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Old 01-25-2014, 09:19 AM
 
1,115 posts, read 2,005,707 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosie_hair View Post
The same concept applies to today's work force. Don't get me wrong, if you think efficiency should trump culture fit, then god bless you for it.
Not at all. Unfortunately however, a lot of my experience has been seeing people getting hired simply because of cultural fit, but they have no skills to back it up. I wholeheartedly believe that you should hire people who match a good blend of both fit and qualifications, but with this big trend of "YOU MUST HIRE FOR COMPANY FIT" sweeping the job economy the last several years, I'm seeing companies focusing so much on cultural fit that they forget to make sure that the person actually has the skills to actually do the work!

And sure, most people can be trained, but how long might it take and at what cost? It could take years, tons of money, and lost manpower from other employees training. Plus, as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't force it to drink. Some people never seem to learn the skills no matter how much training you pour into them, and others are just inherently lazy or intellectually weak.

Hiring for cultural fit is great, but for the love of god, hire someone with the right experience and qualifications as well. Cultural fit does not mean the person will necessarily decide to work harder, learn better, and be more efficient.

Last edited by the_grimace; 01-25-2014 at 09:27 AM..
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:27 AM
 
1,115 posts, read 2,005,707 times
Reputation: 2111
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
The problem with this discussion is that you have not defined any of your terms, nor have you provided anybody with the ratios involved between competence:skill:fit. Additionally you are phrasing this as an all or nothing excercise, when things in real life are rarely so clear cut.

Personality, whether you like it or not, is a key factor in many jobs. Retail clerks should be outgoing, same with sales people. Who wants to deal with a grumpy receptionist?

How exactly do you measure competence and skill? Through experience and certifications? We all know people who caught onto things faster than us, and slower as well.

Do all jobs need supreme levels of competence? Is a bookkeeper with 25 years of experience 5x as good as one with 5 years of experience? Or only a little bit? What if the person with five years of experience is highly cooperative, a pleasure to be around, and wants to learn, when the 25 year experience is a cranky a$$ hole whose idea of saying good morning is F--- off, leave me do my work?

Hiring decisions are often not clear, and the reality is we do have to spend 40 hours a week with our coworkers. Personality is important.
I'm mostly looking for generalizations about pros and cons of hiring people of:

- more cultural fit, but less competence, vs.
- more competence, less cultural fit

I think everyone can agree finding a balance of them is ideal, but that method can often feel like finding a needle in a haystack. Sometimes compromises have to be made, and more often than not hires are made where cultural fit vs competence swings to one side more than the other.

To answer your other questions, I would define competence as:
- work ethic
- past experience (Such as how long you worked, what companies you worked, what fields you worked in, etc)
- proved mental and physical competencies (skills you have proof you can do)

I would define cultural fit as:
- age
- race
- personality
- mannerisms
- hobbies and interests
- etc...
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:36 AM
 
1,305 posts, read 1,323,377 times
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I have never seen or heard of a company that hires someone solely because of cultural fit. I have seen and heard plenty of hiring of people with very efficient skills but having an almost lack of people skills. Look through this thread again. Plenty of people here have worked with anti-social but very efficient workers. And our experiences working in such places with those people, especially when those anti-social people are managers, are anywhere from annoying to downright miserable.

For example, one time I put in a lot of hours and still couldn't get some work done in the office. So, I was packing up everything to bring home for the weekend and do the work at home. My boss saw me and told me to leave the work in my office. The following week, he reassigned some of the work load to another engineer so that I would have the time to finish the work in the office.

I'm on the team permanently driving a company car with a monthly gas allowance.

I've worked in a place before where the manager was an anti-social efficient worker. And if you couldn't finish the work in the office then you are expected to take them home and work for free. People were always stressed out. Work was endless. The manager always gave us not enough time to do anything. Well, surprise surprise that company is now bankrupt.

Like I said, I think anti-social but efficient workers are the downfall of many companies. What they don't understand is that stress will eventually kill the company. A regular office already has enough stress that naturally builds up. We don't need a--hole managers contributing more stress. I think that's why my boss ordered lunch for the whole office twice this past week. The company is more profitable than ever, and we do it by working hard at times and socialize at times. I dare say we're beating our competitors by taking their contracts from them. And a quick visit to their offices will show that they don't socialize. Everyone is always stressed out. This one office I visited revealed that the manager there was a perfectionist and an a--hole. Noone likes her. She was always yelling and giving them less time than they need. No wonder we're beating them at this game. They are stressed out and that means less productive.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
9,079 posts, read 8,476,658 times
Reputation: 15719
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_grimace View Post
I'm mostly looking for generalizations about pros and cons of hiring people of:

- more cultural fit, but less competence, vs.
- more competence, less cultural fit

I think everyone can agree finding a balance of them is ideal, but that method can often feel like finding a needle in a haystack. Sometimes compromises have to be made, and more often than not hires are made where cultural fit vs competence swings to one side more than the other.

To answer your other questions, I would define competence as:
- work ethic
- past experience (Such as how long you worked, what companies you worked, what fields you worked in, etc)
- proved mental and physical competencies (skills you have proof you can do)

I would define cultural fit as:
- age
- race
- personality
- mannerisms
- hobbies and interests
- etc...
The definition helps.

