Hiring for Culture Fit Doesn’t Have to Undermine Diversity

Although most managers would agree that it is important to hire people who fit in, the idea of hiring for culture fit has become controversial. Our work suggests it need not be. Most of the controversy boils down to a single key issue: the wrong definition of culture fit. The confusion over what culture fit is has given rise to a number of common misconceptions. Clearing these up can help managers improve their talent strategies.

Misconception #1: Culture fit is a “nice to have” but not a necessity.

The core assumption here is that employees’ skills and competences matter more for organizational effectiveness than how well they fit in. While we’re not disputing the importance of having a highly skilled workforce, a large body of scientific evidence has shown that culture fit—which we and others define as how well one’s values adhere to the values of the organization or team — matters significantly for how people act and behave at work. Meta-analyses have found that people whose values are more aligned to those of their organization are more committed to the organization, more satisfied with their job, and less inclined to leave. Studies show that value fit also relates to actual job choice decisions, in the sense that people with higher value fit stay longer and perform better than people whose values fit less. So if leaders want to have an engaged and motivated workforce — as well as the ability to attract and retain the skilled employees they want — culture fit is essential. It is not a luxury; it is as important to overall organizational functioning as hiring for other qualities.

Source - Read More at: hbr.org

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