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5 Reasons Why You Should Hire Someone Different From You

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire Someone Different From You

Managers will benefit from hiring their polar opposites, writes leadership expert Scott Steinberg.

With GCC economies growing, and competition rising, experts say that human capital has become an increasingly tough asset to come by – and one of the most important investments that businesses can make.

Those looking to acquire top talent and boost retention rates should naturally seek team members and talent who embrace your organisation’s core vision, values and mission statements, with conceptual alignment crucial at every management level. However, forward-thinking leaders may also do themselves a service by actively seeking to court talent whose experience, insights and opinions differ from traditional hiring candidates, and boost job tenures by empowering employees to be meaningful contributors.

Case in mind: Most executives and entrepreneurs, regardless of industry or market, tend to surround themselves with like-minded individuals who boast similar backgrounds, experiences and education. But while it’s important that everyone on a team buy into the same overarching vision, there are several compelling reasons why it’s crucial to work with others who possess different skills and perspectives.

Following are five reminders why professional diversity is a crucial source of strength today, can directly impact the bottom line, and why as forward-thinking managers, we must at all costs strive to court it.

It pays to find your polar opposites

As a leader, your goal isn’t just to amass strength – it’s to mitigate risk and minimise potential areas of weakness. When hiring, look for potential team members and job candidates whose strengths complement those currently found in the organisation, not replicate them – otherwise your business will remain vulnerable in the same areas. The key is to understand what your organisation’s strengths and weaknesses are and then cast a wide net to connect with others who can fill in the gaps.

You want someone to call your bluff

By creating a diverse network of contributors, you gain access to alternate perspectives and talents, letting you see problems in new ways, or recognise unforeseen opportunities and challenges – all of which can help your business more effectively meet its objectives.

Likewise, constructive criticism is vital, as is positive discussion and debate. Rather than recruit people who’ll simply tell you want you want to hear, or those who can only apply familiar strategic approaches to tackling business challenges, look for those who can see scenarios objectively, provide welcome insights and expand on potential avenues for addressing challenges by providing fresh perspective.

Connections are crucial

You are who you know. In a world where people are changing careers every four to five years, and jobs even more frequently, it’s important to be well-connected.

Look for well-established players with a track record for building successful relationships; the contacts they provide may open new doors of opportunity, or allow you to forge connections that assist with current or future initiatives. For example, if a project you’re helming requires a specific set of talents or connections your organisation doesn’t possess in-house, a team member that knows whom to call to fill in the gap can be an invaluable resource.

Breadth matters as much as depth

On both an organisational and individual level, it’s important to enjoy subject matter expertise. But to stay relevant  – with markets, best practices, and customer expectations constantly shifting – you also need versatile team performers whose skills play across myriad scenarios and business challenges.

Don’t just look for proven talent with a wide range of experiences and talents to draw upon. Encourage existing team members to soak up new skills, interact with employees from other facets of the organisation to become better familiarised with their operating reality, and pursue continuing education programs where possible.

The more professionally malleable your teams are, the greater the odds they’ll be able to weather ongoing market shifts and change management efforts.

It’s all a matter of perspective

If you tap into a diverse network of team members with a wide range of skills, talents and backgrounds, you potentially gain access to novel approaches and insights, allowing challenges to be tackled in new ways.

These experiences ultimately lead to organisational self-improvement because of the wealth of learning you garner. The more you encourage team members to broaden their horizons, collaborate with one another, and sharpen performance via these partnerships, the further you move along the road to staying relevant and essential.

Scott Steinberg is an international event speaker and the head of strategic consultancy TechSavvy Global. His website is www.AKeynoteSpeaker.com

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