Culture Fit, Culture Add, and Diversity of Thought
With the increasing pressure for organizations to implement diversity and cultural alignment into recruitment, many Human Resources teams are struggling to keep up. Phrases like “culture fit” and “culture add” have taken on multiple meanings and muddied the already cloudy waters of unbiased recruitment practices. To combat the confusion, we’re addressing their similarities, their differences, and providing an intentional route to recruitment.
Defining Culture Fit
Culture Fit has recently received a lot of undue criticism. Some companies are even banning the phrase altogether; fearing it emphasizes homogeneity, the very opposite of its intent. At its core, Culture Fit, as Humantelligence defines and uses the term, boosts inclusion and diversity within its teams. Finding candidates that align with culture doesn’t have to limit the existing background or experiences of potential new hires into that culture. How? Humantelligence helps businesses take two courses of action pertaining to Culture Fit.
And in some instances, companies choose to use this tool for both benchmarking as well as improving overall morale. For example, our friends at Ashley Furniture could not have improved their distribution center without a tool that assessed Culture Fit. They were experiencing high turnover, and while not uncommon in manufacturing, Ashley wanted to better understand the candidates that thrive in this environment. Utilizing Culture Fit helped Ashley pinpoint their high-performers and continue hiring individuals that were driven by a common goal. This isn’t to say that the entire workforce of over 22,000 employees had identical backgrounds and beliefs, as some fear, this meant Ashley could simplify recruiting efforts by narrowing their search.
Even before and interview where a person can begin to create an unconscious bias, the data had already been hard at work finding similarities between candidates and current employees. There is also a threshold which is set by the company. This means that company A may say, “We want potential team members to align with their future boss by 60 percent.” But company B might say, “We want a very close match between manager and team member, as this person will fulfill the manager position in 6 months. We are striving for a 75 percent match.” And so on. While it’s always important to address potential pitfalls in the hiring process, Culture Fit is not one of them, unless the data points are ignored and the system is highly abused. Our experts can explain this better in a scheduled demo.
- We assess your current team culture, specifically addressing high and low performers, regardless of their background. Our tool provides insights into Behaviors, Motivators and Ideal Work Styles- never race, religion, background, socioeconomic status or any other bias-laden factor. With the insights gained from these data points, trends start to emerge. These trends allow hiring managers to hire candidates that will have the traits of their high-performing team members in an EEOC compliant way.
- If the hiring manager or leadership team determines that the current team is not performing well, or they are on the verge of a transformation, they can use the tool to build an “Ideal Profile”, that will reflect the ideal candidates desired BMW. What we refer to as BMW eliminates outside judgment and preconceived ideas on what the candidate should “look” like and adheres to a set of numeric data points, decided on by your business.
Defining “Culture Add”
Similar to Culture Fit, Culture Add is the concept that a new hire should contribute to the culture, or be seen as a positive addition. Both terms involve a sense of alignment, however, Culture Add has become more popular than its predecessor. Why? We believe that businesses strive to keep up with current trends as well as acknowledge the most socially acceptable phrases- Culture Add has become both. Culture Fit has unfairly become associated with a lack of diversity. But the outcomes between striving for Culture Add or Culture Fit will be similar if done properly.
Accurately collecting data is key to understanding what culture means for organizations, and any new addition, if chosen intentionally, will “fit” or align with their team and the current value system. Will people of similar backgrounds and experiences gravitate toward one another? Absolutely. This is why hiring new additions need to be driven by data as opposed to a gut feeling. We recommend our clients implement a BMW analysis platform to start filtering candidates, long before the first interview or point of human interaction. This way, biases are dramatically minimized and the overall recruitment process will be quicker, with a more aligned candidate as the final outcome.
The Importance of Diversity of Thought
Another common phrase that is often heard within HR and culture conversations is Diversity of Thought. The thinking behind DoT is that a shared mindset or “groupthink” within an organization is negative and creates a shortage of new ideas; particularly from underrepresented groups. True DoT starts with organizations prioritizing diversity in the recruitment process and reinforcing its importance throughout the employee experience. Aside from the obvious benefits surrounding a more diverse and inclusive workforce, Gallup proved that inclusivity and employee engagement are actually linked to profits. It found that employee engagement and gender diversity resulted in 46% to 58% higher financial performance. And while some HR organizations struggle to plead the case for a diversity budget, the ROI is undeniable.
Lever, a prominent name in the recruitment space, sites blind resume screenings as a way to combat bias in recruitment. Hiring for Culture Fit or Culture Add, utilizing data from behavioral evaluations can create this “blind screening” setting. All of these concepts lend to the search for the best candidate, involving the least amount of human error- an admirable goal.
Best Practices to Implement Today
No matter what phrase your business aligns with, it’s important to set aside our differing opinions and focus on creating our cultures through intention. Employees within the organization, as well as those entering through the recruitment process, deserve a fair and inclusive environment. A more diverse, accepting environment fosters creativity and aids in employee happiness. In a study by Salesforce, it was noted that:
And that’s not all. Teams that emphasize inclusion and belonging are also able to transform more quickly than those that are less diverse.
According to Cloverpop, inclusive decision making “can drive meaningful change in months because it focuses on the inclusion of people already employed by organizations, using consistent processes combined with transparent metrics.” and inclusive decision making also “leads to better business decisions up to 87% of the time. This means that building diversity into your recruitment processes and, inevitably, your teams, will lead to higher success, employee engagement, and better work overall.
As long as your team is choosing data and intentional inclusion practices as your guide for filling vacancies, you ar eon the right track. At Humantelligence, we have a whole platform to help you measure, manage, and hire for the most deeply aligned candidates- while remaining EEOC compliant. For a demo of how this tool works, please reach out to us, here.