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Don’t Hire People Just Like You

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By Nicole Cox, Chief Recruitment Officer

Hiring managers often want to hire people who are just like themselves. I run into recruiters across all industries who deal with this on a regular basis. They hear things like; I want to hire someone who has the same political views, doesn’t have an accent, went to this type of school (because I did), or [insert bias here]. With all the publicized lawsuits and years of anti-discrimination training shouldn’t everyone be well beyond this ridiculousness? Is some of this human nature? Some say we select “like kinds” as friends or mates so is it so surprising that we do the same for co-workers? Then again, we hear mixed messages about “opposites attracting.” Which is it? This is a topic that could go on for days with expert debates and years of study, but let’s toss out some general concepts. If it generates discussion we’ll go deeper.

Benefits of hiring people like you:

  • Faster decision-making because you think similarly
  • Less conflict
  • Easy culture fit

Dangers of hiring people like you:

  • Creating a bobble head society within your organization (everyone agrees)
  • No conflict means nothing is changing or transforming
  • Stagnant or dying service levels and/or products due to lack of new ideas

Benefits of hiring a diverse talent pool:

  • Decision-making can take longer, but issues are reviewed with multiple perspectives in mind
  • Conflict takes place, but conflict isn’t always negative. It can lead to transformation in an organization and in the people involved. Conflict often leads to intellectual and emotional growth within an organization benefiting the client in the end
  • A diverse talent pool brings fresh new ideas to better serve clients by improving existing or creating new products/service offerings
  • Diversity in the workplace inspires top performance which leads to improved profits

Professional Bites – how can this information help you?

  • Look across your organization and see where you can benefit from diversity more.
  • Understand anti-discrimination laws and never discriminate! Make sure your hiring managers follow the same practices.
  • I’m not recommending that your next hire be so completely different that it’s a distraction for the organization. Obviously, constant conflict can create chaos and long-term damage. Make sure the hire has the requirements to fulfill the needs of the position; but don’t be afraid to hire someone who brings something new to the table. Just understand how that can benefit your organization.
  • Hiring from one department into another can be just the infusion a department needs at times.
  • Know when it’s time to pull from outside the organization to get fresh energy and ideas to help take your company, product, services and sales to the next level.


Connect with Nicole on LinkedIn or Twitter.

To learn more about Decision Toolbox, contact us or check out the DT infographic.

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