Most (94%) of professional executives believe company culture is critical to business success. For decades, the myth of “culture fit” was touted as the best way to build an organizational culture within which teams worked smoothly. However, it’s becoming apparent that culture fit isn’t just limiting, but actively damaging company cultures.
Here’s why you should choose culture add vs. culture fit:
What is Culture Fit?
Culture fit is the practice of hiring candidates that closely match existing employees across a broad range of characteristics. They may have gone to the same schools, share the same gender and/or skin color, hold the same beliefs, and possess many of the same skill sets.
A whopping 90% of top organizations use culture fit as a major factor in hiring as well as in analyzing employee churn. (This might be why Fortune 500 company executives tend to look, act, and talk very much alike…)
Culture fit hiring may seem to create workplaces where “everyone gets along”, but it can hinder innovation and creativity. When all employees overlap tightly, their individual value to the organization is lessened. By hiring employees with diverse traits, skill sets, and demographics, you can significantly increase each individual’s value.
What is Culture Add?
Culture add is the practice of looking for weaknesses in your company’s structure and choosing new hires who fill those gaps. This might mean hiring someone with less work experience but who has demonstrated exceptional soft skills for a managerial role, or choosing female candidates to interview for an executive role to bring in a new perspective.
Companies are starting to understand the value of culture and building diverse teams: over the past few years, there has been an almost 800% increase in job postings for dedicated diversity recruiters.
Culture add hiring practices may worry some executives who fear that a diverse workforce will lead to disagreements and internal unrest, but if the company culture is healthy and inclusive, there shouldn’t be any concerns. Think of culture add as choosing employees who don’t just have complementary traits, but supplementary ones as well.
What Are the Benefits of Culture Add vs. Culture Fit?
1. Reduced Homogenization
When you hire for culture fit, you run the risk of ending up with a workforce that looks like it was cloned from a single source. When everyone has the same background, looks alike, talks alike, and has the exact same life experiences and priorities, your company can end up being as bland as the milquetoast it resembles demographically. Culture added with a focus on DEIB helps to mix things up, adding new perspectives and points of view.
2. More Innovation
When you hire for culture fit, you’re bringing together teams made up of like-minded individuals - and this means they all have similar thought processes and are more likely to go from A to B to C linearly. Culture add can mean looking for individuals who make the cognitive leap from A to D, paving the way for greater innovation. Organizations with diverse, inclusive company cultures are 6x more innovative and agile, and 8x as likely to achieve better business results.
3. Higher Revenues
Increasing diversity naturally with culture add hiring can significantly and positively impact financial revenues. A monolith organization is like a huge mountain of granite, good for very few things. A diverse workforce turns that mountain into an ecosystem, creating new revenue streams. In fact, diverse companies have been shown to attain 19% higher revenue than monolithic companies.
4. Better Talent
When you hire for culture add vs. culture fit, it’s easier to create a company culture focused on inclusion, equity, and belonging. This in turn will attract talent that is diverse, as such candidates are more likely to put an emphasis on healthy, inclusive company culture as one of their prerequisites. Instead of shutting out great talent through culture fit hiring practices, you can improve quality of hire by embracing culture add-in hiring.
How Crosschq Can Help
With Crosschq, you can make the shift to culture add recruiting by:
Removing unconscious bias with Crosschq 360 digital reference checking