Walking The Crazy-To-Hire Line And Culture


crazy to hireA few weeks back someone brought the chart on your right to my attention. He wrote up an argument for when you can ignore culture fit and hire someone for skill. It makes sense to me. There’s a certain point where you can sacrifice culture for competency.

It’s a fine line, as someone who’s a bad culture fit – a bad apple, if you will – will always rot out. But how do we really sniff out these bad apples?

I realize I’m taking this metaphor too far, so I digress.

But a bad culture fit stinks and it’s usually pretty obvious to everyone, especially in a company with a clearly defined culture. You know them, the kind of company where the values are something that sticks to the walls and sticks with you. A bad culture fit makes you feel something , too. I don’t know how to describe it but when you find yourself so deeply engrained (and even retained) in a role simply because of culture, you know if someone has it – and even more clearly when they don’t.

Now, the crazy-to-hire line is different for everyone but one fact remains true in companies with strong cultures. Sitting on a hiring panel and having one voice trump all, especially when you’re walking the crazy-to-hire line, is the quickest way to make everyone in the room stop caring about hiring, recruiting and referrals. A bad culture fit resonates and creates tension across teams.

I’ve been in the trumping scenario a few times and each time, we were right about the culture fit and that person either quit or was fired within months of their start date.  I’m sure many other people have experienced the same. You can share your stories in the comments.

Of course, that got me thinking about a few other ways this chart could be applied. I wish some of the dating sites had one of these instead of their simple matching scores. It would save me a lot of money in booze and best-friend therapy hours.

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