Culture add hiring: What is it?
You may have heard of “culture add” hiring recently as it’s a rising trend. However, what does it actually mean to hire for culture add?
In essence, culture add is when a new hire brings something to the team that’s beyond the cohesive style of your current office culture.
Let’s go back to basics, however and look at the art of hiring that has been developing for hundreds of years. For decades the way businesses hire has been an evolving process. How do you know whether a person will make a good addition to the team? We use relevant questions that have been developed over time.
To begin with the question was “Does this person have the right skills to do this job?”. As businesses learned more about the art of hiring, we asked “Is this candidate a team player, that’s reliable and can their skills be useful to us?”. Fast-forward a little to when companies came to the realisation that workers that like each other means a boos in productivity.
And this is the birth of what we know as Cultural Fit. The concept of creating a work culture and bringing on people that will get along in that culture. This is when businesses started figuring out what their culture was. Are you a corporate culture that expects overtime? Or are you a laid back, joke-loving culture? There are many variations of office culture, and all of these elements come together to form it. However, we’ve now realised it’s not quite enough to create perfect teams. This is where culture add comes in.
Culture Add: What is it?
So, what is culture add? Culture add is when you hire to add diversity to your culture (i.e. different personalities, backgrounds, skills, etc.)
When you hire for culture add it means bringing on candidates that have something new to bring to the table instead of perfectly mirroring your existing team. It’s all about making your team heterogenous instead of homogenous. Culture add is about the things that make each team member unique, which in turn results in making your entire team better.
Culture fit is certainly a hit when it comes to increasing empathy and reducing conflicts, however it also has a dark side. When there’s too much culture fit there is a gathering of far too many like-minded people who do not inspire each other to come up with innovative ideas through friction or variety. It can be the death of creativity.
Not only that, but hiring for cultural fit also naturally leads to biased hiring. By being able to claim “not a culture fit”, business can easily mask prejudices or unjustified dislike when in the process of interviewing potential hiring. Both known and unknown cultural bias (religious and ethnic) were also not solved by this as “culture fit” is too vague a concept.
Should you hire based on culture add?
In short, yes. The latest in what we’d call the hiring technology chain is the new concept of culture add. Hiring technology includes how to hire and build the best team. With each decade, we learn more in terms of what does and what doesn’t work.
When we now hire for culture add it’ll be taking into account everything we’ve learnt from the decades of culture fit, just as the businesses of the past found that culture fit was better than hiring workers of the “right” gender, height, colour, etc.
Culture add allows you to not just make your team bigger, but enhance it. Consider what each new hire can teach your team or how their skills can enhance the standard of your projects.
It also results in eliminating objections of “not a culture fit”. Instead of seeing differences as issues, they now become opportunities. Real objections should be justified based on what you’re really hiring for now- knowledge, competencies, and reliability. When it comes to cultural add hiring, someone from a different background or with a unique set of skills should be seen as a positive, not as a negative in the interview process.
Hiring for cultural add: Interview questions
Now that you’ve decided to focus on cultural add when building your team, let’s have a look at some interview questions that can help you find the best hire. By asking the right questions in your interview you’ll inspire your potential hires to open up and share what truly makes the unique. You want to hire people that have a lot to bring to the table, not just repetitions of the skills section in your job description.
“Tell us about an instance when understanding someone else’s view was beneficial in the workplace.”
Culture add is about understanding the value of each other’s uniqueness and differences. Ask you candidates how they have benefitted from taking into account and understanding a different perspective than their own. Follow up with asking what was accomplished by this understanding and what they learned as a result of it.
“When working with colleagues how do you personally benefit the team?”
Ask your candidates how they might benefit a co-worker or the team as a whole. You aren’t looking for cliché answers about being helpful or a team player, but more around skills they have and how they may use them to enhance the team.
“Tell us about a time you solved a problem creatively.”
Our creativity is what sets us all apart from each other and makes us all different. Four people will solve the same problem in four different way, which means you would have four solutions to try out. Ask your potential hires about their creative problem-solving and other ways they use creative thinking in the workplace.
“What is your first impression of our company culture? What do you think we could do to improve it?”
A potential hire won’t know much about what your office culture is truly like. However, they may have an impression of your reputation as an employer or your brand. The way their answer this question can reveal a lot about what they feel most office environments can benefit from or how they can be improved.
“What skills, passions, and interests do you have that set you apart?”
What makes a candidate unique aren’t the core skills required for the role, but their passions and off-list skills. By listening to them and finding out what else they are good at or interested in, you might discover a skill that’ll enhance your team and help on projects in ways you never even considered.
Stronger teams with culture adding
Hiring with culture add in mind is one of the best ways to enhance and strengthen your team one new employee at a time. Just think about it, why populate your office with the same personalities and perspectives when you can craft a team of creative, innovative, and diverse professionals? Rapport is important, but a lively team with a shared positive attitude is all your business needs to start on the path of productive and diverse hiring.
Are you looking for new Salesforce or Dynamics hires? Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you find the best talent out there.