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Stop Hiring for Fit If You Want to Have a Diverse Team

 

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Yes, it’s important to hire workers who fit in well with your team from a cultural standpoint. However, it is possible to overdo it in a sense. Trying to only hire “clones” of your current workforce isn’t the best idea, even if it has been working out for you so far, because you run the risk of missing out on even more qualified candidates, as well as other pitfalls. Take a look at some of the following ways diversification can work wonders for your company, and how choosing to only hire for direct cultural fit can deprive you of such benefits:

Inclusion and acceptance
You obviously want the best talent for the job, regardless of age, race, or gender. If you were to only hire a certain type of people in order to maintain a very tight cultural fit, you’ll soon find an office full of the aforementioned “clones”. This could in turn potentially deter highly qualified candidates from applying for the job, as they may feel that they wouldn’t be accepted or wouldn’t be comfortable working at such a company. For example, filling up the entire office with “bros” throwing footballs around will probably scare off a couple of highly capable female applicants. Employees who don’t feel like they fit into the office culture are also more likely to leave, resulting in higher expenses in hiring and on-boarding overall.

Innovation and creativity
If the importance you place on cultural fit is exceptionally strong, many employees may avoid anything that wouldn’t help them fit in. Different viewpoints, ideas, and innovations may never make it to the table if the employee feels that it doesn’t align with the company’s cultural fit, even if such an idea would be highly beneficial to the company’s bottom line. In addition, groups of similar people tend to agree with each other, either because the individuals in the group want to fit in or because the group is overconfident in their decisions due to the similarities of each person in the group. A diverse group of people with different viewpoints and different work experience will more likely challenge another's decision, as perhaps they’ve encountered a different outcome in a different situation specific to their background. As a result, better informed decisions can be made.

Qualified candidates
Finally, the most obvious reason for fostering a diverse workforce is to hire the most skilled candidates for the job. The term “cultural fit” can sometimes mean bias, as the hiring manager will simply hire people that they like on a personal level. This in turn results in less qualified people getting hired rather than someone who could have done the job better but wasn’t as ideal of a cultural fit. Hiring managers have also been known to actually hire people who ask for more money over someone asking for the base salary because of cultural fit.


This article was written by Sean Ahern.

Sean Ahern, a recent Drexel University MBA graduate, is a jack of all trades. Apart from his passion for writing, he also narrates audio books, produces commercial music, performs stand up comedy, and practices martial arts. Sean prides himself as being a true freelancer, and decries the concept of the 9-5 job (despite writing articles describing various strategies on how to secure such a position).

Sean is currently pursuing a full time career in copywriting as he continues to bolster his portfolio with updated work. Keep an eye out for some of his future writing pieces, or for his name on the marquee of your local comedy club.

Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.

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