By Julie Goh (5 Jan 2023)

So often we hear of the need to hire employees who would fit the culture of the Company. In all my years of working, I have always been against this. So, my opinion here will be contradictory to a lot of other HR opinions on this topic.

According to the “experts”, culture fit when hiring is important because it means that the employee will be able to conform and adapt to the work environment of the company. This will help them to perform well in their work.


What does it mean when you have a company filled with “culture-fit" employees?

· All the employees working in that company think alike?

· Everyone shares the same trait?

· Everyone has the same beliefs, values, and behaviours?

Sounds like you are merely hiring clones or a bunch of yes-men/women. Besides, how can you truly tell if someone will fit into your company culture from just a couple of interviews. Let's not forget that jobseekers are always at their “best behaviours” during interviews. So, the person you saw during interviews might not be their true self.

Just so you know, this practice is equivalent to discrimination. You would rather hire someone who “clicks” with you, even when their skills and experience are inferior to more qualified candidates who are perhaps…. more outspoken. Are you, perhaps afraid they will “challenge” you or maybe outshine you? Is it really your aim to hire people who will fit in or perhaps, it is just to gratify your own personal feelings?

The one question you have to ask is how do you measure how well one fits into the company culture. What is the unit of measurement for culture fit? Does your company have a well-defined culture that is measurable? Or is it merely based on the preference of the hiring manager.

While I agree that whoever we hire will need to conform to certain core principles and values (such as integrity and work principles) but I firmly believe that hiring people who are not clones of ourselves actually brings more benefits and value to the team and to the company.

· A more diversified population in the company with various backgrounds, personalities, and knowledge bring about multiple individual strengths, each with its own potential.

· It can create an environment where employees will continue to strive for innovation and improvement. Rather than just agreeing to everything, they will give their opinions and feedback. A little healthy competition is always good for growth.

I would rather hire someone who is truly passionate about their job and aims to do it well, rather than have someone who tries their best to “please” me.

I would rather have someone who I know will be able to help me achieve the goals I have set for my team, who will give honest feedback, and who will offer suggestions for improvements.

The company is a place of business, and not for you to form your own personal social circle. Hire for the right reasons, eliminate human bias and ensure an equal chance for everyone – achieving the company’s goals must be placed above you building your own clique or any other personal gratification.

Culture add – adding more diversity into the team – is the right way, not culture fit.

The author is an award-winning HR Sifu with, who has made significant improvements in how HR operates in multiple retail and high-volume/fast-paced companies. Complimentary consultation sessions with HR Sifu are available for all paying customers.

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