Why You Should be Hiring for Culture-Add

Jun 24, 2024

How common do you think LGBTQ+ discrimination is in modern America’s world of work? 

Half of LGBTQ+ workers report having been treated unfairly due to their sexual orientation/gender identification. 

With June being Pride Month, we’re reminded of this pervasive discrimination, and of the fact such bias often happens inadvertently. In order to mitigate this problem, the first step is to simply bring awareness to the importance of DEI in recruiting, thus minimizing unconscious bias and opening the door for more active efforts towards inclusion. 

An important piece of understanding the value of diversity and inclusion is shifting from a culture-fit to a culture-add mindset. Culture-add means embracing unique backgrounds, personalities, and ways of thinking. In order to avoid homogeneity, culture-add needs to be an active priority, as it can be easy to subconsciously gravitate towards people like ourselves.   When we lean into cultivating a more well-rounded culture, we can begin to leverage the power of diverse perspectives for innovation and creativity. 

There is a ton of evidence that shows how diversity benefits the bottom line. According to McKinsey, companies that prioritize diversity are “35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.” Countless studies also show that diverse and inclusive teams have higher innovation and creativity, better decision making and problem solving, improved job satisfaction, enhanced company reputation, and increased employee retention. 

So, how can you bring a culture-add focus into your talent strategy? Here are some steps for making your hiring process more inclusive:

Raise Awareness

  • As mentioned above, raising awareness is the first step in improving hiring efforts and making them more inclusive.
  • Operate with the knowledge that DEI is not only the right thing to do but also proven to be beneficial for your business. Thinking of DEI as something to check off of your list will likely come back to bite you.
  • Host a workshop for your team on the value of DEI and work to transform their thinking around the matter and get them excited about their role in upholding this culture.

Use Mindful Language

  • Update job descriptions to be more modern and inclusive. Avoid using gendered terms and closed-minded ways of thinking.
  • Consider implementing guidelines around interview and onboarding language so that people are clear on what is and is not acceptable.
  • Keep inclusivity in mind with all language used across the board — from hiring processes, to internal documents and direct communications. 

Train Your Team

  • Conduct in-house training or work with a DEI partner to minimize unconscious bias among hiring managers and employees alike. This training should be directly relevant in both the hiring process as well as the day to day operations of your organization.

Ask for Feedback

  • Be curious. Open the conversation with candidates, employees, and managers, asking them to identify areas of improvement.. Encouraging feedback not only helps shed light on your strengths and weaknesses, but it also demonstrates that you genuinely care and want to constantly improve.

Understand the Future of Work

  • Adopt an open-minded and forward thinking approach — the world is changing rapidly and the younger generations of workers are leading stronger social activism. Non-inclusive cultures are becoming increasingly less tolerated in the U.S., and you definitely don’t want to get caught up in ‘cancel culture’.

Enhance Your Culture

  • The hiring process doesn’t just end when you welcome a new member to your team — onboarding, upskilling, and employee retention are also key components in your talent strategy. In order to minimize turnover, you need to ensure that your talent is actually feeling good about the culture. 
  • Implement an onboarding buddy program so that new hires can integrate more easily.
  • Make people feel truly welcome and create an inclusive culture that prioritizes acceptance and belonging. Keep in mind that ‘sense of belonging’ has been demonstrated to boost performance.

As we celebrate LGBTQ+ month, take a good look at your organization and try to identify how inclusivity plays a role. If it’s harder than you think, then perhaps it’s time to implement more active efforts that will bring inclusivity to the forefront. Hiring for culture-add is certainly good for the world, but also it’s good for business. 

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