Being surrounded by yes-people can be a real boost to the ego, but ensuring that your team is filled with diverse thinkers can make the difference between an average company, and a great one. Innovation comes from thinking outside the box, so we've explored how to hire diverse thinkers into your team.
Grow Your Network
We tend to stick to the circles we're most comfortable in, whether that's to do with our skillset, seniority, or background. Dipping a toe into unknown waters can be a fantastic opportunity for growth, and a great way to expand your network with people who don't necessarily see the world the same way you do. Start by checking in with someone in a different team, taking the time to understand what they're working on.
Have An Open Mind
We're all guilty of being too quick to judge a book by its cover. When conducting interviews, try not to be swayed by hairstyles, clothing, or other superficial factors. You're not hiring based on someone's fashion sense, or the colour of their bedroom wall (if you're interviewing over Zoom), you're hiring based on skillset and what they can bring to the table, and that takes a lot more than outward appearance to judge.
Look Beyond Qualifications
A CV doesn't tell you everything there is to know about a person. Whether someone's been doing a job for ten years or two, it may not correlate with what they have to offer. Take a moment to think about what someone's hobbies, interests, and sometimes unrelated career choices can bring to the table.
Ask The Right Questions
Asking personable questions to understand a candidate's thought processes is a great way to get to know someone beyond the norm of typical interview questions. Having exercises prepared, or asking for anecdotes about their experience can be eye-opening - especially if you present them with a problem you need solving within the business, and they come up with a solution entirely different to one you would've suggested.
Create a Diverse Interview Panel
Inviting members from different teams to sit on interviews can help avoid choosing someone who thinks and behaves like you. We can all be guilty of wanting to hire a mini-me, so asking someone who isn't like you at all, whether they're from Finance, Development, or Marketing, to sit in on an interview and ask questions that they're interested in can help encourage the different perspective you're looking for.
Hiring diverse thinkers isn't always easy, especially if you have a recruitment agency finding CVs based on a job specification. It takes time and practice, but by making conscious choices like some of the above suggestions, you can take the first steps to build an innovative, forward-thinking team.