The problem of cultural fit is a big one: these days, one out of two people won’t last more than 18 months at their job, mainly due to a mismatched cultural fit.

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Good.Co is, according to co-founder Samar Birwadke, "a big data approach to solving a painful, recurrent HR problem."

Click on the image in the story below to zoom in.

Today, the platform features six different sections: the Strengths Canvas (individual personality evaluation), the Company Canvas (a survey that looks at how well you fit in with your managers and company), the Fitscore With Peers (compare and match up your results to friends and colleagues), the Team Report (discover your work team’s personality), the Company Graph (find companies and teams that match your personal work style), and Job Matches.

The company’s first enterprise product, expected to roll out in a few months, will help customers identify their cultural footprint, assess incoming talent based on skills and personality, and attract talent that’s looking for certain kinds of workplaces.

The platform has had 18,000 sign-ups since launching beta, with adoption from employees and companies across the U.S.

2013-07-23

Co.Exist

How To Find Out Whether You're A Good Cultural Fit At Any Company

Want a work environment that makes you happy? Want employees that are happy to work for you? Good.Co is taking the guess work out of the hiring process by measuring exactly how we like to work.

I am a humanitarian, a strategist, and a rock. I thrive on stress, I’m good with deadlines, I’m big on communication, and I’m great at multitasking. These traits happen to make me a good fit at Fast Company, which is innovative, competitive, flexible, and ideological (at least according to my perceptions). So say the surveys on Good.Co, a new platform currently in semi-private beta that uses proven psychometric frameworks to help employers efficiently recognize people who would thrive in their unique environments--and on the flip side, to assist jobseekers and teams inside companies to figure out where they fit in the cultural landscape.

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, it often seems like companies are engaged in a never-ending war to project the most Google-like culture to potential hires. But that’s the wrong way to go about things--not everyone works the best in that kind of environment. In fact, some people are actually best-suited to traditional button-down corporate cultures that they mistakenly believe they loathe.

Click to zoom.

The problem of cultural fit is a big one: these days, one out of two people won’t last more than 18 months at their job, mainly due to a mismatched cultural fit. Good.Co is, according to co-founder Samar Birwadker, "a big data approach to solving a painful, recurrent HR problem."

The platform emerged from Birwadker’s own experience working at a company that didn’t have the right culture for him. "It was a great organization, but it wasn’t for me," he says. One of Birwadke’s cofounders, Dr. Kerry Schofield, is an organizational psychologist who studies how people thrive in different environments. With her help, Good.Co came up with a series of quizzes for users--rejiggered, updated versions of the Big Five dimensions of personality.

Today, the platform features six different sections: the Strengths Canvas (individual personality evaluation), the Company Canvas (a survey that looks at how well you fit in with your managers and company), the Fitscore With Peers (compare and match up your results to friends and colleagues), the Team Report (discover your work team’s personality), the Company Graph (find companies and teams that match your personal work style), and Job Matches.

The Team Report requires, of course, that your colleagues all sign up and complete the Strengths Canvas. "Once you invite five, seven people to the team, you identify the team’s archetype," says Birwadker. "We’re already getting a lot of action within organizations." Examples of organization archetypes are below.

Click to zoom.

Good.Co’s current platform is just the beginning. The company’s first enterprise product, expected to roll out in a few months, will help customers identify their cultural footprint, assess incoming talent based on skills and personality, and attract talent that’s looking for certain kinds of workplaces. "

The data assets have huge implications in how organizations can create more efficient, optimal cultures suited to the people who work there," says Birwadker. Perhaps if Yahoo had access to the enterprise product before scrapping its telecommuting policy, for example, the company could have had more insight into which teams need in-office time and which could flourish working from home.

The platform has had 18,000 sign-ups since launching beta, with adoption from employees and companies across the U.S. "We haven’t done any detailed analytics around users," says Birwadker. "But coming down the road, we have tons of people from companies like Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Facebook, and [we can look at] how attitudes of Microsoft employees differ from Apple." He emphasizes that those reports would be private; users choose what information they want to make public.

This isn’t a replacement for LinkedIn. In fact, you have to connect to LinkedIn in order to look at job matches. But, says Birwadker, "we feel like we can add a lot of richness and humanize skills down to abstract levels that haven’t been quantified." And just in case you feel like Good.Co hasn’t humanized you correctly, there’s always the opportunity to retake its assessments.

Want to check out Good.Co for yourself? Use the access code Goodcofast to gain instant entry.

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22 Comments

  • Mufasa McFurry

    Just took the test from Goodco, and it's pretty inaccurate. The brief questions are extremely limiting. You're better of taking a Myers Briggs personality test.

  • Jacob Lageveen

    Finding that out is not that difficult. Just look around on your first day and talk to people. Its a better way. Deciding if something is a cultural or personal fit is a personal thing, don´t leave that to the computers.

