Why Hiring for Cultural Fit Can Thwart Your Diversity Efforts

Celia de Anca, Harvard Business Review, Apr 25, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Diversity, as I have observed frequently in these pages, is one of the four elements of the 'semantic condition', which are the criteria for successful networks. For a lot of people 'diversity' means language and heritage. But it's a lot more than that, as this post demonstrates. Consider: “In the company we are all are from a certain prototype: super kind, generous, enthusiastic, extroverted, and proactive. The company uses the services of a big data company to help find the right people from all over the world.” The result, though, is "creating a situation in which companies will be very diverse in appearance, but intrinsically homogenous... Thus the company will appear diverse — but we know that appearances can be deceiving." The idea of diversity is based on people having different perspectives. Creating a 'cultural fit' works against that.

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