work place culture

Culture Fit or Culture Add

Since our inception in 2011, Essence has always focused on fit and culture when recruiting on behalf of our clients. That has been the root of our success.

While education and experience are important, we believe you must not look just at what someone can do, but also at who they are.

Your company culture and how it affects your employees is very important to candidates. It must be right for them. Employees want to enjoy where they work and they are looking for career satisfaction. If employees are happy and dedicated to their jobs, employers see higher productivity.

What is Culture Fit?

Culture fit is defined as recruiting based on an individual’s attitudes, values, and beliefs being in line with the core values and culture of an organization.

How do you qualify culture fit?

  1. Define your culture.
  2. Ask questions about a candidate’s workplace and career expectations. Here are some examples of questions you could ask?
    • What are the top three things you expect in your workplace
    • What is your preferred work style?
    • What would co-workers say about you?
    • Who was the best boss you have ever worked for and why?
    • What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
  3. Consider psychometric testing. It can help you better understand the person you are thinking about hiring and how they might respond in various work scenarios.
  4. Involve your employees in the recruitment process. Ask them to sit in on the second stage of the interview process and give them the ability to ask the applicant questions and have a conversation with the applicant.

Recruiting for culture fit has been a trend for many years. However, just as companies are getting better at selecting for culture fit, trends are shifting in favour of culture add. Recruiting for culture fit can encourage confirmation bias and groupthink. Really, when you recruit primarily for culture fit, you are hiring someone you like, not someone who can help your company.

While new hires should always align with your company culture and values, there are advantages to bringing in people with different personalities or people who bring completely new talents. For example, you cannot teach soft skills.

Unlike hard skills (such as computer skills, marketing skills, etc.), soft skills are not easily quantifiable and measurable. Yet, soft skills like emotional intelligence will have a huge influence on an individual’s contribution to the success of an organization.

Screening for soft skills, such as creativity, interpersonal communication, and leadership skills, can provide a significant return on investment. That’s why soft skills (in addition to standard qualifications) are increasingly sought out by employers.

If you are looking to add new perspectives, new ideas, and new personalities, culture fit may not be what you should be screening for. Instead, hiring for culture add is the way go!

What Is Culture Add?

Recruiting for culture add means looking for candidates who will bring fresh ideas and experiences to your team. They are more likely to add something the team doesn’t already have. If you choose to move away from recruiting for culture fit, it is a smart move to emphasize culture add in its place.

How do you qualify for culture add?

  1. Ensure you, define and fully understand your company culture.Identify your gaps. What skills and talent are you lacking? Recruit and hire to fill these gaps!
  2. Identify your gaps. What skills and talent are you lacking? Recruit and hire to fill these gaps!
  3. After you hire, DO NOT try to fit your new hire into a box. Allow them to express creativity and demonstrate innovation. You hired them for a reason—allow them to contribute.

Culture Always Comes First

Whether you recruit for culture fit or culture add, remember culture is always first!

A strong company culture attracts better talent and, more importantly, retains that talent. When people feel like they belong to an organization, they are more likely to stick around for the long term. That means less turnover, or/and new hires to recruit, and better chemistry within your team.

I would love to hear about your experiences recruiting for culture fit or culture add. Send me an email or, better yet, let’s grab a coffee (in person or virtual).

Published: October 7, 2021
Updated: November 2, 2021
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter