A word from a CEO #30

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Cultural Fit

I was talking to someone the other day, and he asked me what I thought about the idea of “hiring for cultural fit.”

The problem with hiring for cultural fit is that people tend to just hire people who look and sound just like them.

And the culture of a place changes depending on the sum of people in the business at any time — it’s not static. We are not the same company we were in 2015, or even 2018.

But that’s why we have things like our Leadership Principles in place. Because the key to hiring the right people is recognizing the behaviors you celebrate, and those you just tolerate.

I believe the “tolerate” part is most important — especially early on in a company. Because even if someone is an A+ player, if they don’t have the qualities you celebrate, then it’s not worth hiring them. They won’t work in the culture, and they won’t add value.

We want to be the new face of corporate America. We want to be made up of people who look, sound, and think differently. Because that is how great things are created — and how we will build an enduring company.

But we also want people who embody the things we celebrate — like bias for action, an obsession with our customers and the desire to be a curious learning machine.

So the next time you’re interviewing a candidate, ask yourself: “Does this person represent what we celebrate?”

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