Embracing Culture Add: The Future of Hiring in the Hospitality Industry

July 12, 2023 | 1770 Views

Embracing Culture Add: The Future of Hiring in the Hospitality Industry

Curt Archambault, FMP

Education Strategist, CHART | Partner Consultant, People & Performance Strategies

In the ever-evolving landscape of the hospitality industry, success hinges on more than just offering excellent service and exceptional amenities. The culture within an organization plays a vital role in attracting and retaining top talent and creating a positive experience for guests. Traditionally, businesses have focused on hiring candidates who fit into their existing culture, but a paradigm shift is occurring. 

Embracing a philosophy of "Culture Add" over "Culture Fit" offers a more inclusive and diverse approach that can be immensely beneficial to organizations in the hospitality sector. In this blog post, we will explore why Culture Add is the future of hiring and discuss its advantages with specific examples from the restaurant and hotel industries.

Understanding Culture Fit

Culture Fit refers to the practice of hiring individuals who align with the existing values, norms, and behaviors of an organization. While this approach may seem logical, it can inadvertently perpetuate homogeneity and limit the potential for innovation. By seeking individuals who "fit in," companies may miss out on the benefits of diverse perspectives, ideas, and experiences.

Embracing Culture Add

Culture Add takes a different approach. It focuses on identifying candidates who can bring fresh perspectives, unique experiences, and diverse skills to the table. Rather than looking for a perfect match, organizations seek individuals who can add value and contribute to the existing culture, enhancing it with their different backgrounds, insights, and abilities. This philosophy promotes diversity, fosters creativity, and creates a dynamic and inclusive work environment.

Benefits of Culture Add in the Hospitality Industry

Enhanced Guest Experience: A diverse team representing various cultures, languages, and perspectives can provide a more personalized and authentic experience for guests. By embracing Culture Add, hospitality organizations can ensure that their workforce reflects the diversity of their customer base, leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Broader Innovation and Creativity: The hospitality industry thrives on innovation and creative problem-solving. By bringing in individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences, organizations can tap into a wider range of ideas and solutions. Different perspectives can help identify emerging trends, anticipate guest preferences, and adapt quickly to changing market dynamics.

Expanded Market Reach: In an increasingly globalized world, the ability to cater to diverse markets is crucial. A culturally diverse workforce can help organizations understand and meet the needs of different customer segments. Hotels and restaurants that embrace Culture Add can attract a broader customer base, making them more competitive and resilient in the long run.

Improved Employee Engagement and Retention: A culture that embraces diversity and inclusion fosters a sense of belonging and empowerment among employees. When individuals feel valued for their unique contributions, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated. This, in turn, leads to higher job satisfaction and increased retention rates, saving organizations time and resources spent on recruiting and training new hires.

Real-world Examples

Airbnb: Recognizing the importance of Culture Add, Airbnb has made diversity and inclusion a top priority. They have implemented initiatives to attract a diverse pool of hosts and employees, resulting in more inclusive experiences for guests worldwide.

Marriott International: Marriott has adopted a culture of inclusion, valuing differences and creating an environment that encourages employees to bring their authentic selves to work. This commitment to Culture Add has earned them recognition as one of the best places to work, driving their success and reputation in the industry.

As the hospitality industry evolves, so too must its hiring practices. Shifting from a narrow focus on Culture Fit to a philosophy of Culture Add opens doors to new possibilities and growth. By embracing diversity, fostering inclusion, and valuing different perspectives, hotels and restaurants can create an environment that attracts top talent, delights guests, and drives innovation. The time for Culture Add is now, and those who embrace it will reap the rewards.

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Comments (2)

  1. Travis Smith:
    Jul 13, 2023 at 01:57 PM

    Always great to see articles from Curt. The insights from this guy always help me on my own growth journey. Culture Fit will be my new catch phrase now.

  2. Curt Archambault:
    Jul 13, 2023 at 02:08 PM

    Thanks Travis! You are awesome and I appreciate your kind words.