As discussed in the blog ‘Technical Skills VS. Cultural Fit’ three weeks ago by Tom from our office, Culture Fit is an important part of the selection criteria when searching for an employee. However, the lines between culture fit and bigotry can tend to become blurred, often despite the best efforts of the employer.
The term ‘culture’ when used in this context does not refer to a person’s race, sex or religion – it is used to describe the overall mentality and atmosphere of a particular workplace. If you are rejected for a role because of culture fit concerns, it has nothing to do with your country of origin, your gender or your beliefs and everything to do with your demonstrated attitude and it’s incongruity with the potential workplace.
Are you tearing at your hair in frustration and crying out:
Then look at it this way – you apply for a role, which, on paper, is you all over. You’ve got the right skills, the money looks good and you’d be comfortable performing the duties. You interview briefly but excellently, dazzling the panel with your technical skills, rich experience and musky odours, and succeed in obtaining the role. Then, several weeks into your new role, you find yourself at odds with your colleagues and disagreeing with the company ethos. You continue to do your work superbly, but there’s a growing dissatisfaction in you and suddenly, you want out. Why work for someone or something you don’t agree with?
You resign, leaving your employer with an empty role and the prospect of another lengthy recruitment process, and you with a worrying blip on your resume that you have to explain to the next company you apply to.
The above scenario is not ideal for either party, and could have been avoided, had culture fit been taken into account during the recruitment process. Despite this, there is a belief floating around that ‘culture fit’ is just a convenient way for employers to disguise rampant discrimination in their hiring policies. This could very easily be true, and in some cases, sadly is. But if a company chooses to discriminate against candidates because of race, gender or religion, they are doing damage solely to themselves. Bigotry and bias in a recruitment process can make employers miss out on the perfect candidate for the role, leaving a person who has the ‘right’ skin colour but second rate skills to perform the work. And if a company is found to be actively discriminating against persons, then all hell will certainly break loose.
However, if a company does not discriminate and also chooses to recognize culture fit as a key selection criterion, then they will wind up with a technically ideal employee who also enjoys their work environment and co-exists happily with their colleagues. These combined factors lead to increased employee satisfaction, higher staff retention rates and open collaboration between staff members.