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Rethinking “Cultural Fit” In Advancement Recruitment

The success of advancement work depends on engaging all potential constituents as fully as possible. Most nonprofits would benefit from increased cultural competency—the ability to understand, appreciate, and interact with people with cultural backgrounds different from one’s own—in order to engage more constituents more fully. A more diverse workforce has a greater capacity to strengthen a team’s and organization’s overall cultural competency.

If you’ve been involved in hiring, chances are you’ve heard a colleague use the term “cultural fit” when evaluating a candidate. Authors Steven Wallace and Ron Schiller suggest rethinking the notion of “fit” in order to minimize bias in recruitment, think more expansively about what is needed for the team's overall cultural competency, and produce better outcomes for the organization.

Photo Credits: Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Oregon Symphony, and Aspen Music Festival and School

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