Culture fit? Culture Add? Or Culture Impact?

Recent years have shown just how much company culture matters. Even before the pandemic, research showed that the vast majority of employees consider company culture before applying for a job. But the impact of company culture doesn’t stop here. 

This article takes a closer look at culture fit, culture add and culture impact with an aim to differentiate and discuss benefits and draw-backs.


What is Culture Fit?

Culture fit mindset seeks to hire and retain more of what is already working.

A new awareness of the importance of company culture has emerged over the last decades. Organizations realized that valuing employees and creating a work environment where they felt valued and like they belonged was beneficial and made them stay at a company longer. 

However, there can be too much of a good thing – companies started hiring for cultural fit, hiring talent that matched the company’s culture and the existing team. The candidate selection process became skewed towards personal attributes, leading to culture fit bias, the downside of culture fit. 

What is Culture Fit Bias?

The culture fit mindset can exacerbate existing biases. This means, you are more likely to exclude candidates who do not fit the current culture. Culture fit at its worst leads to the opposite of diversity and inclusion, creating a habit of biased preference and homogeneity. This results in discrimination and unfair treatment of anyone who does not fit the company’s preconceived cultural mold and is harmful to both employees, innovative thinking, and long-term business success. 

What is Culture Add?

Instead of finding someone who fits into your culture, i.e. potentially a biased hire,  find someone who is a bit different and would thus add to your culture.

Studies have shown that diverse teams of people who think and approach tasks differently, achieve “cognitive elaboration” where more effort is spent to explain ideas and relate them to other concepts. 

Cognitive and visible team diversity, according to Harvard Business Review, leads to an increased team IQ if inclusion and turn taking allows for all team members to participate and speak up.

Hiring for and embracing “culture add” can be challenging due to unconscious bias and an established “cultural fit” mentality that needs to be identified and challenged. Actively seeking help with a fresh hiring approach can be the first step towards a company shift.

Key Search Understands the Value of Company Culture

Key Search can help you ensure that your company is hiring diverse candidates or “culture adds”, because the Key Search team understands the value of a company culture and how much this can impact the success of an organization. 

When looking for leadership talent, Key Search has always looked for individuals who can make a positive impact on evolving the company’s culture. It’s proven that companies with a strong culture mostly likely succeed long term. To get started, let’s have an introductory chat to see how we can support you. 

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