When hiring, look for culture addition, not fit

As companies continue to grow, their culture needs to evolve as well. Find out how to keep workplace values up-to-date and ensure all employees feel included.

We have often heard that when hiring, we need to find people who mesh with our culture. There needs to be a fit between our company’s culture and the people we are bringing into the organization. But is this absolutely true?

I listened to a webinar recently with Chris Yeh, the author of Blitzscaling: The Lightning Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies, who is also an investor, writer, mentor, and entrepreneur.

Yeh talked about the challenges and opportunities of blitz growth, which can radically change an organization. He told attendees to be careful about culture, saying that as companies grow, their cultures need to evolve.

What does that mean in the hiring process? Yeh contends that as a company scales up, rather than look at cultural fit, business leaders need to look at what a prospective employee brings into the company that is additive. In other words, you need to shift your focus from looking for culture fit and move to hiring for culture addition. You want to enhance and evolve your culture, so you need to look for people who have skills and competencies that help push your culture to the next level.

In order to do that, you need to broaden and deepen the networks you typically mind when looking to hire. He suggests that you activate all your employees to tap into their networks, asking them to bring their networks to your business.

Yeh also spoke about the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion, saying that inclusion is the foundation of employees being engaged and having long tenures with businesses. Inclusion can be more difficult in remote and even hybrid work environments. It is up to the managers to ensure their employees feel included.

One way to do that is to make things explicit. Too often, according to Yeh, we leave things unsaid. This just reinforces the status quo. Having “unwritten rules” puts new employees at a disadvantage. He says managers must be explicit about what is expected, so that new employees know how to navigate the workplace as easily as those with long tenure. Source: Jane Clark, Fleetowner