Updated: Jun 27
We put 2020 in the rearview mirror over 6 months ago, but the world is still moving at a break neck pace in a new direction.
Despite everything that is affecting business, “CEOs remain focused on the recruitment and retention of top talent as well as the development of next-generation leaders. The focus on the core of talent management—recruitment, retention, and development—is an indication that human capital, once narrowly defined as the labor input in an organization’s business model and categorized as an expense, is being recognized as the engine of the enterprise,” according to an article posted on Harvard Law Forum “C-Suite Challenge 2021: Leading in a Post-Covid-19 Recovery” The article went on to say that “CEO responses show they recognize human capital as a valuable intangible asset with workers a critical stakeholder essential for future growth.”
During the many years I have recruited, my focus is to always help my clients hire people with the attributes to be the “engine of enterprise” and to be “critical stakeholder essential to future growth.”
But what fuels the engine?
It is actually diversity of thought.
The Importance of Diversity of Thought
Having placed many individuals in organizations, I can recount many times when a client had a bit of bias creep into the hiring process. They looked at a resume and saw a particular school listed, to make a snide comment about the rival school. Or they read a resume making assumptions, expecting to read something that was not there only to fill in blanks or assume there were blanks. Or they assumed a person who was from a different culture than themselves would not bring the same soft skills to the table as they would.
When we have worked with our clients, to help them see past the biases and see the possibilities, it has been eye opening. The person that is typically considered the front runner on paper is not the rockstar they hire. The rockstar at first seemed like the diamond in the rough, only to thrive, bringing new expertise or ideas to the table; while increasing revenue.
The difference in these finalist candidates is that they have diversity of thought and are not cut from the same cloth as the rest of the team.
Diverse thoughts, within a team or individually, allow each person to contribute a lot more by bringing in new ways of doing things. This in turn becomes a great asset to your company and a breeding ground for ideas and innovation. It is for this reason, that it is imperative that leaders hire for more than just skills that match a job description. Leaders should understand how those skills apply and how a person creates a vision, determines a solution, and how they execute it. In other words, how they see the vision innovatively and because their thinking isn’t the same as everyone else’s create a new layer of value.
Allowing people with different points of view and backgrounds to contribute to the company can increase productivity, collaboration, and creativity; which, in turn, can increase your business's chances to grow and be ahead of your competition.
The Challenges of Recruiting Diversity of Thought
Hiring the right person to solve a problem, no matter how large or small, can be a very complex and difficult task. Hiring the right person with the right skill sets and differing thought processes is also hard and, consequently, very time-consuming.
Even if you hire people of different backgrounds, you need to make sure that the people you hire are different enough from you to bring out the best in them and to bring out the best in the team.
Recruit the Best People with Diversity of Thought
The best teams in the world all have diversity of thought. If you want your company to stand out in a crowd, you must hire people who can think and act independently. You need people who can think and respond to a new idea or think in an innovative and creative way.
Organizations that hire top talent understand that individuals with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints lead to better decisions. For this reason, they recruit employees who are different from themselves: people from different ethnicities, gender, upbringings, religions, and so much more.
They also realize that diversity of thought improves their ability to hire and retain the best people, which results in better productivity and business success. Most people today want to work in diverse companies. It allows people to share ideas, learn new things, and see things in a different light; otherwise known as diverse thinking.
Finding the best people for your team is challenging whether your company is growing or in a hiring crisis. No company can afford to hire the wrong people. When you don’t have time to interview prospective candidates, corners may be cut and full evaluations of what value a candidate brings may be lost. The best candidate for the job who can bring fantastic ideas may be missed.
In such a situation, you need to use every advantage you have to find the best people for the job and sometimes the best way to do this is to hire a recruitment partner. Just make sure when looking for a recruiter, you find one you know will not only look for diverse candidates, but those that have diversity of thought.
If you are wanting to become more selective about who you hire, focus on what the person will be accomplishing. Understand that they may not say it like you expect, so be open to hear the possibilities. Try to hire people who have the abilities that you are looking for and have already demonstrated the traits you are seeking or have the potential (remember when you didn’t know it all and you used your potential).
Building a team with diversity of thought will only make the team better, the initiatives easier, and your own career path accelerate.