Exploring the buzzword of the moment – Diversity
We’ve all heard it bounded around our boardrooms and in our strategy meetings, but what does diversity really mean and how can we get more of it? The word itself essentially means ‘a range of different things’ so if we replace the word ‘things’ with ‘people’ then we can see, in laymen’s terms, what diversity means from a hiring perspective. A range of different people. In this blog, I wanted to explore/scratch the surface on what diversity means to me when I’m hiring and what each organisation should be thinking about in relation to it.
Diversity means hiring outside of our ‘network coverage’…
I know what you’re thinking – great pun, and you’d be right but arguably more important than the brilliance of that, is the message that’s intended within; and that is the idea of hiring from outside of your own network and indeed, your own cultural comfort zone. This open and sometimes daunting mindset is now, more than ever, the key to diversifying and elevating your talent pool.
Whether you’re the next big thing in tech startup or a legal firm formed in 500AD, if you’re still using the word ‘cultural fit’ in your hiring agenda, you’re in a vulnerable position to be swallowed up by your own like-minded, unchallenging and eventual stagnant ethos and a lacklustre external approach.
Comfort is the enemy of progress.
Yes, we love what we know – but if an entire office wears jeans to work and likes to sit on bean bags, is that what we now define as company culture? Just because a candidate doesn’t seem like the type you would love to have Friday drinks with or would be a laugh at the annual summer social, doesn’t mean they might not just be the next best thing in your workforce. Additionally, are we really still in the era where you have to come from an Oxbridge background to sit at the table in some of the world’s best firms? Of course, certain roles require certain qualifications but let’s try to look outside of ‘face fit’ and start to open our tastes to a number of people you might not have considered because, essentially, they don’t have the same wiring as you. Instead, think…does this person add another angle, opinion, and view to challenge your own? If so, then great! People like this add another dimension to the workplace and thus make you structurally unbeatable because you have every angle, opinion, and view covered. To hire a more diverse workforce, you need to establish what your business values are and create a ‘culture’ around that, not the other way round. You don’t have to share the same outward appearance/interests to share the same inward values.
Hiring who we know is quicker and easier…Reasonable – But did anything worth having ever come easy? Trust your recruitment partners…we are here for a reason.
Now, we know you are busy; you don’t have the time to sit and assess each and every one of these alternative options, but guess what, we do … and we love it. The same way you take a payslip home each month for your love and dedication to your cause, we take ours home off the love of conversation, partnership and being the eyes in the back of your head when it comes to the market. So next time we bring you someone who is a little quirky, a little less you ‘on paper’ and potentially a little bit disruptive, don’t shy away – breathe it all in – and embrace diversity – because the world and your workplace, would be a pretty boring place without it.
By Lucy Stockwell