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Washington DC Business Lawyer
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Corporate Fit Is Overrated


Two candidates interview for the same job.  They have similar qualifications, and they both have good references.  Which one do you hire?  All else being equal, most businesses hire the person that the hiring managers consider friendlier and easier to get along with.  This intangible characteristic that makes a job applicant appear collegial is sometimes called corporate fit, but in fact, it is not a very good basis on which to desire hiring decisions.  Sometimes it is better to hire someone who at first seems awkward, standoffish, or abrasive.  You don’t have to be Mr. Personality to do your job well, and it is better to hire people because they have the job skills (interpersonal and otherwise) that the company needs rather than an easy rapport with their coworkers.  Remember that the collegial relationship you have with your coworkers developed slowly over time, and that rejecting a job applicant for reasons unrelated to their qualifications and job performance can fall within the definition of employment discrimination.  For help navigating the world of hiring and breaking the news to the qualified candidates you did not choose, contact a Washington DC small business lawyer.

Hiring Based on Fit Leads to Groupthink and Stagnation

When you hire employees on the basis that they fit in with your company’s culture, you are asking to perpetuate the status quo.  It might be fun to eat lunch with your coworkers, and you might not disagree with each other about business decisions, but your workplace can easily become its own echo chamber.  Coworkers who give you more pushback can also help the company innovate.  Even if they are so tactful about disagreeing with you that you don’t even realize that it is a disagreement, the employee whose professional and personal background is unique among the company’s employees can be the one best equipped to enable the company to adapt to change.

Does Lack of Fit Equal Discrimination?

It is easy for members of the hiring committee to tell each other that the person they just interviewed isn’t a good fit, but imagine looking the job candidate in the eye and saying, “You just aren’t a good fit.”  At best, it makes your company sound cliquish.  At worst, it is a flimsy excuse for employment discrimination, if the reason for lack of fit is a protected characteristic.  Is the job candidate a bad fit because she has children, or, even if she didn’t mention children, she is in her early 30s with a wedding ring?  Is it because of her skin color, her weight, or her hearing aid?  In other words, refusing to hire someone simply because they are not a good fit is a slippery slope toward employment discrimination complaints.  It is much better to choose which candidates to hire based on more specific criteria.

Contact Us Today

A Washington, D.C. small business lawyer can help you strategize about how many employees you can afford to hire and the best basis on which to select them.  Contact Tobin O’Connor Concino P.C. for help.



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