Culture Fit is in the past: why you should hire for Culture Add

Culture Fit is in the past: why you should hire for Culture Add

Karoli Hindriks
min read


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Culture fit: the idea of seeking out candidates who perfectly blend into the existing company culture. 

While the goal of hiring for culture fit is to promote a harmonious and cohesive work environment, it can inadvertently hinder the growth of both a team and a company.

Hiring for uniformity narrows the pool of potential talent and results in an excessively homogeneous team. When hiring choices are determined only by a candidate's ability to "fit in”, it can lead to perpetuating biases and excluding individuals who might bring valuable perspectives and experiences to the table. If every team member thinks in the same way, the potential for innovation is considerably limited.

That’s why we hire for culture add at Jobbatical, and why you should do the same. 

How Culture Add and challenging the status quo feed growth

Culture Add focuses on identifying individuals who not only share the company's core values but actively add to the company's culture, rather than just blending in. 

The diversity within the Jobbatical team has been one of the key enablers of our success from the very beginning. We actively seek diverse talent across the globe - we know the best person for the job might not be right next door. Top skills and knowledge, wherever they are found, are what truly matter.

Our very first employee traveled 6,000 miles from Buenos Aires to Tallinn to join us. We had just launched Jobbatical, but were getting almost no traction and he helped us get closer to figuring out why. From then on, each and every hiring campaign for the Jobbatical team has been global. Today our team is a vibrant blend of 25 nationalities, speaking in 18 languages, and working across 43 different cities.

Location is just one chapter in Jobbatical’s diversity story. We believe talent comes in all shapes and sizes, and we prove it by welcoming promising first-timers, supporting career changes, and fostering internal advancement.

Hiring for culture add recognizes that diversity is not just a box to tick but a source of strength and innovation. The business landscape is ever-changing and ever more challenging.
By integrating unique perspectives, skills, and backgrounds, companies can build a more resilient, adaptable, and - very importantly - creative team. That is, in itself, a ticket to new opportunities, growth, and, ultimately, success.

Here are my six key considerations for HR professionals to effectively implement culture add practices:

  1. Clearly define company values and how they translate into everyday behaviors and decisions;
  2. Identify gaps and pinpoint the specific skills, perspectives, and experiences that will complement and enrich the company's culture;
  3. Define clear and objective hiring criteria that focus on skills, experience, and cultural values, avoiding subjective assessments that can lead to bias;
  4. Move beyond traditional interview questions that emphasize cultural fit; 
  5. Diversify interview panels to gather a range of perspectives and minimize your own unconscious bias: do you like the candidate because they are similar to you or because of the added value they would bring to the organization?;
  6. Proactively reach out to underrepresented groups and consider candidates with unconventional backgrounds. 

In a world that demands adaptability and innovation, culture add hiring is not just a trend -  it's a necessity. Moving beyond the limitations of culture fit is an essential strategy to drive innovation, generate growth, and build success in today’s dynamic business landscape.

The mix of backgrounds, time zones, languages, and ideas is precisely what enriches Jobbatical as a team and as a company.  It empowers us to successfully navigate and thrive amid political crises, evolving technology, and market changes.

Because culture add beats culture fit every day. 

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