I was recently listening to a podcast by Reid Hoffman, Linkedin founder. There was one episode about the importance of company culture. Listening to that podcast, i was saying to myself, “you could only afford to say that if your company is in silicon valley”.
In silicon valley, you have a huge startup ecosystem. If you have the money, you can hire any flavour of developers or marketers you wish. This is not the case outside silicon valley, when specific skills might be less abundant. And surely not the case for companies that are not tech related or tech based.
Hiring culture-fit employee.
A startup culture is perceived as a workplace environment that values creative problem solving, open communication and a flat hierarchy. But each startup and company nowadays claim it’s own culture.
The prioritisation of personality type over skill makes absolutely no sense in any situation. But given that silicon valley sets the narrative, with it’s huge tech companies, and their constant preaching of their ways of doing things, you shouldn’t be surprised that companies everywhere talk about company culture.
In reality, a company culture is the way things are done or how the company wants to be perceived. Any employee joining a company, would quickly assimilate, whether the employee did or did not fit that “culture” initially. And if the employee does not assimilate to the culture, a couple simple remarks can set things in order.
The absurd notion that we need to hire someone that fits our culture, is exactly that … Absurd.
To give you some examples:
– If the company culture developed to be competitive. Then any new employee joining will feel the pressure to be as well.
– If the company culture is more laid back. Then any new employee would adapt to that as well.
The idea that a competitive person can not fit in a laid back company, is absurd and stupid.
A smart talented individual can affect a company in a huge way. Do you want to miss on that firework simply because it does not fit the mold that you fabricated for your company?
Hiring People we Can Relate to
I later came across an article on a business website stating that we actually hire people we can relate to. This is true and has been true since the dawn of humanity. It is in human nature to trust those that are most similar to us. This also explains why minorities have problems finding jobs outside their communities, or why 2nd generation immigrants in countries like France would also encounter these same discriminations.
It is not only about discrimination, even beyond race/gender favouritism, we really are more willing to hire people that are like us, simple things like “have cat/dog”, love reading , plays basketball can be the decisive criteria to hire …. We hire people as if we were picking friends, because in a way they will be in our lives for 8h daily!
This is obviously wrong, counter productive, and plain bad for business.
Hire the best talent you can afford.
For a company to succeed and to grow stronger and stronger, it does not need your affinity criteria, it’s not a dating site. A company need smart, creatives, skilful and talented people. Instead of judging your candidates based on your faulty heuristics, start asking for IQ tests and start implementing some skills tests.