The New York Times confirms that “more than 80% of employers worldwide named cultural fit as a top hiring priority,” where cultural fit is a sugarcoated synonym for hiring others like themselves!
Your resume influences whether you get an interview, but then “chemistry”–personality (“not qualifications”) takes over–“like you were on a date.”
Often cited reasons for hiring someone:
– Someone you would enjoy “hanging out” with, and “developing close relationships with.”
– Those with “shared experiences,” alma maters, and pedigrees–including “hobbies, hometowns, and biographies…and even “those who played the same sport.”
What about diversity?
Well apparently, it’s still an “old boys network” out there, even though diversity has been found especially important for “jobs involving complex decisions and creativity,” and so as not to become “overconfident, ignore vital information, and make poor (and even unethical) decisions.”
No doubt, personality and values can also be important in getting along with others in the group–even a few jerks on the team, can create plenty of havoc, discord, and dysfunction.
Maybe after meeting the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) requirements, one of the litmus tests should be not whether the person is the same as us, but whether they are moral and decent human beings that can act appropriately with others.
Not an easy thing to judge from some interviews, testing, or even reference checking–even when these are done well, there are still quite a number of hiring surprises that happen.
Or as they say about marriage, you don’t really know the person until you wake up with them in the morning.
There are also more extensive background checking that can help vet employees, such as in the Federal system, where many sensitive positions require an in-depth security clearance review process that looks at everything from criminal background, financial responsibility, psychological stability, national loyalties, and more.
We need to know who we are dealing with, not intrusively, but responsibly for good hiring decisions.
Honestly, you don’t just want to hire the candidate that just looks good, like the pretty girl with no personality or a hideous disposition.
To be clear, there should never be ANY hiring biases in the workplace–conscious or unconscious.
Hiring mangers should make sure the person they are hiring is excellent in terms of the KSAs, has a broad set of terrific references, and can reasonably act like a mensch under a broad set of circumstances–the last one is the hardest one to ensure. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)