Cultural Fit: A Requirement, Not An Extra

By Claire Barham Sep 21, 2017

We’ll be the first to admit that our approach to the recruiting process is a weird one. It comes down to the simple but monumental belief that cultural fit is a requirement, not an extra. And we’re very specific about what “culture fit” means to us – we’ve drafted a whole Culture Deck about it – so it’s not just a whimsy feeling about whether or not we like someone. 

Instead, it’s a specific set of qualities we look for like, “radiators not drains,” or people who “behave like owners.” So, if there are any red flags culture-wise in the first few interactions with a potential hire, we don’t waste our time (or theirs) moving forward to discuss things like past experience or qualifications.

This mindset is what’s enabled us to create a workplace filled (physically and virtually) with people we genuinely enjoy spending time with and who share our values. We’ve found that productivity soars when you do away with “water-cooler gangs” and people with hidden agendas.

For more on the N2 approach, Product Manager Justin Risedorf shares his personal hiring story:

"After interviewing with dozens of companies throughout my career, I thought I knew what to expect from another typical hiring process. But my interaction with N2 was unlike anything I had experienced before.

I was actively looking for a career change and the Director of N2’s HR department reached out to me after receiving my resume from a few mutual connections. The interview process was fluid and highly relational. Before we talked about my professional experience or qualifications, they wanted to know about my passions and motivations. It was clear that they wanted to hire a person who would identify with and reinforce the company’s culture, not just fill an opening.

Only after getting to know me personally over the course of a few conversations did we begin to talk about possible fits for me within the team. They admitted the type of role I’d be best in didn’t currently exist, but they didn’t see that as a roadblock. Instead, they explained that as a fast-growing company, N2’s hiring philosophy was first about hiring the right people and second about finding the fit for them within the organization.

Three years later, my role within N2 has continually changed and evolved. And my experience with HR throughout the hiring process taught me that this is a company where I can be myself and help define the part I want to play within our organization."

 -- Justin Risedorf, Product Manager


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