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Culture Add versus Culture Fit

When it comes to hiring, focusing on culture fit is so last season. It’s time to switch things up and go for culture add. But what’s the difference, you ask?

Well, culture fit is like trying to create a team of clones with identical mindsets, while culture add is like seeking out a diverse cast of characters who bring their unique perspectives to the table.

Instead of asking, “How do you fit into our team?” you should now ask “What can you teach us?”

In the 1980’s, business leaders introduced a new awareness of the term “office culture.”

This meant valuing employees as human beings, not just machines that completed tasks.

Businesses began to see that people stayed in jobs longer and were more productive if they felt that they belonged.

Having a best friend at the office became a likely indicator not only of job satisfaction but performance as well.

Management started deliberately hiring for “culture fit,” favoring candidates who matched their company’s DNA and would fit in well with the team.

But now, it’s not just about checking diversity boxes — it’s about seeking out people with different life experiences, beliefs, and viewpoints.

And if you really want to spice things up like I know you do, go ahead and hire some “weird” people. 😉


Sometimes their quirkiness is just a clever disguise for their brilliance. So, instead of seeking out people who are just like you, actively search for those who see the world in a different way.

Of course, you don’t want to hire a bunch of loose cannons, but a diverse team can bring fresh perspectives and surprising insights.

Don’t limit yourself to the usual suspects when recruiting. Sure, job fairs and specialized recruiting sites are convenient, but they also tend to churn out cookie-cutter candidates. So why not cast a wider net and consider people from different fields?

Lastly, keep an eye out for positive deviants.

These are the folks who are getting the results you want, but in a different way than you expected.

So instead of trying to fit them into your preconceived notions of what a “good hire” looks like, learn from them and adapt.

Who knows, you might end up discovering your next “superstar” employee by breaking away from the status quo. “wink wink” 😉

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