We need to find the right ‘fit’.  It’s important the person ‘fits’ in with us. They need to ‘fit’ our culture and values.  You hear the word ‘fit’ frequently when it comes to hiring decisions. Let’s rethink this approach.

Firstly, we are not hiring robots. We are hiring unique human beings who bring diverse skills and experiences. ‘Fitting in’ is a subjective opinion anyway. We need people who challenge us to think differently.  Recruiting for ‘fit’ can reinforce a lack of diversity.  It can feel more like a process of conformity, of assimilation rather than an opportunity for growth which embraces personal potential in a deeper and more holistic way.

Secondly, ‘fitting in’ or conforming won’t cut it in a world of relentless change and complexity. We need adaptability, creativity, and ideas rather than ‘more of the same’. I prefer an approach therefore where we hire for ‘contribution’ rather than fit.  We may call it ‘a culture contribution mindset’.  How can this person contribute to our culture, our team, and our values? A slight change of emphasis away from ‘fit’ can move the whole mindset regarding hiring decisions. Teams become enriched with new perspectives.

Courageous people with emotional intelligence who think differently may not appear to fit’ but they are likely to make the contribution which strengthens organizational culture and values. They are the people driven by a sense of purpose and passion.

This ensures we focus on who will help to drive the organization forward.  Organizations can no longer afford to play it safe.  Hiring for team and culture ‘contribution’ rather than seeking an easy ‘fit’ means we drive more innovation and create more diverse opinions and ideas.

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Johnny Johnston

You’re 100% correct, group think is a noose around the neck of any team. I’m ADHD but was in Corporate America for 40 years and was very successful because my people were able to decode my way of thinking which wasn’t status quo and usually way out of the box.
Very good article.


Thank you for the comments and kind feedback Johnny really appreciated.