Culture Add vs Culture Fit

Culture Add vs Culture Fit: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to building a team, it’s not just about finding the right set of skills or qualifications. It’s also about ensuring new hires mesh well with the company culture. Hiring for culture fit has been a popular approach in recent years, but there is another option – hiring for culture add. Culture add means hiring someone who brings a unique perspective and diverse experiences to the team, which can lead to more innovation and creativity.

In this blog, we’ll explore the differences between culture fit and culture add and why teams should prioritize adding new perspectives over fitting into an existing mold. 

Culture Add vs Culture Fit: What’s the Difference?

Creating a strong organizational culture is essential for any team, but the approach can vary between companies. Culture fit and culture add are two distinct ways of building a team that shares values and beliefs. While culture fit focuses on finding candidates who align with the existing company culture, culture add seeks out individuals whose unique experiences and skills can bring a fresh perspective. Teams can create a dynamic work environment that encourages innovation and growth by prioritizing diversity and inclusion. It’s important to balance culture fit and culture add to ensure that the team is productive and engaged while also being open to new ideas and perspectives.

What is a Culture Fit?

Finding the right fit is crucial when it comes to hiring new employees. Teams often prioritize culture fit and seek candidates with similar values and beliefs, making them a good match for their existing culture. However, relying too heavily on cultural fit can lead to a lack of diversity in the workplace. Therefore, it is essential to note that cultural fit can be one of many considerations when hiring new employees. Instead, teams should also consider candidates who bring unique perspectives and skills to the team, promoting diversity and innovation in the workplace. So, what’s the way out?

What is a Culture Add?

In today’s rapidly changing landscape, hiring for culture add has become critical to success. It involves identifying candidates who can bring fresh perspectives and unique skills to the table, which can foster innovation and creativity in the workplace. A team that prioritizes culture add is more likely to attract a diverse pool of talent, including individuals who may not necessarily fit into the existing company culture but can enhance it with their varied experiences.

Research shows that companies focusing on hiring for culture add tend to outperform those relying solely on culture fit. By embracing diversity and inclusion, businesses can create an environment where employees feel valued and empowered to share their ideas. So, while hiring for culture add may require a shift in mindset, it ultimately leads to a more dynamic and inclusive workplace.

The Pros and Cons of Hiring for Culture Fit

Hiring for culture fit can have its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, it can be beneficial to ensure that new hires share the values and goals of the company. When employees feel like they fit in with the company culture, it can lead to better collaboration and teamwork. However, there are downsides to relying too heavily on cultural fit.

Nevertheless, there is also a downside to exclusively hiring for culture fit. Hiring for culture fit alone can create a lack of diversity within the workplace and limit innovation within the company. Homogeneity in thought and perspective can restrict creativity and innovation, hurting the team’s growth prospects. For example, if everyone in a team thinks alike, it limits their ability to come up with fresh ideas or different perspectives. As a result, companies may want to consider hiring for “culture add” instead. It means hiring individuals with unique qualities and experiences that complement the existing culture while promoting diversity and inclusion.

Additionally, candidates who don’t fit the mold of the existing team may be overlooked, even if they have valuable skills and experiences to bring to the table. Finally, subjective hiring decisions based solely on cultural fit can lead to discrimination against candidates from diverse backgrounds. Therefore, teams must tread carefully when prioritizing culture fit to avoid these pitfalls and ensure a varied and innovative workforce.

Why Teams Should Prioritize Culture Add Over Culture Fit

In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing work environment, companies are shifting from hiring for culture fit to prioritizing culture add. With the belief that diversity is an asset in any team, focusing on culture add allows for a broader range of perspectives and ideas. By bringing in individuals who bring unique experiences, skill sets, and backgrounds, teams can break away from the limitations of the groupthink mentality that comes with hiring strictly for cultural fit. While culture fit emphasizes finding candidates with similar values and personalities to the existing team members, culture add celebrates individual strengths and contributions. By blending multiple perspectives and experiences, teams can build a more inclusive and welcoming workplace culture.

