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Wally Bock

Another provocative post, Steve. I take "what kind of person do we want" to be a version of "will this person fit in our culture." Companies who are aware that fit is important because they have strong cultures seem to deal with this in different ways.

Some companies comb the pre-employment profiles of people who've been successful to determine behaviors or activities that may indicate that a person is a better fit for the company.

Some companies involve employees in the hiring process. SW Airlines does this.

Some companies have a long probationary period. They assume that a person who doesn't fit will find the culture onerous. Nordstrom is an example.

Then there are some unique methods. Whole Foods brings people on for a thirty day trial and then the team he or she works on decides if they fit. Zappos offers trainees $1000 to quit if they don't think they fit.

R J Hall

Great post. I agree that determining the type of person a company hires is often the most important criteria for a good fit.

The issue I've most commonly seen, though, is not people being terminated because they didn't fit in or even because they were incompetent. What I've experienced most often are companies who do a poor job of hiring and then just put up with people whether they don't fit or are just poor workers. These companies sometimes build elaborate and extensive work-arounds, including hiring other people to cover for the ones not working out....a little bit of a tangent, but that's what your post made me think of.

Janice Meyers

Awesome! Cultural fit should be the basis of all hiring! It seems to be catching on at companies of all sizes these days as well.

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