How Culture Add Goes Beyond Culture Fit to Support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Talentoday

How Culture Add Goes Beyond Culture Fit to Support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace

For years now, organizations have been stressing the importance of using company culture to drive recruitment and team management efforts. The theory being that hiring individuals that align with the elements that make up a company’s culture - like preferred work environment, company mission, leadership style, values, ethics, expectations and goals - will lead to a happier, more productive workforce.

It’s why most HR professionals have seen (or have had a hand in crafting) recruiting pitches like these:

“Be a part of a fast-paced team!”

“Join our values-driven organization!”

“Are you looking to work in a collaborative and creative environment? Apply now!”

While these culture-driven hiring efforts may be well meaning, there’s growing research indicating that making decisions based on “culture fit” alone may be missing a bigger point. Instead, the real key to unlocking a productive and diverse workforce may be what’s known as “culture add.” 

What is Culture Fit? 

To begin, hiring professionals need to assess how the industry has been operating in order to determine the best path forward. When culture fit first gained momentum in offices, the idea seemed both groundbreaking and simple. Instead of only relying on hard skills and job description qualifications when determining the best possible fit for a role, HR teams decided to go further. Now, how people go about their work was just as important as what they were doing. Since the style and approach required for being successful at one organization may not transfer to another, culture fit aims to assess whether a candidate’s attitude, motivation and values are aligned with the culture.

Where Does Culture Fit Fall Short?

Unfortunately, hiring for culture fit does not always add up to the ideal workforce its proponents claim to deliver. While the attention this methodology brought to historically under-evaluated areas of candidate profiles, such as personality, motivations and behaviors, was an improvement, it also led many hiring managers into a dangerous trap known as affinity bias. According to LinkedIn, “Affinity bias is the tendency to have a preference to people like ourselves. In hiring, affinity bias can mean leaning toward one candidate over another because they have a relatable background, belief, or appearance.” In other words, while organizations may have thought they were hiring the best candidates for the job thanks to how well they “fit” into a culture, they may have unknowingly been building a homogenous workforce lacking in true diversity. This same research goes on to note that inclusive companies are nearly two times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market, and these same companies outperform industry norms by an average of 35 percent.

Clearly, while hiring for culture fit can have its benefits, companies that do so may be leaving countless amazing hires behind due to rigid match criteria. 

How is Culture Add Different? 

Today, the practice of hiring for culture add aims to improve where culture fit strategies fall short. As a recent article in Fast Company puts it,” Assessing for culture fit can unintentionally encourage managers to pick candidates that look like everyone else. But looking for culture add helps managers to determine how a candidate’s individuality and differences can make a company better and stronger.” Rather than stifling the things that make a candidate unique, culture add aims to find ways to embrace that individuality within the existing framework of a company’s culture. 

In truth, getting to this point can be challenging - especially for larger organizations with deeply ingrained cultures and hiring processes. Culture change takes time, and there needs to be top-to-bottom buy-in to ensure everyone moves in the right direction to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion at scale. LaFawn Davis, Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at Indeed.com, offers these best practices for companies looking to move towards culture add-based hiring:

  • Empower recruiters to push back. When culture fit is given as the reason to decline an offer, recruiters should be able to ask follow-up questions to ensure this reasoning is not being used as an excuse to make decisions based on bias or emotion.
  • Ask for more details. Sparking a deeper conversation about a hiring manager’s desired attributes and skills, and how the candidate may meet or miss these marks, could be another way to get beyond a cultural fit impasse.
  • Use rubric-based scoring. Go beyond gut-feeling! Having a reliable scoring system can point to where candidates may have fallen short or, if the hiring manager can’t point to something specific, give the recruiter a reason for challenging biased thinking. 

As organizations continue to recognize the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in all industries and workplace settings, the concept of culture fit may be coming to an end. Instead of only hiring those who can fit themselves into a tidy box of strictly defined cultural norms, it’s time for human resource professionals to tap into the power of embracing what makes each of us truly unique. 

