Culture Fit and Culture Add: Differences and Advantages Companies Should Be Aware Of

When it comes to recruitment, you will likely come across hiring by culture fit and culture add. In this article, we will discuss the differences and advantages of these two hiring strategies to help you determine which one is better.


What Is Culture Fit?

Culture fit in the recruitment process refers to the compatibility between a job candidate and the company’s existing culture. If the department often goes for a drink after work, a culture-fit candidate will be someone who is outgoing and also likes drinking. An applicant is culturally fit if he or she shares the same values, interests, and work preferences with the company.


Hiring By Culture Fit: Pros and Cons

It’s common for recruiters to hire for “culture fit” because people who match the company’s DNA can easily blend right in and get straight down to work. Unfortunately, this strategy also has many dark sides. So before a company considers or continues this practice, it’s wise to look at its disadvantages as well. 



  • A culture-fit employee may stick around longer, which means companies don’t have to find and hire over and over again. It can lead to money and time savings.


  • Hiring by culture fit can hurt a company’s diversity. If employers and managers hire candidates who are like them and the rest of the team, it will become more challenging to serve customers from different backgrounds successfully.
  • Hiring for cultural fit tends to favor a company’s status quo. It can prevent recruiters from seeing the candidate who can handle the work best.
  • Companies relying on cultural fit can end up being very homogenous, which isn’t good for business. It can also lead to culture stagnancy.
  • Employees still leave great cultures. So, there’s no guarantee that culturally fit employees will stay with the company.


What Is Culture Add?

Culture add is the complete opposite of culture fit. Instead of focusing on people who fit the status quo, the emphasis is on cultural contributors or people who share and reflect the organization’s ethics and values but still have something new and valuable to offer. 


For example, an older professional transitioning from a different industry joins a team of young professionals who have developed a culture of staying after working hours. The recruit has the experience and knows the value of going home at the end of the shift. If he shares the knowledge with his team and the team adopts it, he’ll be preventing his colleagues from suffering the consequences of working late hours.


Hiring By Culture Add: Pros and Cons


  • By hiring for cultural add, you’re creating a diverse workforce. Diversity is known to boost innovation and help drive business success.
  • By hiring talents from different backgrounds and walks of life, your company can get a new perspective that could be useful when expanding into new industries or markets.



  • Companies that want to adopt culture hiring must develop and implement a structured approach to recruitment. Otherwise, it will be easy to fall into stagnancy.


Shifting to Culture Add

Diversity is important in business. It can give you an edge in a highly competitive business landscape. Diversity brings in new, richer ideas and serves as a pathway to unlocking creativity. It is also correlated with profitability. A McKinsey study found that companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to outperform their peers in terms of profitability.


Building a diverse team is impossible when hiring for culture fit. The strategy only results in a homogenous workforce. For companies who want to embrace diversity and inclusion, hiring by culture add is the best option. 


How to Hire for Cultural Add

Ready to start hiring by culture add? Here are a few tips to help you get started:


  • Define your company’s culture and document it so your human resource department can easily understand what kind of hires they need to make.
  • Use standardized testing when assessing candidates to prevent biases.
  • Don’t overlook cultural fit. For the strategy to succeed, the talent you hire should still align with your organization’s values and can get along with their colleagues.
  • Compare candidates on an objective and bias-free scale. Hiring managers should look at the quantifiable results of tests to determine what value the candidate can add to the team instead of relying on their gut feeling.


Cultural Add Interview Questions

Here are a few interview questions you can use to hire for cultural add:

  1. What passions, interests, or skills do you possess that sets you apart from others in this position?
  2. What is your impression of our office culture, and what do you think needs improvement?
  3. How do your team and co-workers benefit from working with you? 
  4. Tell us about an issue you solved creatively.
  5. Tell us about a time when understanding a colleague’s perspective has benefitted the workplace. 


Let Kilpatrick Executive Assist You in Adopting and Improving a Culture Add Method to Recruitment 

Culture fit started as a good strategy, but it soon became associated with poor hiring decisions, biases, and personal preferences. That’s why hiring by culture add is becoming the new way forward. 


If you are ready to hire by culture add or find ways to make your existing recruitment strategy even better, Kilpatrick Executive has experienced consultants ready to lend a hand. Get in touch to find out how we can help.