The (Mis)Value of Cultural Fit in Hiring

Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Monday, January 15, 2018
The (Mis)Value of Cultural Fit in Hiring

Find Your Perfect Career - Learn how to match your personality to the ideal job or career for you-risk free-$49.95

A common question asked by those looking into the Core Values Index assessment for hiring at their company is, "Will the CVI help us find candidates that are a good cultural fit?"

This is a valid question and it is one that I hope all companies ask. Cultural fit matters, but not in the way we expect.

We dynamically change our expectations and standards during the screening process, unwitting victims of our subconcious emotional needs. We are drawn to those most like us and make hidden justifications for why they are the prefered candidate, often using professional-sounding excuses that they represent a better cultural fit.

In many ways, it's just well-meaning intellectual calisthenics. The proclaimed motivation is valid—we want to hire those who will fit in. We want to get along with our coworkers. This is a worthwhile goal, we're just going about it in the wrong way.

Instead of pursuing candidates that we feel will fit into the current company culture, we should focus instead on objective measures of fit for the role based on objective data, not subjective impressions. The subjective matters, but not as much as most people think. In fact, relying on subjective impressions during the hiring process has been shown to result in decreased performance post-hire.

Some organizations have even removed the hiring manager from the interview process to eliminate the subjective emotional bias interviewers can inject into the process. Candidates are pre-screened based on objective measures like the CVI. The supervisor of the winning candidate is excluded from the interview process.

If we change our focus away from finding people who fit our culture and instead bring in those who are passionate about their job and the mission of the position, they will naturally add to the culture and help shape it for the betterment of everyone on the team.

Those who are passionate about their job and have a strong sense of purpose—that what they do matters and is appreciated—will add to the culture and help it grow. Their enthusiasm and passion will infuse the culture in a positive way.

Go to to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.

Employees hired with a CVI that closely matches a Top Performer Profile often outperform candidates hired without a TPP match by 200% or more. → Learn more

Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (, and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.

View additional articles by this contributor

Share This Article

Get Started with the CVI™

Stay Updated

Employer Account Sign-up

Sign up for an employer account and get these features and functions right away:

  • Unlimited Job Listings on
  • Applicant Search
  • Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
  • Unlimited Happiness Index employee surveys
  • 3 full/comprehensive CVIs™
  • No credit card required — no long-term commitment — cancel at any time

Write for eRep

Are you interested in writing for eRep? Read our submission guidelines.

Learn more about the CVI