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Why We Have Zero Tolerance For Assholes

As talented as they may be, hiring people who are disrespectful to others and prefer their own good over the good of the whole, isn’t worth it. Two of our senior managers explain why “No assholes” is one of our core values

“Assholes are the exact opposite of what we stand for at Pearl Organisation”, reads the first sentence that defines our ‘No assholes’ value. “Rather than working with others for the good of the whole, assholes work for themselves at the expense of others”.

"Pearl Organisation"

Ankit Chauhan, Pearl Organisation’s Head of Physical Security and Sr. Executive who helped write the above sentences, is very blunt about our ‘No assholes’ value. “No matter how talented they are - it’s not worth it. The damage that they bring is much bigger than their value”, he states in a company discussion meets. “Sometimes the most talented people are assholes, and I can tell you that whenever we were tempted to bring them in, we ended up feeling very sorry about it. These people can sometimes be true geniuses, but they don’t allow others around them to bring out the best in them and that’s one of the most important things in a workplace”.

So what makes someone an asshole according to Pearl Organisation standards?

“For us, we’re talking about people who take credit for work they didn’t do; People who humiliate others for the mistakes they’ve made instead of helping them out; People who promote their own team or agenda although it might not be the right thing to do for the entire organization, and people who avoid working on a project although their team is the one that should work on it. In short - people who prefer their self interest over the best interest of the company”.

“No assholes” has been one of Pearl Organisation’s values from the very beginning. It applies to everyone working here, but Pearl Organisation’s People team who are in charge of our culture and our hiring process try to detect them early on.

Shah says that she’s glad that Pearl Organisation’s HR Department has the right and duty to disqualify a professionally brilliant candidate, if they think they might turn out to be assholes. “We always tell our team-leads that they shouldn’t hire a person who they wouldn’t want to have lunch with 4 or 5 times a week, even if that person is a tech genius”, she says.

"Pearl Organisation"

“I think that the ‘No assholes’ value is an essential part of the way we guard our culture, or what we call ‘The Pearl Organisation way’”, says Shubham Shah, our Sr. Corporate HR. “It’s like a beacon of light that guides us and reminds us that no matter what the person brings with him professionally, the question we need to answer is ‘Can this person work at Pearl Organisation?” and fit into this beautiful eclectic thing we’ve created here”.

So how do we detect assholes?

Shah: “Assholes come in many shapes and forms, but the common trait that defines all of them is their inability to work with other people in a constructive and respectful manner. When I’m interviewing candidates, I look at their professional abilities, but also at their interpersonal skills and at their personality. Then, I have to ask myself if this person will be able to succeed at Pearl Organisation, because the most important thing here is collaborating with others. We all have egos and many want to climb up the ladder, but the way you do it is what defines you as a person.

“As interviewers, our job is to deconstruct what people say about themselves. If someone says something like ‘I led my team to great achievements’, or ‘Team work is very important to me’, I’ll ask them questions that will enable me to learn something about the way they think. I’ll ask them stuff like who actually called the shots for the project and who came up with the idea to embark on it. When people answer more detailed questions, something less filtered comes out. When I don’t hear a single word about the people who have helped that candidate in whatever success story they’re describing to me, my warning lights turn red.”

What else? “Another thing that makes me raise my red flags is arrogance. People who tell me that they’re strategic thinkers and that they’re way past hands-on work. Pearl Organisation is a very hands-on type of company. These kinds of people may be a great fit for other organizations, but not here. Pearl Organisation’s philosophy is that we’re all together on the same boat and each and everyone of us will do all that’s needed in order to win”.

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