Corporate culture is one of the top talent challenges facing business leaders. Some organizations in an effort to create an ideal corporate culture, experience unintended consequences caused by hiring a homogenous group of employees.
For example, Brian Scudamore, CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, fired his entire organization in 1994 because he didn’t feel that he had the right people on board. He then implemented a “Beer and Barbeque Test” to hire new employees. He invited candidates to a barbeque so that he could talk casually with them over a beer. His intention was to find ambitious and driven individuals who mirrored his values.
The challenge is that this approach to recruitment creates a ‘similar-to-me’ hiring bias. Did he invite individuals who were completely different than him? Did he spend time working to understand the viewpoints of the candidates who challenged his ideas and thinking? I don’t know the answers to these questions. I do know that it concerns me that other organizations will see this approach as a great recruitment model. This approach can lead to a corporate culture where everyone gets along but there is limited innovation and creativity. Diversity and inclusion efforts within organizations must be intentional or they will be impacted by unconscious biases.