The importance of culture fit is at the top or near the top of the agenda for the majority of businesses when hiring. But what does culture fit truly mean and what risk does it pose when businesses focus in on it?
Culture fit is defined by Harvard Business Review as ‘the likelihood that someone will reflect and be able to adapt to the core beliefs, attitudes and behaviours that make up an organisation’.
The problem with a hiring process built around culture fit can be that it facilitates bias and it can also lead to a homogenous culture – many of the same type of person. Diversity in the workplace is proven to make a more robust and successful workforce, and in order to hire a diverse workforce, it may be better to focus on culture add, than culture fit.
Culture Add can be defined as ‘the likelihood that someone will not only reflect the company’s values and professional ethics, but also bring an aspect of diverse opinions, experiences and specialised skill which enhances not just the team, but the overall company culture’ (Source: OpenView Venture Partners).
Businesses have values by which they want to ensure they hire by, however it’s important that the candidate is assessed for whether they have the right skillset for the role. This doesn’t mean necessarily that they have to have done the job before, but they must have the right transferable skills to make them successful in the role.
So next time you are interviewing your next hire, remember you are looking for someone that come in and be awesome at the job – not be your new buddy.
As more companies strive for diversity and inclusion, the term “culture fit” is falling out of favour. A hiring process built around an undefined notion of "culture fit" is fraught with bias.