Online video interviewing from Hire-Intelligence

Candidates: Don’t Take a Job because it Matches Your Qualifications!

This statement may raise a couple of eyebrows, especially considering that to suggest hiring someone on the basis of anything but their qualifications seems well…discriminatory.  Since 1987 workplace discrimination claims filed with the EEOC have increased by 50% and many have argued that to right the ship organizations must hire on qualifications alone.  Some argue that hiring for cultural fit helps an organization, while others argue that hiring for cultural fit hurts the organization and is unfair to qualified candidates.  While opposing parties — mostly HR professionals, recruiters and hiring managers — butt heads about who’s right, another party has yet to be given significant consideration and that’s the candidate.

We don’t really need to ask the candidate what they want, do we?

Obviously candidates all want to be hired not on the basis of their color, age, ethnicity, weight, etc. but rather on their qualifications alone.  Candidates usually don’t even consider “cultural fit” when evaluating a position.  That is until….

….they secure a job with an organization into which they don’t fit.  With such high unemployment all that matters to the candidate is salary and “do I get the job” but after they are hired many will discover that cultural fit really does matter.  Now some may argue that “cultural fit” is just another word for discrimination and in many instances I wouldn’t argue with them.  Indeed thousands of qualified and pleasant candidates are turned down yearly because of that lame excuse, “they just don’t fit in to our culture” but what happens when the candidate is hired and they truly don’t fit in culturally?

The fact is that corporate cultures vary widely and candidates should be cautious before jumping on board with a new organization.  I have read recently several accounts from candidates about how they did not fit in with their new co-workers.  In one account the employee looked forward, upon getting hired, to working with their much older colleagues and gaining their experience.  To her dismay her colleagues constantly discussed their grandchildren, physical ailments and what they would do when they retired.  As a result the candidate found little common ground with her co-workers.  Now sure maybe this candidate should just get over it but maybe not.

A second candidate explained they were offered a job on the basis of their education and qualifications yet left after just 6 months.  They did not fit in culturally with the organization and so felt such loneliness at work that they couldn’t bear the environment for forty hours a week.

Examining this example, arguing that cultural fit doesn’t matter is difficult given that replacing a candidate taxes the organization’s time and money.

If you are a sales person, for instance, who likes to travel constantly, do you want to be hired on the basis of your qualifications by an organization who wants you to ride a phone all day in your cubicle?  Of course you don’t!

While getting a job simply because you are the most qualified candidate may seem ideal, you run the risk of jumping into an organization that doesn’t fit your ideals nor maximize your strengths.  Poor hiring fit is similar to being a Meg Ryan, rom-com type of person forced to watch a marathon of Freddy Krueger and Jason flicks.  Sure you love movies but not all are to your taste and many will make you want to get up and leave before the end.

About The Author

Ryder Cullison

Ryder has more than 10 years of experience working with retained search clients as a search professional. As a pioneer of Interview4 he has great knowledge of video interviewing. He writes about all things hiring and looks forward to engaging with his audience on topics of leadership, recruiting, candidate screening, and employee satisfaction. Follow him on Twitter: @hireintelligent and @cullison1

One Response to “Candidates: Don’t Take a Job because it Matches Your Qualifications!”

  1. July 2, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    It’s obvious to me too Keith. From a TPR stdnipoant i can’t even get internal recruiters to respond when i submit a qualified candidate without stalking them and i do good stalk. There is a lot of lip service paid to candidate experience but it’s just that lip service period, paragraph. Internal recruiters are too busy trying to hustle a resume or two to a hiring manager to keep them off their butts. If a candidate does finally fight it through all the crap involved with the ATS application (a large % of the time the damn things blow up in the middle or freeze)get a phone call and wonder of wonders an interview..if they blow any of the above with any kind of off remark or lack of tap dancing ability they are history and referred to as an idiot who does not deserve a phone call or even a form email. Most of the time all anyone hears is the sound of the wind blowing through the canyon..if they are lucky and there is an automated response.Companies are spending millions on marketing, social media, blah, blah and they forget that the masses are made of individuals. What good is all the social media spend if it generates contacts and applications that result in professional people being treated like a cafeteria line where the overemployed in HR and recruiting pass along deciding to just have a bite of desert and leave the green beans. And that’s just initial contact or lack of same.If you think it’s bad at the top companies to work for try a survey of medium sized companies in everyday America. It takes a Captain America or Wonder Woman to even get a response to an application. And all our gurus want to automate further. Maybe we should just tatoo those cute little thingys on everybody’s forehead. Let them press their head to the computer screen then their linkedin profile jumps up, they get a hire, no hire posting to their linkedin profile and they move on. No expectations, no interaction Hello Moto, how’s your RSS?

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