I would have put work ethic into the cultural fit category rather than the competence category.

I would never hire based on age and race. That is illegal as well as unethical. Plus boring. Who wants to be surrounded by clones?

Personality is important.

Mannerisms? I have rarely met a person with mannerisms so pronounced that I could make a hiring decision on them. Plus, that would be weird.

Hobbies and interests? Only if they had an impact on the job. If I am hiring a person to work at a sporting goods store I would be more interested in somebody who goes rock climbing and plays tennis.

Based upon your OP, I am absolutely opposed to your viewpoint. With your clarifications, we probably agree more than we differ.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:11 AM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,960,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_grimace View Post
And sure, most people can be trained, but how long might it take and at what cost? It could take years, tons of money, and lost manpower from other employees training. Plus, as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't force it to drink. Some people never seem to learn the skills no matter how much training you pour into them, and others are just inherently lazy or intellectually weak.

Hiring for cultural fit is great, but for the love of god, hire someone with the right experience and qualifications as well. Cultural fit does not mean the person will necessarily decide to work harder, learn better, and be more efficient.
This seems like an exaggeration. Iíve never heard of a company hiring a person with limited to no skills/experience for a specialized job that would require years of training. Especially in this job market where there are hundreds if not thousands of applicants for every position. And if a person canít handle the position, s/he will be replaced without hesitation.

Now, if it were a comparatively low-end job with a short learning curve, like retail, customer service, clerical, etc., I can see where things like youth, age, looks, and personality could come into it.

Reading the other posts, this thread is more about ageism than cultural fit. As a potential employee itís important to be well-rounded, amiable and up-to-date with technology.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,768,960 times
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Depends on the definition of cultural fit. If that means get in well with the existing crew, that is important. If it means become your new BFF, drinking buddy, and weekend warrior that's bad.
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:37 PM
 
5,721 posts, read 4,643,139 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosie_hair View Post
The same concept applies to today's work force. Don't get me wrong, if you think efficiency should trump culture fit, then god bless you for it. But based on my years of experience, efficiency with no culture fit will drive the company down to the ground. I've seen plenty of examples in my life. I'm just glad my boss feels the same way and has assembled his team with people that can both handle the work and can joke around, easing the stress and tension that naturally build up in an office environment.
I've never heard of that in my life...I think you're confusing culture with just plain old how a company is ran. Culture is like extroverts vs introverts and rural people vs city people. Now when you look at it that way you might start to rethink some things and just how much companies might really be discriminating. Race is not the problem at companies now because they have to look good on paper and race is easy to track. Discrimination of culture is harder to track and spot. If I had to do a talk on the subject I wouldn't focus on the people they're hiring I would focus on the people they're NOT hiring and show how discriminatory it is. Hope that helps ya Grimace!
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Old 01-25-2014, 03:58 PM
 
155 posts, read 227,532 times
Reputation: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage_girl View Post
Okay, well that's easier.

1. Hiring for skills saves you money. There's a reason why you need someone who knows how to do the job or at least has a good understanding of how to do the job. A person with even just part of the skill set is going to already have the resources to seek out the people and information they require to fulfill their duties.

2. Hiring for competency saves a company from errors. These errors can hurt the company's image, hurt their relationships with clients or vendors, or hurt their finances. If someone is competent at their position, a supervisor doesn't have to worry about keeping tabs on them to ensure they do what they're supposed to do correctly. People who are skilled/or competent at their jobs have accepted the legal obligations to perform their duties.
Have you noticed the high level of incompetency these days? Like, say, when you call customer service?
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
8,848 posts, read 13,352,926 times
Reputation: 16054
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_grimace View Post
To each their own. Frankly I think working with adult children who treat work like an adult playground and are unreliable, unskilled, and incompetent are a pain in the ass to deal with.
I couldn't have said it any better. This whole work is a social club and we hire drinking buddies based on HR pschobabble is very old. I think some companies just need to go bankrupt as a warning to others to get their priorities in order.
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
8,848 posts, read 13,352,926 times
Reputation: 16054
Quote:
Originally Posted by Staggerlee666 View Post
Also it is really hard to work with antisocial people or folks who simply lack social skills.
I am determined in my next job to keep my mouth shut, not complain, do exactly as I am told and never question my boss. Not doing these things in the past has only brought me grief and tension with employers.
You don't need great social skills as much as you need to be able to be polite, take orders, be helpful etc [behave professionally]. You don't need to smile and chat about sports all day or gossip.

This theory that seems to be really endorsed by HR is that we'll hire the most incompetent extreme extrovert over the most highly qualified person who is more reserved is intensely damaging to companies and is in a large part responsible for companies inability to hire the best talent.

If you spent your time in college deluging yourself with difficult material and studying to get A's in quantum mechanics you probably aren't the extreme extrovert that hung out a frat parties and drunk himself into a stupor.

Cultural fit is often a euphemism to justify the extremely shallow practice by many to pass over better candidates for a person the manager would rather hang out with.
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