Hirers must beware ‘looking-glass merit’
The Wall Street Journal‘s Sue Shellenbarger says employers should be aware of the dangers of hiring for cultural fit. Researchers have identified a pattern called “looking-glass merit” whereby recruiters tend to look for traits in job applicants that make them feel good about themselves – but adoption of such a mindset can lead to new hires all thinking and acting alike. Kirsta Anderson, global head of culture transformation in London for Korn Ferry, says hiring managers need to work hard to ascertain whether candidates are attuned with more fundamental elements of company culture, including issues around customer service, innovation and social impact. Meanwhile, initial misunderstandings about cultural values can create great discord. A recent survey by Deloitte of more than 13,000 millennial employees found that 7% of workers ages 24 to 36 said they disliked their employer’s culture so much that they intend to quit their jobs in the next two years.