{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "increasingly wary of the concept of \"cultural fit\". wouldn't you want a diversity of personalities? isn't it important for business to have at least one skeptic in the room?", "post_id": "5cd19f4d05ab210021d4ef6d", "reply_count": 42, "vote_count": 25, "bowl_id": "5565cfca8b2b9a03009acf57", "bowl_name": "Advertising" }

increasingly wary of the concept of "cultural fit". wouldn't you want a diversity of personalities? isn't it important for business to have at least one skeptic in the room?

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Most people who say “we hire best cultural fit” regurgitate a phrase they hear over and over. I laugh when agencies say that and the person they hired leaves after 6 months. Good cultural selection there. They hired because the person was a referral, was cheaper, or they hope they can win them business. When you boil culture down, it’s the shared behavior of an organization. What is valued at your agency? Awards? Work/life balance? Being a production farm that provides 3-5 variations of one project to a client? Doing the best possible work with each project? What is valued is what the people in that company’s behavior is shaped around. Yet I’d be surprised if agencies really hired based on that.

likesmarthelpful

Interesting—while I get that you can define culture in terms of personality, style, or common experience and outlook (that’s where the age/gender/race bias kicks in, innocently or otherwise), I’d prefer to think about context and using culture as a tool to improve the work. To get there, why not promote a culture of curiosity (Goodby famously starts out with « wouldn’t it be cool)? » Or, a culture of always opportunity (thinking Hogshead’s rép for picking herself up after a client shutdown to something that pretty much always went One Show). Or even, dare I say it, a culture of nice and cool (if you’ve ever met Brent Thomas, the art director on the real « 1984 » who’s still directing, you know what I mean. Not to be all naive, but I figure culture is what we make of it, a think to shoot for, not a lever for exclusion.

uplifting
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on top of it all, a lot of the stories about rejection due to cultural fit i hear are from women/poc getting rejected from bro culture agencies. squicks me out.

likeuplifting

Culture fit is also a dandy cover for ageism

likesmartuplifting

Hire for what people add to your culture, not whether they fit. Cognitive diversity is critical, especially in creative industries. (For more on this, read Adam Grant “Originals”)

likesmartuplifting

It’s a media agency with a few creatives embedded within a team of “marketers."

"Cultural fit" is also an easy excuse for higher-ups to hand wave away any legitimate criticisms with a simple "well, maybe this place just isn't for you."

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You gotta get along somehow otherwise nothing will ever get done.

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I thinks it’s just a generic term companies use to weed out undesirable applicants, which can include those with too much experience, too old, not a bro,

likehelpful

“Cultural fit” often alludes to something against EOE laws. Sexism, racism and ageism. Even if it wasn’t those things, the whole concept of it needs to go. It means “sameness.” Ie: Birds of a feather flocking together. Agencies thrive on having DIFFERENT people with DIFFERENT perspectives. You *want* the cultures to be varied. Everyone will be better for it. And also the work.

likesmartuplifting

AD1 you just described the color greige. The most conservative, fear based color known to humanity.

Culture is everything in the workplace. My office has a lot of quieter, passive folks on the project and creative side. They’re great when they’re in a meeting and feel comfortable, but we’ve had bad fits where you have someone who always tries to dominate the room and they shut off. Our consulting side has a mix, but it’s definitely a “speak up or don’t be heard” type and that’s great because we can argue openly and be all good after. We wouldn’t want someone who would either take things too personally or be unable to step into that arena.

likehelpful

Exactly. Cultural fit is more about how the personalities and work styles complement each other than anything else.

Cultural fit is a nice way to couch ageism

likesmart

I’ve started appreciating the culture of my agencies more as I’ve gotten older. And at the good places I’ve worked, it’s just a way of ensuring that you have nice people in the room. We don’t have to be drones, but if you’re a loud attention-seeking bro you may not fit in with a team built around chill people who don’t need to be outwardly aggressive to get shit done. But of course someone like me might not fit into a bro-centric agency. I guess it cuts both ways.

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The problem is seemingly nobody can handle being in the same building as someone who might challenge their worldview. You see it all over this app all the time. Everyone wants a homogenous (not necessarily white either) comfort zone where they won’t feel challenged in any way, because to feel challenged is to feel personally attacked.

likesmart

It is utterly a cover for any circumstance HR wants to invoke to can someone, full stop. Don’t be fooled by gauzy talk of “culture."

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Cultural fit is dangerous because if used as a way to qualify for employment it can be extremely broad. In an ideal world, cultural fit is a personality fit regardless of your sociodemographic background and that's fine. But cultural fit can also be 'comes from predominantly white, affluent background' or as mentioned here bro-ey mentality where you're now saying people of a specific gender or color or income are more likely to fit in (and more importantly those that don't excluded). I once worked on a team where everyone had a beach house they spent their summers and I was like.. great... I.. spent it at home because I don't have that and they couldn't process it. I...did not last long there.

likesmart

I hate using cultural fit as a vague reason not to hire someone. I went through 6 interviews, reference check, hour-long presentation, and a lunch, only to ultimately not be hired due to cultural fit.

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I mean just not liking someone is good enough reason usually.

funnylike

Cultural fit is essential. It doesn't mean common background. It means common goals and general sense of why you're in this business.

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This is a lot of people making assumptions about others and feeling like they didn’t fit. It’s like projecting bad thoughts into others and saying they’re doing that...

Yeah. I didn’t want to rip anyone...because we all have bad stories about not getting hired. But I interpret companies caring about culture as - at best - caring about bringing in good people moreso than who has the most awards. And - at worst - just regular corporate lip service, pretending to care. I never saw it as an attempt at hiring clones of each other. Just more like “Hey, does this person fit into how we work, how we talk, how we debate?"

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