In the new world of full-time remote and hybrid working, developing a solid company culture has become higher in a lot of businesses' priority lists.
More so than ever before, the post-pandemic job seeker is more conscious of what culture really means to them and is showing more interest in values, ethos, and culture in their potential new employer.
The same can be said of companies too.
Traditionally, hiring managers and HR search for the perfect “fit” for their culture, looking for similar interests and personalities to those already at the company.
However, the shift has started towards focusing on the benefits of bringing people onboard who are going to add to your culture, bringing with them new perspectives, ideas, and interests.
The trouble with hiring for culture fit
Seeking out and hiring employees whom you believe will fit perfectly is a tried and tested method.
However, in continuing to hire in this way, it’s suggested that future development and innovation will suffer and as a result, it’ll become trickier to attract and retain staff in the long-term.
Doing things as they’ve always been done will lead to unconscious bias entering the process and you’ll end up hiring the same type of person time and time again.
The issue? You’ll find your teams start to suffer from a lack of fresh perspectives and ideas, stopping you from progressing with the changing world.
Likewise, telling a candidate ‘you’re just not the right fit’ can cause a negative perception of the business and leave a candidate wondering what they were being assessed on.
Why hiring for culture add is the way forward
Changing your mindset and focusing on what employees can add to the culture, rather than simply focusing on where they’ll fit in, can really bring a new lease of life to your company.
Study upon study has shown that building a diverse team helps build a better company. A team with a range of ages, ethnicities, backgrounds etc, can draw on a plethora of experiences, knowledge, and critical thinking better than a team built from the same stock. Not to mention it gives you a considerably larger talent pool to draw from.
As a business, you already know that without new ideas you risk stagnating and becoming less relevant. You may struggle to grow and keep up with competitors if your culture doesn’t progress and develop. Give yourselves the best chance by making sure your team is packed with people who are ready to progress and develop alongside you.
The more diverse the team, the higher the business value, the greater the innovation and creativity and ultimately, the better the company’s bottom line.
Tips to get your culture add hiring right
When looking to bring people into your business who are going to add to your culture, it’s important to ensure you do the following:
Truly understand your culture and what you’re trying to build – your culture should define you as a business, what you value and how you want to be perceived internally and externally.
Understanding exactly where you want to be as a business and what you need to do to get there will give you a framework upon which to build going forward.
Be genuinely open to change – switching the focus to hiring people who are going to add to your culture can be a challenge and without being fully committed to change, the strategy won’t be effective.
Showing potential employees that you’re serious about building a brilliant culture through your actions will help build their engagement and buy in during the recruitment process.
Review and rejig – be aware of how the changes are impacting the business and your team through a mix of quantitative and qualitative data. Gather regular feedback from across the business and ask questions of the wider business.
Can you identify anything that suggests the change in approach is working? Do the team seem more engaged? Are you seeing more diversity and experience in your applications?
Importantly, make sure you are using this information to keep building a culture that’s going to benefit your business and the people that make it up.
So, as greater emphasis gets placed on creating work environments people want to be a part of, those that get this right will see their business go from strength to strength. Moving towards an approach of hiring for culture add will certainly improve your chances of attracting and retaining top talent in the future.