Culture: commonality and exclusivity

The other day my friend Daniel Crosby pointed me to a company called Clearlink. I checked out their culture study at his urging, and it gave me some great ideas to pursue. Not that it’s scientific or the source of a deep revelation; it’s just one more piece of their culture that can be use to attract (or deter) potential candidates.


It shows the under-the-surface stuff about the company’s people. These are commonalities that aren’t all immediately apparent, yet they provide a platform for people to connect on a deeper, more personal level. I’m an Android fan, so I know I can geek out with plenty of them. Superficial, yes, but having common topics of interest makes for a more enjoyable work environment for all.


One area of culture that’s not discussed as much is the exclusivity factor. It shouldn’t be something that appeals to everyone. When I’m in an interview and I am getting a sense (through deeper, probing questions)  that a person doesn’t have the same values that define the organization, I have no problem letting them go by. Even if someone is has amazing skills and abilities, if they don’t fit the culture it’s going to most likely end up souring before long.

For me, looking at this kind of chart that Clearlink provides is a fun, neat way to see into what they do. For other people, I would imagine that it’s a turnoff if they are looking for a more traditional, 9-to-5 workplace. And you  know what? That is perfectly fine. There’s something out there for everyone!

Does anyone out there do a culture survey at work (more scientific/work focused than this one or just as silly, either one works)? I’d be curious to know what kinds of questions you ask. Feel free to hit me via email and we can discuss:

14 thoughts on “Culture: commonality and exclusivity

  1. Daniel Crosby

    Great post Ben! I think that deterring poor fits is every bit as important as attracting great fits. Further, I’m a fan of making the hiring process a process. “That which we obtain too easily we esteem too lightly” and all that.

  2. Michael Brisciana

    Ben – – –

    Excellent points. Hiring for cultural fit is absolutely critical — assuming, of course, that HR has the same view of what the company’s culture is that leadership does, and vice versa. CEO, Tony Hsieh, has written eloquently about hiring for cultural fit in his best-seller, “Delivering Happiness.” It’s a quick read and definitely worth checking out for anyone who’s interested in the role of culture vis a vis company success.


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