The Importance of Cultural Add in Hiring: Why it Matters and How to Do it Right

Pierre Ackerman

Jun 14, 2023

The Importance of Cultural Add in Hiring: Why it Matters and How to Do it Right


Culture add vs. culture fit – How to boost diversity and inclusion

One of the golden rules of successful recruitment is that culture is just as important as skills and experience. Get the fit right, and you can boost employee engagement, motivation and productivity by as much as 36%.

“Culture add” hiring refers to what a candidate can bring to your company, what they can add to your culture. It can help organizations to break free of a homogeneous culture, where every new hire fits neatly into the existing culture.

Bringing in new skills, ideas, backgrounds, life experiences and ideas can breathe new life and much-needed diversity into an organization. It can prevent stagnation and crucially, help to make it a more attractive and inclusive place for people from a wider variety of backgrounds.

This can help firms to make tangible progress on diversity and inclusion goals - improving this matters more than you think. According to research by LinkedIn, there’s an increased 1.7x chance of a company becoming innovation leaders in their market if they have a diverse team. In addtion, these same companies on average tend to outperform industry norms by around 35%.

Culture add vs. culture fit – which approach to take?

Hiring for culture fit has long been seen as a good thing. And indeed, it has many benefits. It can reduce workplace conflicts, build strong relationships within teams, increase empathy and help people feel like they belong in the workplace.

But there is also a downside to hiring for culture fit. It results in teams with a similar mindset, which can lack creativity and innovation. This happens because of hiring bias - It's all too easy to fall into the trap of hiring people just like us. This can result in a conflict-free workplace where everyone gets along, but it won't help to build diverse and inclusive teams, nor will it bring in people that challenge the status quo with fresh thinking & ideas.

Culture add vs. culture fit - Measure your work culture

Culture measurement tools are an effective way to assess and evaluate an organization's culture. These tools can take many forms, but they typically involve a series of questions or statements that employees are asked to respond to in order to provide insight into their perceptions of the organization's culture.

Some common culture measurement tools include:

1. Surveys: These can be used to gather information about employees' perceptions of the organization's culture, values, and practices.

2. Interviews: One-on-one or focus group interviews can provide qualitative data about the culture and can also help identify specific cultural issues.

3. Observation: An observer can study the behaviors and practices of employees in order to understand the culture.

4. Cultural audits: This method involves a systematic review of organizational policies, procedures, and practices to determine if they align with the organization's stated values and culture.

5. 360-degree evaluations: This type of evaluation looks at employee performance from multiple perspectives, including self-evaluation, manager evaluation, and peer evaluation. It can provide insight into how well employees align with the organization's culture.

6. Employee Engagement Surveys: They are designed to assess a range of factors including job satisfaction, commitment and willingness to recommend the company to others. Results are often used to identify areas for improvement and inform decisions about employee development and retention.

Tools such as ‘yourflock’, Hivebrite, and Sodexo can be used to measure various aspects of an organization's culture, such as communication, teamwork, leadership, and employee engagement. The results of these assessments can help organizations to identify areas where their culture is strong and areas where improvements are needed.

Cultural Fit Webinar

Watch our webinar here to hear expert advice on interviewing candidates for cultural add taking a closer look into the following topics;

●     The difference between culture fit v cultural 'add' - and why it matters

●     The 7 interview biases you may be unaware of

●     Personality tests: when and how to use them

●     How video interviewing can help your cultural hiring strategy

●     The best cultural 'add' questions to ask

●     What to look for in a candidate's answers

●     Red flags to watch out for and how to probe further


By hiring for culture add, you can build on the culture you have. This could be through interesting employees with new ideas, a particular passion or experience, or knowledge of a whole new methodology which can contribute to making your team, and business, stronger.

It’s still important to bear culture fit in mind, as many leaders will be understandably nervous of hiring someone who is the diametric opposite to the current culture. But if you can see differences as opportunities, you could open the door to enhancing what you already have.

So when interviewing, it could be useful to move past ‘not a culture fit’ objections and see unique skills or backgrounds as a positive point.

Culture-add hiring? Why not talk to CAST USA to find out how we can help? Get in touch here.