Job applicants’ cultural fit can trump qualifications

I saw this earlier today on The Loop and had a brief exchange about it with Jim Dalrymple on I’ll indulge myself expanding on that here.

I’m no lawyer, but screening for cultural fit is a legal slippery slope. If you’re a hiring manager, be very, very careful about which questions you pose to a candidate. For example, you shouldn’t ask someone if they’re married. Or if they have kids. If that candidate doesn’t get the job, someone might claim they were a victim of discrimination. You should already know this.

Now, neither of those questions are examples in the linked article, but this is: “Where do you vacation in the summer?” And that’s a bit borderline to me. That could be interpreted wrong later. So, be subtle.

More importantly, screening for cultural fit is a tricky goal since your organization could wind up with a monoculture. Making sure your new employees embrace your company culture, e.g. innovation, is a good thing. Making sure all those employees are similar culturally can play havoc with diversity and limit perspectives. And that’s bad.