“Fit with the organizational culture”. – in recent years, it was very common to hear that this very characteristic was behind the decision to hire or reject a particular candidate. The more it was said that an organization should build its culture, the more emphasis was placed on looking for people to work with who agreed with the professed mission and vision, promoted the same values, expressed similar life attitudes and patterns of behavior.

However, it has been noted that doing so can lead to hiring people who think alike. Thus, one deprives oneself (at one’s request) of the opportunity to receive the results that come from confronting people with different outlooks and perspectives – as culture add allows. Below, we explain exactly what both of these approaches are, considering which one is better for building a cohesive team.

What is culture fit?

The concept of culture fit assumes that the best employees are those who fit into the existing organizational culture. In practice, this means that a company seeks candidates who have similar values, beliefs and work styles to the organization’s current employees. It is essential that new hires integrate easily into the existing team, share common goals and can adapt to prevailing norms and expectations.

With this approach, as part of the hiring process, HR or a third-party agency specializing in this area focuses on identifying employees who will fit into the current organizational culture, to maintain uniformity and cohesion within the team. Thus, it can be said that with culture fit, the team works together harmoniously, without causing unnecessary conflicts between individual members.

Culture add – what distinguishes this approach?

Culture add should be considered the opposite of the approach outlined above. This concept assumes that cultural diversity within a team brings greater value and innovation. Instead of focusing on fitting into an existing culture, the organization looks for employees who will bring unique perspectives, experiences and skills to the team.

This idea is based on the belief that cultural diversity leads to a better ability to solve problems, think creatively and adapt to change. By bringing in different viewpoints and a wide range of skills, the team becomes more creative and flexible, leading to better day-to-day performance – especially when thinking strategically and developing concepts with high business relevance.

Culture fit or culture add – which approach is better?

Giving a clear answer to this question is very difficult, mainly because both culture fit and culture add have their advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage of the former approach is that by bringing together fit people with similar traits, values and patterns, cooperation between them is facilitated.

Still, at the same time culture fit can lead to a lack of diversity of thought, which in turn results in a kind of stagnation – especially if the company plans to create a new product, enter a new market or target a new group of consumers. Innovation is certainly greater when the team was formed according to the culture add approach. However, such an approach is not without its drawbacks either – a diverse team can be more difficult to manage, as different perspectives and values can lead to conflicts.

Culture fit and culture add – summary

So how should one go about building a team when both of the approaches described have both their good and bad points? The best idea seems to be to look for a balance between culture fit and culture add when building a team. What does this mean in practice? HR professionals emphasize finding a person who will fit in with other team members, but who will also stand out for his creativity and unique perspective, as well as for his courage in expressing his opinion.

After all, pursuing and skillfully managing cultural diversity can pay dividends in the form of increased innovation, efficiency and employee satisfaction, which is by far the most important for any employer. This becomes extremely important, especially at a time when workplaces must be increasingly open to hiring people belonging to completely different cultures (as a result of globalization, remote work or lack of talent in the home market).

Read also: Strategies for Effective Business Meetings

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Culture fit or culture add in team building? andy nichols avatar 1background

Author: Andy Nichols

A problem solver with 5 different degrees and endless reserves of motivation. This makes him a perfect Business Owner & Manager. When searching for employees and partners, openness and curiosity of the world are qualities he values the most.