Why and how you need to transform your culture fit into a culture ADD in your company

Why and how you need to transform your culture fit into a culture ADD in your company

People that leave the company because of their salary may come back if they see opportunities for growth, but someone who leaves because of the culture will never come back. Robert Walters found out that 73% of professionals left a job because they disliked the company culture.

This highlights the impact that company culture can have in attracting and retaining top talent, but also during the hiring process, in the last few years we’ve been seeing more and more companies taking steps towards “Culture fit” and putting it as a top priority in their hiring needs and processes. But should it be a priority? Do you think you can find a balance between culture fit and culture add – Do you think someone that could add value, can also be a culture fit? Let’s find out. 

Hmm, but what is the difference between culture fit and culture add?

We all know the term culture fit. But for most of us, culture fit has a different meaning from a company to another, from a “country culture” to another, but mainly from one person to another. The common significance of culture fit is hiring employees whose personalities, beliefs and values, align and match with the company culture. This alignment helps employees to reflect the shared values while performing their job and interacting with customers. However, be careful, hiring purely for culture fit as this may have a negative impact on your organization because it could lead to unconscious biases. 

Culture add does not mean hiring people based on age, origin, religion, or political background. Instead, focus on hiring someone that can bring added value based on how their cultural differences can have a positive impact on their role. For example,  how individuals will deliver on a daily basis with their time, task scheduling, individual and collective performance, their commitment to the company, and their interactions with customers and colleagues.

What happens when you misuse Culture Fit?

Often, HR partners and hiring managers misuse “culture fit”, because most of them aren’t always sure where to draw the line. It’s important not to misunderstand hiring for culture fit, as it can compromise all the efforts for Diversity and Inclusion.  The motto “You think like us, you work like us, and therefore you are us’’ implies that culture fit aims only to align with interviewers’ personal tastes. However, Cultural fit should not be used to exclude diversity.

Hiring similar minded people locks you into a sphere of none creativity. You need other minds to create something unique, culture fit is not about looking for people like you. Choosing someone that will join the company should not be conditioned by the fact that you’d like to hang out with a candidate outside of work. When interviewing someone, you must not search for a “mirror reflection” of yourself, or how much this person is similar to you, but try more to understand how the person’s differences can help them do the job in the best way. 

Maximizing diversity brings diverse experiences to your company that will bring a different perspective to the company and help you grow. A genuine understanding of individual personalities is extremely important in maximizing satisfaction and productivity at work.

An attractive corporate culture is a reflection of a diverse team, more importantly, an inclusive workplace, because you may be diverse. 

Matt Bush, the Culture Coaching Lead at Great Place to Work defines diversity as ‘‘The representation or the make-up of an entity. Inclusion is about how well the contributions, presence and perspectives of different groups of people are valued and integrated into an environment.”, in a nutshell, diversity is the WHAT and inclusion is the HOW. For example if you’re hiring people that have a religion they practice on a daily basis, do you have a room in the company that allows them to do so? 

Offering flexibility as well is a huge step towards inclusivity in the workplace. Examples include, offering hybrid work options such as remote working may help some people to better manage their family life, and deal with physical or mental disabilities, etc. 

How to balance the scales during the recruitment process?

The aim of our article is not to encourage you to drop off the culture fit from the process, but to help you align it into a culture ADD. Here are some examples of things to think about to include in your next hiring/recruitment process:

  • Ensure that the concept of culture fit is defined and that your values are reflected in your discussions with candidates, in the job description,  the company website, career website, and across social media. 
  • Choose a diverse panel for the interviews and create awareness campaigns to prevent unconscious bias and train the people involved in the process to identify and avoid particular bias (recruiters, hiring manager, COO etc). Together, define clearly the skills and requirements that are needed to help you be guided in an interview and avoid personal questions that may lead to bias. 

Get to know people from different cultures in order to better manage and communicate with them. You can organize internal events that allow your team to explore each other’s cultures to understand their perspectives. In turn, your team will have a wider understanding of the culture that diverse team members bring and how in this culture they can learn from each other and implement growth in the company.

​​​​​​…The last but no the least 

In a world where diversity and inclusion has become one of the most important things for candidates when considering a new role, it is important that you are able to stand out and ensure that the experience you provide for candidates during the recruitment process is a direct reflection of how you treat your employees internally. 

Balancing between culture fit and culture add will help you attract people whose differences will be an added value and who are aligned with the organization. By working hand in hand, this combination will assist in the growth and evolution of the organization whilst standing out in the market.  How you use culture fit should help you make quality hiring decisions, with most of the attention oriented and focused on diversity and inclusion. How you use culture add will help you to bring forth a team that is diverse and showcases the company as an inclusive one, embracing all people. Everything not related directly or indirectly to this is unnecessary, and useless.

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