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Hiring Based On ‘Cultural Fit’ May Not Be All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Two business people shake hands.
Two business people shake hands.
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Employers often look to hire people who feel like a good fit for their organization’s team, but as a recent Wall Street Journal article lays it out, hiring for “cultural fit” can come with potential problems.

It makes sense: employers want someone who mixes well with the company’s mission, goals and team members. In addition, maybe it’s someone who a hirer seems to get along well with, which seems like a bonus. But finding the right “fit” could lead to sameness. Everyone looks alike, acts alike, thinks alike and so on. That can create a big roadblock when it comes to diversifying the office when it comes to things like race, gender, ideas and points of view. So how do employers find the right balance? What has your experience been like going through the interview or hiring process? Join the conversation. 


Alec Levenson, senior research scientist with the Center for Effective Organizations at the Marshall School of Business at USC; he tweets @alec_levenson