Do you recruit the ‘best person for the job’ or the ‘best person for the team’?
Mark.Freed / 05 Sep 2017
All the evidence points to the fact that diverse teams perform better. Diverse teams help organisations attract a diverse client base; diverse teams accelerate innovation; diverse teams boost morale and staff retention. Why, then, are we still recruiting for the ‘best person for the job’ and not taking a critical look at the hiring processes?
As the co-founder of E2W, a firm dedicated to helping banks collect the gender dividend and supporting women’s careers in the finance industry, I talk to a lot of recruiters and hiring managers at banks. I am regularly told, having discussed the benefits of gender diversity, that "that's OK but we will still recruit the best person for the job."
In the short-term this might seem like a quick remedy for the recruitment headache being faced – organisations will employ the same recruitment methods to achieve the same results. For the vast majority of hiring managers, the best person for the job means someone in their own image. The statistics tell the story.
But in reality, a longer-term view is needed to yield greater profits, innovation, & employee collaboration. This view consists of finding new recruits who can do the job but come at it from a different angle – that angle could be any number of degrees between 0 and 180 but that’s where you’ll find diversity. That’s where you’ll find someone who has the same work ethic as you, say, but is creative about making that tricky client relationship work.
I have rarely heard any manager say I want the best person for the team, the department, division or firm. Why not? If the evidence is true about diverse teams performing better then managers should actually, given the current diversity statistics, be giving priority to diverse candidates. If we don’t think strategically about recruitment we will fail to hire a diverse workforce and therefore fail to hire the best employees for the business.
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