SXSW Interactive 2015
When Does "Culture" Become Bias?
Sometimes a company’s culture begins at its founding: a few friends, who hire more people they know and are comfortable with. Sometimes a company’s culture comes from its community: the people who use it. But at some point, what we call culture can become something else: we go drinking on weeknights (not parent-friendly); we are just a bunch of guys (not women friendly); we are just a bunch of people from Stanford… and so on. But studies show that the most successful companies have a diversity of viewpoints. The underside of hiring for culture is that many talented potential candidates are disqualified because they wouldn’t “fit in” with the company. At a certain point, fit trumps qualifications, and recruiters look for people with the same background and work style as the rest of the team. While this might make for a strong company culture, it limits diversity. This panel will examine the balance between recruiting for cultural fit and building a team of individuals based on talent.
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Additional Supporting Materials
- When does a company’s culture cross the line into bias?
- What are the limits and parameters when hiring for cultural fit?
- What are the drawbacks to having a strong company culture?
- How do you build a strong internal culture while also hiring for diversity?
- What is the balance between fit and diversity that creates the most productive and healthy environment?
Rebecca Aronauer, Team Member, Leap PR