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Putting 'culture add' into practice

'Culture add' vs. 'culture fit' is a big topic in the recruitment space right now. So how are we trying to put it into practice here at FMC?

The notion of ‘culture add’ revolves around welcoming new perspectives, particularly the perspectives of those who the working world tends to dismiss. FMC came into being on the basis of rejecting the status quo. The five friends that came together to bid farewell to the static, unforgiving, corporate way began a journey to create a flourishing company with a passion for doing things differently. At our core, we value people for who they are and not just what they offer in terms of ticking predetermined boxes of what classifies someone as an asset. After all, it is about time that we all broke free of the archaic mould of what a professional should resemble.

A call to action...

A mission statement is an excellent place to begin, but words are just words without meaningful action. We have embarked on a continuous journey of evolution, and without being open to input we won’t get very far. We invite you to join us on our journey of self-evaluation and self-awareness.

In her blog Beth discusses affinity bias, and how it leans into the ‘culture fit’ approach to the detriment of candidates who do not conform. We all have biases, and echoing Beth’s words, it is human nature. We look for what resembles us the most and reject what is ‘other’. But different is not bad. In fact, different is often better. To put my GCSE-level knowledge of metals to use - alloys are stronger than pure metals precisely because the atoms that make them up are all different. They lock together in a composition that outperforms the more corrodible structure of pure metals, where identical atoms simply slide over one another. It is obvious then, that culture add should be considered a non-negotiable approach when forging a strong and effective workforce.

Self-awareness of our biases is the first step. Next comes taking ownership, and then accountability for the impact they have on those around us. Owning the fact that we think the way we do, and in turn building an internal process that promotes accountability and combats harmful biases is exactly the approach that we have adopted at FMC when recruiting people to join our ranks.

Culture add in practice

To give you an insight of how we roll at FMC, here are a few of the things we do to keep our biases in check.

Our talent acquisition process is made up of various stages that each provide a candidate with the platform to showcase various aspects of what makes them who they are, both professionally and personally. Our process goes like this:

  • An informal screening call with a member of our People team
  • A 'classic' question-based interview with some of our recruiters
  • The final activity - going through the motions of being a recruiter under the guidance of one of our directors

All of these stages are designed so that we get a full picture of everything someone can bring to the table, as well as getting to know the people we’re interviewing a little better – we want to know who they are as a human!

Creating a space for conversations during our screening process presents an opportunity for peer review. We can openly challenge one another’s preconceptions of candidates from our varied perspectives to prevent one person’s opinion becoming a barrier to a candidate’s success.

Our interview questions focus on behaviours such as adaptability, attention to detail and time management. By doing so, we can draw out behaviours and competencies that we know perform well at FMC that others may not have seen had they just gone for the classic ‘So, what grades did you get at school?’ question.

In a nutshell

Our core values are all about being a specialist, being systematic, commercial, ambitious, ethical and positive. This is what we look for in new recruits and expect of our existing employees, but we look for these values knowing that they do not always come in the same packaging.

If you feel like these values ring true with you on a personal level, and recruitment is a career that you either are, or want to become established in, drop us an email or apply here!

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