It’s no secret that traditionally, hiring for culture fit has been the go-to practice. Increasingly, however, the problems of this technique are becoming more apparent as the world and the candidate market change.

Despite the success of many companies such as Amazon, who are big believers in finding talent that demonstrate their 14 principles, continuing to only hire people who fit the existing culture has its limitations and great potential gets overlooked.

Instead, you should start hiring for culture add. Look for candidates who can enhance your team by bringing a new perspective, different experiences, and a unique skill set.

The problems with culture fit

Although hiring for culture fit is “how it’s always been done”, this is a tried and tested method that can result in…

Unconscious bias

Unfortunately, hiring for culture fit can also allow unconscious bias to play a significant role in decision making. In order to simplify the decision-making process, we unconsciously look for what we know and trust, often going with a “gut feeling”. This can stunt the growth of your business as it means no new ideas will be coming through.

Unclear rejections

Rejecting candidates based on them not being the right “fit” can have a negative effect. Many are left wondering what they were being assessed on because of the ambiguity of the phrase ‘culture fit’.

While the idea of cultural fit is meant to determine whether your preferences and values fit the company you’re interviewing for, the definitions can vary greatly. Indeed, in many cases, candidates are left wondering whether their rejection is based on their gender, race or sexual orientation. An obviously undesirable outcome.

So, how do we solve this?

Why you should START hiring for culture add

Changing your mindset and hiring for “culture add” means that instead of searching for someone who fits into your culture, you are looking for someone different who can bring something new to your team.

This will allow you to…

Build a diverse team

Over the past couple of years, it’s been most businesses’ priority to build more diverse teams. In order to achieve this, it’s time to retire old hiring techniques and embrace new ways of thinking that will attract a wider candidate pool and enable more diverse hires.

Not only will hiring for culture add allow you to find more unique candidates, but it will also encourage more diverse candidates to apply. Those from underrepresented groups might feel discouraged to apply for a business that is looking for a culture fit.

Gain a new perspective

Actively searching for people outside of your established culture can guarantee new ideas and skills. While a candidate may seem less desirable on paper, they will likely offer a unique perspective and skill set that doesn’t already exist in your team. This makes them more valuable hires.

More diverse teams increase business value, foster greater creativity and innovation, and improve the bottom line.

Naturally progress

Your business can’t grow if the culture and the people stay the same, it will simply continue to recycle the same ideas and knowledge. In competitive markets, this can be extremely damaging for your brand value and retention levels.

As the world changes your business needs to change with it, so you shouldn’t be afraid of hiring for a variety of personalities and backgrounds. This will only allow your business to reach its full potential.

Company culture is going to be more and more valuable, so employers need to start making sure their own this in good shape.

This starts with switching up the mindset, being proactive and moving towards a culture add approach to hiring. Those that do this, will no doubt see their culture and teams flourish.

Are you looking to add to your team? Get in touch to find out how we can help.

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