Tech Sketches

Culture Fit

July 21, 2020

Company culture is the most important aspect to consider when weighing an offer.

Will I like it there? Does this company promote and develop talent from within? What are my growth opportunities? Does the company value pay equity?

I used to really value culture fit when interviewing candidates. It’s incredible how much a bad hire can negatively impact your culture. However, culture fit a criterion leads to exclusionary misuse. It’s important to hire people who think dissimilarly than you so you don’t fall into the trap of groupthink.

Instead of culture fit, companies should be focusing on culture add. It’s inevitable that any new employee will reshape and impact the culture in some way. These impacts can be positive, negative, or neutral. Culture fit optimizes for neutral changes. Culture fit echoes existing opinions and practices, leading to the trap of groupthink.

Culture add is thinking about whether a candidate can help your culture evolve in a positive direction. Culture add is valuable because it gives your company a stronger recruiting tool in the future. Hiring the first underrepresented candidate gets harder as your team grows.

You spend so much of your waking hours dedicating time and energy to your company. A good company culture makes work feel like progress while an incompatible company culture makes work feel exhausting.

Next time you interview someone, think about how they will grow your culture and exhibit your values. Hiring good candidates and evolving your company culture make work life better for everyone.


Written by Andrew Lin who lives in New York.

© 2020