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Why Brands Need To Move Away From the Term ‘Culture Fit’

employers + brands Jan 25, 2022

FYI caught up with company culture consultants HappyHQ to discuss why businesses should look beyond hiring for culture ‘fit’ and instead hire for culture ‘add’.

How to you define the term culture add?

Culture add is a term used for shaping culture as opposed to fitting into it. It’s a more holistic approach to evaluating candidates. It’s hiring people for who they are and what they can add, so it’s more than just their skill set. 

Why is hiring for culture ‘fit’ problematic?

Issues arise in assessing people too much on their personal characteristics, such as ‘are they similar to me and the team?’, ‘will they join in Yoga or after work drinks?’ over what they can bring to the company.  You end up hiring people who all think in a similar way, which not only excludes people, it can also negatively impact innovation and business performance. To boost creative and intellectual potential, new hires could be adding to company culture - not just fitting to it.

What are the positive impacts of hiring for 'culture add'?

Diverse opinions and beliefs are important for business success because they prevent complacency from occurring. High-performing teams are meant to bring a diverse range of skills and ideas. People from all sorts of backgrounds with differing personalities and experiences can still be aligned on values, yet also bring a variety of new thinking, experiences, and flavour to team work.

How can businesses embed a 'culture add' mindset into their hiring process?   

  1. As opposed to ‘culture fit’, ‘think of culture add’ as a much more holistic approach to evaluating candidates so no one is missing out. Start by having internal conversations on how you’re defining it.
  2. Proper measurement and feedback can also help determine if employees truly understand the value in hiring for ‘culture add’.
  3. Practical strategies and tools, such as internal bias and assumption training, and working with hiring managers or recruiters to re-think the interview process will help embed positive changes.   

How you can ensure your creative intern or Grad is the right culture add to your brand?

Place importance on knowing your intern or Grad beyond just their skill-set. When interviewing, spend time understanding them by asking specific questions that relate to their life outside of work, for example: 

  • Tell me a little more about yourself - what does your typical weekend consist of? 
  • If given the choice of any role here, what job would appeal to you the most and why?
  • What values are important to you as a person?

You can learn quickly about a candidate if their passions outside of work are matched to your company’s mission and values. Patagonia's hiring managers, for example, read CVs from the bottom up to see if people have a genuine interest in outdoor activities. 

You can also get the best out of people by making sure the interview process is interactive and collaborative. This can also help your intern or Grad feel more at ease.

Finally, remember to talk about your company’s culture in job ads. 

#HHQ #CultureAdd #HiringHacks #CultureFit #HappyHQ #DiverseCulture #InclusiveCulture #CorporateValues #CompanyValues #HiringTips #WhenHiring

About HappyHQ

HappyHQ helps companies easily recognise, implement and sustain important culture changes. Applying the latest theories and research on workplace culture, HappyHQ takes the science behind human flourishing and applies it in practical ways.



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