How to hire diverse talent

#recruiting #talent


Today I prepared for next week’s “startup recruiting 101” event at WeSpace and during preparation I got excited to write this blog post, because there is so much to say that we will probably not cover all in one evening… And also I want you to start thinking about questions you have regarding recruiting talent. Some of my customers ask: “I can assess skills and experience, but how do I make sure people are ready to work in a startup?” or “We receive many applications but to be honest, there are only very few profiles that excite us” or “We would like to hire more women, but unfortunately we don’t receive enough applications from women”.


What I learned since I started Diversify: when recruiting processes are being professionalized and people who do recruiting are being educated, more diverse talent is hired as a side effect. And the quality of profiles goes up dramatically.


So how does it work?

First of all I would like to define what diverse talent means. It means that your team consists of people with different experiences and viewpoints that help your company to make balanced decisions. It does not mean that you constantly have to fight over arguments and viewpoints. It does not mean that you will be exhausted and uncomfortable all the time. It does not mean that you cannot address performance issues. It’s exactly the opposite: you get surprised with ideas, attitudes and solutions that make your work life rich and interesting – if you’re able to accept that people use different strategies to reach a shared goal. If you disagree about the goal, you have a different problem which has nothing to do with diversity.


So - again - how does it work?

The magic trick is to know exactly what you are looking for in a candidate whilst being very open about how the person might have acquired that knowledge, experience, skill or attitude and to focus your recruiting efforts on making sure you find out whether a person truly brings what you are looking for (instead of whether the person fits your expectation of how such a person looks like). For example do not judge people only on their work experience but ask for what they have done next to their jobs. Use real-life tasks to test whether candidates are able to perform them or not. Ask people for portfolios and work samples. Listen to what is important to the talents you want to hire in order to make the role attractive to them. And make your recruiting process as efficient as possible, so you actually have time to meet talents. You will be surprised about the richness of people when you give them the chance to show it and you’re open to see it.


So if you’re ready to question everything you thought you knew about recruiting, join us at WeSpace next Thursday. Get your Ticket here.


And now go recruit awesome talent.

Yours,

Johanna

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