Unpleasant Truths About Culture Fit

If somebody wants to discriminate against you when hiring without getting sued, this is the excuse they’ll use.

Here’s something I’ve learned about “culture fit” from having done more job interviews than I’d prefer. If you were rejected because you’re “not a culture fit”, even though you’re qualified and nailed every aspect of the interview, it probably means one of the following:

However, if a hiring manager gave one of these reasons, they could get their employer crucified in civil court for discrimination or (in the US) crucified by the EEOC. However, there’s no law that says they can’t select for “culture fit”.

Regardless, hiring for culture fit is increasingly seen as a bad idea. If you only hire people who share your background and interests, you’re likely to have problems with groupthink, and you can get enough of that on social media. You don’t need it in the workplace.

In fact, I’m going to go a bit further since it should be obvious to a reasonably intelligent person that I’m not speaking for anybody but myself here. Any manager who hires for culture fit should be fired, publicly named, and debarred from consideration for positions with hiring authority because they expose their employers to groupthink and legal liability.

If you’re not familiar with the word ‘debar’, I’m using it because it lacks the racist connotations that have recently come to be associated with the more familiar term ‘blacklist’. Regardless of the word you use, managers who abuse their power by discriminating against qualified workers should not be permitted to hold positions of authority.

about the author

photo of a pale, blue-eyed man in a black coat with long brown hair outdoors in the winter

writes science fantasy inspired by heavy metal and has a day job as a software developer. He is currently writing a new novel called Spiral Architect. He'll use your pronouns, but doesn't care which ones you use with him. You can reach him at contact@starbreaker.org.