Benefits of Hiring for Culture Add

Introducing individuals who bring new perspectives and experiences can benefit a team. Hiring for culture add can lead to a more diverse and inclusive workplace, where employees feel valued for their unique contributions. In contrast, prioritizing culture fit may result in homogeneity and stagnation within a team. By placing individual strengths over shared values or beliefs, teams can create a dynamic environment that fosters innovation and creativity, leading to increased productivity and success for the team. Overall, hiring for culture add is an effective way of ensuring that teams are equipped with the skills and diversity required to tackle challenges head-on. Bringing in multiple generations at work and multicultural workforces unlocks many benefits for teams.

The Downside of Hiring Strictly for Culture Fit

While hiring for culture fit is essential, it can also have downsides. When teams focus solely on hiring individuals who fit into their existing culture, they risk creating a homogenous team with a limited diversity of thought and experience. It causes a lack of innovation and new ideas, hindering productivity and growth.

Furthermore, prioritizing culture fit over culture add may result in overlooking qualified candidates who could bring unique skills and perspectives to the team but don’t necessarily fit the traditional mold. By broadening the focus to include culture add, companies can create a more dynamic and inclusive workplace that values individual strengths and contributions. Balancing culture fit and culture add is crucial when building a solid team for sustainable success.

Building a Thriving Company Culture

Creating a thriving company culture requires balancing prioritizing culture add and culture fit. Hiring individuals who share the same values as the tea while bringing new perspectives and ideas is essential for building a diverse and inclusive workplace. Encouraging diversity and inclusion can create an environment open to new ideas while maintaining core values. A healthy company culture can boost motivation in the workplace too.

In addition, providing opportunities for team building and collaboration can strengthen company culture. It leads to more effective communication, a better understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately a more productive team. Regularly soliciting employee feedback can also help identify areas for improvement in company culture. Finally, by balancing culture add and culture fit, teams can create a dynamic environment that values individual contributions and leads to long-term success.

The Impact of Cultural Humility and Competence on Belonging

Cultural humility and competence are essential for creating a sense of belonging and promoting diversity in the workplace. Cultural competence involves actively learning about and understanding different cultures to create an inclusive environment, while cultural humility involves recognizing and respecting different cultural backgrounds and experiences.

Teams prioritizing cultural humility and competence are more likely to attract diverse talent and foster a positive work culture. Creating a culture of belonging involves valuing individuals’ unique perspectives and making them feel included in decision-making processes. When team members feel heard, respected, and valued, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and contribute meaningfully to the team’s success.


In conclusion, hiring based on culture add rather than culture fit is essential to building a thriving company culture. By prioritizing diverse perspectives and experiences, you can create an environment that fosters innovation and growth. While hiring strictly for cultural fit may seem like a good idea, it can lead to groupthink and limit the potential for new ideas. Instead, focus on hiring individuals who bring unique skills and perspectives. To build a strong company culture that values diversity and inclusion, it’s important to prioritize cultural humility and competence. This means being open to learning from others and acknowledging your own biases. Doing so can create a workplace where everyone feels valued and supported.

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What is the difference between culture add and culture fit?

Culture fit refers to hiring employees who share the same values, beliefs, and behaviors as the existing company culture. Culture add, on the other hand, means hiring individuals who bring diversity and new perspectives to the culture while still aligning with the company’s values.

What is culture fit to culture add?

Culture fit to culture add means shifting from solely focusing on hiring individuals who fit into the existing culture to also valuing individuals who can bring something new to the culture while still being aligned with company values.

What is cultural fit?

Cultural fit is the extent to which a job candidate’s values, beliefs, and behaviors align with those of the company’s existing culture. Companies often seek to hire candidates with a strong cultural fit to maintain a cohesive workplace culture.

What is culture add test?

A culture add test is an assessment used to identify candidates who can bring diversity and new perspectives to the workplace while still aligning with the company’s values. The test may include questions about the candidate’s experiences and perspectives, as well as their ability to collaborate and communicate effectively.

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