Do Not Hire! Not A Culture Fit.

Post Update:  This post was originally written in 2015.  Now, the phrase "Culture-Fit" seems to conjure up more negatives than positives.  This is a good thing in my opinion.  I have seen hundreds of qualified people get disqualified from the hiring process and even fired under the vague reason, "Not a Culture Fit".

What Does Culture Fit Mean and how far do we take it?

In my twenty years of recruiting experience, and in my opinion, I have seen "culture fit" to mean the following:

Examples of how "Culture-Fit" is used in a bad way (my opinion). 

  • Overweight
  • Too old
  • Too liberal
  • Too conservative
  • Not a white male.
  • Dressed funny
  • Has a foreign surname (Not American)
  • Not cool enough
  • We don't like her but can't tell you why.
  • From the bad side of town.
  • Graduated from an "online university"
  • Didn't graduate from a "Top School".
  • Too aggressive for our team.
  • Not aggressive enough for our team.

Examples of how "Culture-Fit" is used in a constructive manner (my opinion). 

  • Only money motivated
  • Rude
  • Racist
  • Does not value what company values.
  • Resistance to change
  • Lies
  • Believes in a command and control management style
  • More to come.





Original Post:  Describe your company culture


Q: What's the Culture like at your company?

A: It depends.

Corporate culture refers to the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize members of an organization and define its nature. Corporate culture is rooted in an organization's goals, strategies, structure, and approaches to labor, customers, investors, and the greater community. *

Culture Dissonance

This is not the culture that was shown to me by my recruiter..

Most companies use culture and/or core values as a distinguishing point. But let us ask the really tough questions.

1. Does the culture and core values on your website really reflect your employees shared values, attitudes, and beliefs? How do you know?

2. How many sub-cultures would you say you have at your company? Does your Marketing Department on the West Coast have the same culture as your Finance Team at the headquarters in New York?

3. How does your company currently measure and assess culture?

4. Is employee turnover an indication of a changing corporate culture?

5. Does corporate culture come from the top or does it bubble up from the bottom? Who owns corporate culture?


Time and time again candidates labeled as "not a culture fit" are re-submitted to a different team, location, or department of the same company only to have that candidate hired. My point here is that culture is not black & white and it changes with every hire you make.

That's right, culture is not stagnant, it is a living breathing thing that is always changing.

For as much as the phrase "corporate culture" and "core values" is thrown around, very few companies consistently assess and measure it. I wonder why?

What are you thoughts on the subject?


These rants and opinions are my own. Me write pretty one day! Sorry for any misspellings and grammatical errors.