The New Paradigm: Shifting from ‘Culture Fit’ to ‘Culture Add’ Hiring

Are you like the vast majority of hiring managers who use ‘cultural fit’ to guide your selection decision? This usually means hiring candidates who possess similar styles and experiences to the current team (maybe they’ll even be close in age with similar outside interests too).

While there are advantages to this approach, in this blog, we explore the benefits of replacing ‘culture fit’ with ‘culture add’.


The Drawbacks of Hiring for Culture Fit

In recent years, the concept of hiring for “culture fit” has gained significant attention. The idea of bringing individuals into your organisation who seamlessly integrate with your company’s existing culture and foster a cohesive team is certainly appealing – and safe. However, there are potential drawbacks to this approach.

The challenge with hiring for culture fit is that it can inadvertently lead to hiring individuals who align too closely to others in the team, thereby, limiting the diversity of thought and innovation. In a rapidly changing business landscape, where adaptability and fresh perspectives are necessary, this approach may prove limiting.

Implicit biases also play a substantial role in culture-fit hiring. We all have these biases, whether we admit it or not, stemming from our natural tendency to categorise people. Unfortunately, these biases can hinder diversity and inclusion efforts, as they often lead to decisions based on selecting people who are most similar to ourselves, or who conform to the existing culture.


Shifting the Focus from Conformity to Diversity

The concept of hiring for “culture add” offers a different perspective. Instead of seeking individuals who mirror the current culture, organisations can focus on hiring individuals who bring fresh perspectives and diverse experiences to the table. They could be individuals who are the direct opposite in personality type to your current team.

This approach recognises that business success will often come from the sharing of different viewpoints and backgrounds. When considering culture-add hiring, it’s essential to evaluate candidates based on how their unique qualities and experiences can contribute to the team and company’s success.

For instance, an individual who challenges the status quo may drive innovation and new ways of working. A more senior / seasoned individual could be a valuable asset to a younger team hungry to develop. And, someone from a culturally diverse background can help the business connect authentically to many of its internal and external stakeholders – whilst enriching the team around them.

It’s worth noting that adopting a culture-add approach means something other than compromising your company’s core values or disregarding compatibility with existing employees. It’s about striking a balance that allows for growth and innovation without disrupting the positive aspects of the current culture you’ve built.


Final Word

In conclusion, while the idea of culture fit has its merits, next time you are hiring, it might be worth considering the potential limitations and biases associated with it. Exploring the concept of culture add might just give you the upper hand and be key to your success in an ever-evolving and tight HSE recruitment market.


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1 Comment
  • Christina
    Posted at 09:15h, 12 December Reply

    Great article!

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