Sixth-sense-i-see-crazy-people-memeFirstly I should point out that this is a bit of fun, and need not be taken too seriously. However, as with all good jokes, it works better if it’s real enough to be plausible.

We’ve all recruited and sourced a candidate before that was perfect skill-wise for your open role. Then, all your hopes and dreams crash down when they fail the cultural fit interview. You know these candidates. They’re the ones that are a horrible culture fit for your company but such a good skills fit you think, maybe it could work out. Maybe I’m wrong.

We both know you’re usually right. But when is the risk worth it? When should you hire a candidate that’s a bad cultural fit?

We found this matrix from PCEvaluate to help you discover when it might make sense to overlook cultural fit for a highly skilled recruit.

The Crazy Candidate to Hire Matrix

Crazy to hire Matrix PCEvaluate
Click to see this chart in a larger view

By way of explanation, please refer to the following:

  1. The Skills and Experience axis denotes the ability of a candidate to perform the job function.
  2. The Culture Fit / Flakiness axis is a measure of how well an individual will fit into your company’s culture based on cultural fit interview, ethos and how consistent and reliable (or indeed, flaky) they will be.
  3. The Crazy-to-Hire line is where the lack of reliability and results in cultural fit begin to outweigh their abilities to perform their job function. You would be crazy to hire someone on the wrong side of this line.
  4. As you would never hire someone who scored less than five for Skills and Experience, let’s call this the No-Go Zone.
  5. In the Temp Zone are employees hired on a temporary basis to fill a short-term need. They have the necessary skills and are tolerable in your workplace, but not yet permanent employee material.
  6. A Long Term Contractor is like the temps. These guys have the ability to do the job, but unlike those in the temp zone, they’re very reliable. This group often doesn’t want a permanent job, as being a contractor pays better.
  7. Danger Zone: People in this area of the chart may exhibit considerable levels of ability and can be very attractive candidates. However, they will inevitably cause disruption in your company that doesn’t make them worth the hassle.
  8. Grief Zone: These are the people who soak up the most time from their managers and HR departments. Not only are they excellent at what they do, but they know their value and are consequently very demanding. These people often demand more money, recognition, promotion, holidays, etc. They’re also most likely to be recruited by your competitors with a few sweet words and a raise you said no to last quarter.
  9. When Can You Start? Whenever you meet this person, this is the first question you want to ask them. As close as you’re going to get to the perfect employee, these people do not bring you problems, only solutions.
  10. Unicorn Zone: These people are so scarce as to be statistically mythical. If you are lucky enough to find that highly skilled, well-balanced employee, who personifies your company culture, then you are indeed a very fortunate employer.

About the Author

stephenStephen O’Donnell is a lifelong recruiter, internet enthusiast, fadgadget and peripatetic writer. A fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (REC).
He is also responsible for the National Online Recruitment Awards (NORAs). In his free time Stephen operates PCEvaluate a psychometric profiling company. Reach out to him on Twitter or LinkedIn.