Strategy & Consultancy

Cultural Addition vs. Cultural Fit

In today's dynamic workplace, the debate between 'cultural fit' and 'cultural addition' is more relevant than ever. It's time to shift our perspective from seeking candidates who seamlessly blend into the existing culture (cultural fit) to those who bring unique perspectives and enrich the organizational fabric (cultural addition).

Posted on:15 novembre 2023
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PayPal's Misstep: A Culture of Similarity

PayPal's initial approach to hiring, focusing on cultural fit, is a classic example. This approach, albeit with good intentions, led to a homogenous environment, hindering diversity and inclusion. By prioritizing candidates who could easily blend in or "someone you'd have a beer with," PayPal inadvertently created barriers for women and individuals with diverse communication styles. This resulted in a toxic work culture, characterized by a dominant masculine ethos and aggressive communication, which affected employee well-being and productivity.

The Turnaround

Recognizing the pitfalls of its earlier approach, PayPal underwent a significant transformation under new leadership. The company began to address systemic issues like the gender pay gap and re-evaluated its core values and practices. This shift not only aligned with its mission to democratize payments but also mirrored the need for an equitable and inclusive work culture. PayPal's transformation highlights the positive impact of embracing cultural addition over cultural fit.

Cultural Add: The New Imperative

Cultural addition emphasizes diversity and inclusivity, recognizing that when we have equal candidates, diversity should be preferred. However, recruiters often experience 'cold feet' at this juncture, reverting to familiar profiles due to 'affinity bias'. To counter this, it's crucial to involve the future team in the hiring process, identifying complementary skills and how a new candidate can strengthen the team. Instead of focusing on candidates who seem to fit the existing culture, it's more beneficial to consider what they can contribute to the organizational culture.

Cultural addition is not just about adding different voices to the mix; it's about fostering an environment where these voices are heard, valued, and integrated into the very fabric of the organization. This approach leads to a richer, more creative, and inclusive workplace, benefiting not just the employees but the organization as a whole. As we navigate the complexities of the modern workforce, it's clear that cultural addition, rather than fit, is the key to building a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Written bySana Sellami

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