After all, where’s the fun in just fitting in anyway? 

Are you ready to build a diverse workforce through the power of science-driven people analytics? Discover the science behind MyPrint by clicking here.


Are Your Personality Traits Right for Your Career Path?

Long gone are the days of separating “life” and “work” into two separate buckets hoping to achieve some sort of balance. Employers and employees alike are now becoming increasingly aware that the personality traits that make each of us unique at home are the same things that can make us successful in the workplace. This shift has been highlighted as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic further blur the line between professional and personal.

Now, instead of simply checking boxes of required technical abilities and education, job seekers are having to ask themselves deeper questions about their personalities. These questions can include:

“Am I more reserved around new people or do I feel at ease when I’m in the spotlight?”

“Am I comfortable when things are not organized or do I prefer instructions in unfamiliar situations?”

“Do I simply focus on getting a task done or do I take time to focus deeply on the details?”

This amount of self reflection can be overwhelming when there’s a ticking clock for finding work! How can job seekers better understand themselves in order to prepare for the new world of job searching? Thankfully, there is more information than ever to identify which personality traits are more likely to lead to success in a given career path.

Identifying Your Personality Traits

Most job seekers are familiar with the standard questions they’ll likely face in a job interview, such as, “What are your strengths/weaknesses?” However, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of telling meandering stories that are heavy on details but light on proven takeaways.

What hiring managers are really looking for in job interview responses are what are known as, “transferable skills.” These are the types of skills that are not specific to a single industry or role. Rather, transferable skills — such as personality traits — can be used in a variety of settings.

In order to go deeper when identifying your transferable skills, consider taking an assessment backed by science, such as MyPrint®! Supporting anecdotal evidence from your experiences with tools built on data-driven people analytics can add credibility to your claims. Furthermore, the MyPrint assessment evaluates individuals on 13 distinct dimensions of personality, and gives information on 26 total personality traits. Pinpointing your personality traits can help narrow your job search to roles that are more likely to be the right fit for your career.

Popular Fields and Noteworthy Personality Traits

Once you have a better understanding of the personality traits that make you unique, it’s time to connect them to jobs that will allow them to shine! Based on our Talentoday user database, here are the key personality traits that align with 14 of the most in-demand career paths today:

  • Administrative: Compliant, Structured, Conventional Thinker, Practical
  • Art Design: Imaginative, Spontaneous, Critical-Thinker, Precise
  • Education: Empathetic, Modest, Extroverted
  • Engineering: Precise, Confident, Determined, Positive, Individualistic
  • Finance/Bank/Accounting/Audit: Confident, Positive, Relaxed, Determined, Individualistic
  • HR/Purchasing: Positive, Extroverted, Confident, Striving
  • Health and Social Care Provider: Empathetic, Extroverted, Imaginative, Big Picture, Striving
  • Information Technology: Confident, Relaxed, Positive, Striving
  • Legal: Determined, Relaxed, Big Picture, Compliant
  • PR/Writing/Editing: Empathetic, Imaginative, Extroverted, Spontaneous
  • Production: Positive, Practical, Confident, Extroverted, Striving
  • Research Science: Critical-Thinker, Imaginative, Assertive, Big Picture
  • Sales: Extroverted, Practical, Positive, Determined, Striving, Patient, Confident
  • Security: Confident, Positive, Relaxed, Striving, Assertive, Determined, Practical

Do any of these personality trait groupings sound like you? If they do but you’re currently on another path, it might be the right time to consider a change! With the transferable skills needed for a successful foundation, all that’s left is to fill in the hard skills gaps you may be missing. If you’re currently working in any of the fields above and are lacking some of the soft skills that are prominent in your position, that’s okay too! This is the perfect time to start developing your strengths in the areas critical to your industry.

Are you interested in learning more about the personality traits that make you…you? Click here to take MyPrint and receive a detailed assessment of your unique personality, motivational and behavioral traits! Then, you’ll be able to use that information to connect your unique strengths to today’s most in-demand jobs.