companies rushing to fill positions!

As people startedto realize the cost of bad hires and the glamorization of tech/startup culture began, there camea big push in favor of culture interviews to help identify the right candidate. Publications everywhere wanted to tell you why you should be hiring for culture fit and the best questions to ask. Of course, in response (because internets), were now hearing why you shouldnt hire for culture fitand how it can negatively impact diversity or mask discrimination.

Here is what I have to say about culture interviews: Theyre incredibly important to building a cohesive, intelligent, transparent, creative, innovative, and motivated team, but whether a culture interview helps you build that type of team really depends on what culture fit means to your company.

If by culture fit you mean whether or not youd grab a beer with a personafter work, you may want to rethink your standards.

When I go into a culture interview, Im not looking for someone who looks or acts like me (though we all havean inherent biasin favor of people who are like us,and we should all be aware of this bias when hiring). Im not looking for someone who reads the same books, or lives in the same area of town, or is at the same stage in life, or likes the same restaurants. Thats how you end up hiring people who think just like you do, which leads to a lack of diversityin your workplace. That, in turn,leads to reduced creativity, diligence, and hard work.


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