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  • Shelley Maxey, Talent Acquisition Manager

Why Culture Add is The New Culture Fit

“I’m not sure that they are the right fit for our culture." A phrase heard and spoken among many hiring managers and recruiters. Guilty as charged. Someone taught it to you, someone taught it to me, and I’ve taught it to my hiring managers. Before having recently heard the term "Culture Add", saying "Culture Fit" has been a fluent part of my recruiter vocabulary.

What does Culture Fit really even mean?

Hiring for a culture fit is a concept geared around strategic intention. Such as assessing how well a candidate can adapt to the respectable values of your organization. The reality is, this has developed into a bit of a bias. Being conscious of preventing those unconscious bias, is one of the biggest challenges recruiters face. This can significantly steer their recruiting approach towards prejudice. Also, a misconception that hiring managers have is that there is a need to hire others like us. Others who work like us, act like us, think like us, interact, react, and respond like us. Without differing personalities, perspectives, and ideas, and without individuals adding something more to your team, there is no growth. More importantly, there is no diversity.

So, what’s the solution? Try normalizing hiring for a Culture Add. As a job seeker, wouldn’t you rather consider yourself as someone who adds to the company’s culture and values? As an employer, wouldn’t you rather add an employee to your team that elevates your culture and solidifies your values? Using the term Culture Add instead of Culture Fit just seems to make more sense.

You might be asking yourself, "How do you shift gears to focus on Culture Add?". Especially if you're used to recruiting for a Culture Fit. Well, consider that your candidate is an actual human being. She is not a resume. Angela could one day be your colleague and she has her own dreams and visions.

Your job as a recruiter and hiring manager is to be an investigator. Put some puzzle pieces together about the candidate. It’s the only way to hone in on who may be the right addition to your team. Actually look at their resume. I mean, really look. Google their employer. What is their environment like? Is there consistency or disconnection? Perhaps your candidate has been in some form of an accounting role for years. This is a good indication that they’re comfortable with stability and have one strong set of specific skills. Maybe they have longevity in multiple roles, but you can see a shift from sales to accounting. That might mean they have various skills to support a variety of roles. Someone who works in a cubicle, only communicating to customers over email correspondence, is not likely to be the best addition to an energetic team that performs off of a high level of regular face to face customer interaction. Get a feel for the persons comfortability level. This is how you can peer into their potential addition to your culture.

With a Culture Add, you must discover the culture within your candidate. Is one of your cultural values 'Passion'? Then dig into what your candidates passions are to ensure that their character and skills will be an addition to that value. You want your new hire to understand and live cohesively among your existing state of affairs, but recognize that Culture Add is the new Culture Fit, and focus on how to add to the overall development of your organizations success.

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