One of the most important factors when reviewing candidates for your next hire is culture. Hiring for a culture fit, and candidates making their decision whether to join a firm or not based on culture is top-of-mind on both sides currently. Companies want to hire candidates that will be a good cultural fit, and job seekers want to accept a position within a culture that aligns with their values. It’s important to take this thinking one step further. Not only should your next prospective hire be a good cultural fit, but also a cultural add.
What is culture add?
With culture fit being so important right now, you don’t want to make the mistake of creating teams that are too culturally similar. Your next hire needs to add to your culture, not just fit into it. When looking at quality candidates, you want someone that will not only assimilate to the new team but add something to it. This ensures your culture remains one of diversity and inclusion. A team with a healthy culture of dissenting opinions and team members that value and listen to those opinions is a team that will perform better than one lacking those qualities.
If you’re looking to hire and cultural fit and culture add will be deciding factors in evaluating candidates, you want to make sure you have a defined culture for your organization. Culture is usually expressed through mission statements, a defined purpose and passion, and documented core values. Because these are so important to your company, you want to use them as part of the hiring process when evaluating candidates for culture fit and culture add. Review your documented cultural expressions with your candidates and allow them to ask questions about them. Ask candidates to envision how they would be a good cultural fit and cultural add given the culture of your organization. It’s critical you have these expressions well defined and written down to provide the necessary context when discussing with candidates.
How do you hire for culture add?
Of course, there is more to your culture than just your values, your mission statement, purpose and passion. Culture includes what the environment is like, what the pace of work is like, what the perks are, what interests outside of work come in to play in the work place. You may sponsor volunteer activities, NCAA bracket and other sports competitions. Entertainment and pop-culture may play roles in your workplace. It’s important to share this with prospective employees. In candidate-driven markets, it’s not only important to share it, but to really sell it to candidates looking for differentiators between your organization and your competition. Many candidates may be entertaining multiples offers, and culture can be the reason a prospective employee chooses your organization over others.
Hiring managers often aren’t the best ways through which to view company culture. It’s important that near the end of your hiring process candidates have a chance to interact with peer and near-peer employees. This is where the true test of cultural fit and culture add will happen. Candidates need to be able to talk to someone they will be spending time working with, and that can show rather than tell what the organizational cultural experience will be.
Make culture add a priority for your next hire.
Culture add, not just culture fit should be considered when making your next hire. Hiring a prospect that not only fits your culture but adds to it will increase the odds of the longevity of the relationship. Hiring for culture add will keep your culture intact, but also ensure it grows and matures along with your company.