Culture fit versus Culture add

There has been a recent backlash against the concept of culture fit. With many arguing that hiring for culture fit leads to homogenous teams where everyone behaves and thinks the same. At the same time, there’s a growing voice in favour of culture add, where organizations hire to add difference to their team culture.

In this article, Alanna Harrington, Senior Research Consultant at Talogy, presents an argument for culture fit. Explaining how problems with this approach to hiring usually arise when it is viewed as a vague feedback point – does it “feel” as if this person is a “good culture fit”. Alanna goes on to outline tools and techniques that make culture fit more objective, to ensure an organization isn’t just hiring similar people.

Finally, Alanna explains some of the nuances of culture fit. For example, the need for organizations to carefully consider where they are in their culture journey before selecting an approach. Do they want stability in their company culture? Then a major change may well cause unintended conflict and objective culture fit could be a useful tool. Or do they want to change their company culture? Then culture add might be more relevant. Because it is not as easy as either accepting or rejecting culture fit. Organizations need to do the groundwork and consider what they really need from their hiring strategies when it comes to culture.