How you consider your company culture can have a big impact on the way you recruit. It is widely considered that hiring for ‘cultural fit’ is a sensible approach to recruitment. It makes sense that candidates hired with ‘cultural fit’ in mind are more likely to start really becoming part of your team much quicker, be happier in their role and in turn stay longer with your company.
BUT, if the definition of your culture is too rigid, it could lead to a lack of diversity by allowing ‘bias’ to creep in and consciously or unconsciously favouring people with similar backgrounds to your own.
Consider cultural contribution rather than just cultural fit
Rather than just fixating on finding people that ‘fit in’ and align exactly to your beliefs and behaviours, it is better to think about how they might contribute to these. If you see value in hiring people who bring new perspectives and ways of thinking to your business, then you are already thinking about ‘cultural contribution’, rather than just immediate and obvious fit.
It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t define your values and culture and recruit with these in mind, but you shouldn’t be restricted by them. It is important that you recruit for people that will stretch your ability to innovate and adapt, as challenging the status quo is what will drive your business forward. Your recruitment approach needs to fact based, so that candidates are measured by their strengths and behaviour, rather than whether they are ‘similar’ to the people you already have.
Make ‘cultural contribution’ a company value
If you make cultural contribution a value of your company and are able to demonstrate and articulate the benefits to your existing team, you are less likely to create disharmony. People are often threatened by things that they are not familiar with or don’t understand but if you are able to show that cultural contribution can help them and the business to grow and evolve, you are more likely to take them with you on the journey.
Very often it can be a company’s perceived culture that holds them back so having people challenge this by having their own new ideas can have a positive impact. Culture does not need to be fixed, instead it can adapt and evolve to create an environment where everyone can fit.