  • Nate Davis

    I was all excited after reading the article, but only 15 questions to create a personal profile? It was laughably inaccurate, even after I rejiggered multiple criteria several times to try to get a result that felt closer. Granted, it's a) free, and b) the internet, so the process suffers from being condensed, but compared to the Myers/Briggs, Strengths Finder, Enneagram, or Right Path (all of which I've done), this was borderline useless. I might consider trying again if they doubled or tripled the number of diagnostic questions, but for now I quit until I hear word of substantial refinements in the process. 

  • Mufasa McFurry

    I completely agree. It described me as an "introvert" when I'm far from it. They definitely need more questions to better assess a person's personality.

  • Kerry Schofield


    Sorry to hear you didn't feel your traits were accurate - but we definitely appreciate the feedback. I'd be happy to chat with you about the results and see where it missed so we can continue to make improvements to our constantly-evolving psychometric profiling system.

    We actually have a pretty high rating of approval from our users - at over 95%. We've tested our questions over the past several years to ensure they accurately portray the underlying traits and factors they assess, and are based on over 70 years of empirical research and theoretical modeling in the field of individual differences psychology. It considers psychology, mathematics, statistics, and Euclidean distance—a sort of six-dimensional hyper calculation. Despite its brevity, our assessment is actually designed to be more comprehensive than others. Drawing on the Big 5 and Cloninger's 7 dimensional TCI for inspiration, and refocussing the factors to suit workplace psychology, we measure six different factors. Most personality tests (including the Myers-Briggs) assess only four or five, with individual questions simply repeating the same few themes . We have chosen to strip down the number of questions to a minimum in order to make our survey fast and fun.

    No personality model is 100% accurate in practice. Profiling is based on estimates and averages - highly accurate at the population level, but at the individual level, there will always be some folks for whom the maths simply doesn't work. This is true for every psychometric test in existence, including IQ, personality, and clinical diagnoses. That said, it's absolutely true that more questions reduces noise in the data and increases accuracy; we are currently expanding our model beyond the fifteen question set, including more direct, less culturally dependent items, and alternative measurement approaches. Watch this space!

    Here's an in depth explanation of how we established the archetypes and developed the survey for more info…. http://www.good.co/blog/2013/0...
    - Dr Kerry Schofield, Chief Psychometrics Officer at Good.co

  • Tim Ryan

    Love the positive focus on individual strengths. Understanding what we're really good at is such an important first step in finding happiness at work.  

    Tim Ryan 
    @youearnedit:twitter 

  • Abhishek Dabas

    Circa 2020:
    "You know, at first I would check my compatibility on Good.co but the 'Higher Salary' would always win. Then as I gradually became disillusioned with my work and (consequently) life, I thought I would try going by my personality fit and even though the pay wasn't that great, I have been here for the last 4 years and loving it!"Best wishes to Good.co and the new folks joining the workforce.The older ones, the vast majority at least, would be too entrenched into their industry by now considering that cultures are more industry-specific than company-specific (Apple vs Google or IT vs Manufacturing?).

  • David Lee

    It is very important to feel that you fit in with a company's culture, and one thing you should look for is the way they appreciate their employees. It feels good to be recognized for your hard work. I recently read an article about low cost ways to show recognition. Check it out!

    http://blog.meritshare.com/wat...

  • Samar Birwadker

    Hi there, 

    It's actually quite a bit different from Myers Briggs. Although we are using some popular personality archetyping style of Myers Briggs, there are quite a few limitations just using only Myers Briggs as there isn't much academic research on it's efficacy. Good.Co is also drawing on general personality theory/research in terms of the
    theoretical underpinnings, bringing together learnings from academic-based
    personality testing (like the Big Five, Eysenck, etc.) and recruitment-style
    personality assessment, like the DISC, etc. 

    What we're doing here is certainly a twist on traditional methods as
    regards the style of the questions, but it's based on many decades of academic
    credibility (in terms of describing personality as a series of scores on a
    small number of continuous dimensions). We're employing the same underlying
    theory people use when they develop highly valid and reliable academic
    personality scales like those based on the big 5, or clinical scales to measure
    depression and anxiety, and bringing in research from industrial psychology to
    create something rooted in existing, valid systems, but nonetheless unique in
    its evolution    

     You can find out more about the science behind Good.Co's psychometric framework here: http://www.good.co/the-science

    And an article written by our chief psychometrician, Dr. Kerry Schofield here: http://www.ere.net/2013/06/21/...

  • Andy Bindea

    The Goodcofast code doesn't get you an account; you still need to apply for beta. Maybe that's not what you meant by instant entry. Thoughts?

  • Phillipsla

    I agree!  I've spent 15 minutes trying to locate the right place to take the assessment.  No luck! No instant entry at all. 

  • Ariel Schwartz

    You can sign up and check out the site yourself using the access code at the end of the article.

  • Scott McDaniel

    Any way to get full sized versions of the images? The on-click functionality just brings up the barely unreadable version you see in the article itself.