When done carefully, selecting new workers this way can make organizations more productive and profitable. But cultural fit has morphed into a far more nebulous and potentially dangerous concept. It has shifted from systematic analysis of who will thrive in a given workplace to snap judgments by managers about who they’d rather hang out with. In the process, fit has become a catchall used to justify hiring people who are similar to decision makers and rejecting people who are not.
Phrased another way:
- We like hanging out with those similar to us. So, uh, we hire them.
- When we get “headcount,” there’s often little strategy behind our next step. We just rush in to fill it!
- People want to think hiring is “a science.” It’s not.