The Beer Test

For several years now, forward-looking companies have sought “culture add” rather than “culture fit” as they seek to diversify their workforces.

Culture add is about hiring people who align with your core values. But, it also means that the candidate in consideration will bring new, fresh ideas and experiences to your team. They’re more likely to add something the team doesn’t already have and push the boundaries of groupthink.

If you’re still hiring candidates because you think they would fit in nicely with your existing team, there’s a good chance you’re succumbing to unconscious biases that harm diversity efforts.

So, what is the “beer test”?  It’s envisioning having a drink with a potential candidate and, if you like them, making them an offer. While it’s important to like people we work with, this shouldn’t dictate our actions as we hopefully like far more people than we’d want to hire.

Decades of recruiting have shown that focusing on culture fit leads to a lack of diversity in teams. Research reveals that a lack of diversity also means a lack of innovation and a tendency to underperform overall.

So, it’s time to reframe culture fit as culture add if you haven’t already done so.

One of the best ways to embrace culture add is through the search planning process and market diligence.

Furthermore, some recruiters use “blind hiring” techniques to move beyond this kind of conformity bias, like removing candidates’ names from their resumes or using voice-distorting software to disguise their gender.

Some teams have even turned to AI, letting technology scan resumes or screen candidates.

While these tactics may seem extreme, they can also reduce hiring bias, which is the goal.

If you’d like some help with this and to understand how you can overcome some of these issues, contact us.