Attack of the clones: When hiring practices go awry

hiring practices

I read an article the other day that was attempting to solve the problem of what companies should do to hire better talent.  Their solution was to look at their best workers, isolate the qualities that make those workers great, and hire others exactly like them.

Wait, what?

I’ve worked for managers before who thought their best employees were the ones that we, the worker-bees, generally considered lazy, ineffective, and difficult to deal with. So we should hire people exactly like them?  So much for getting any work done. So much for diversity.

I’m pretty sure it’s human nature to be drawn to people who are exactly like us, and frankly, if I were a micromanager, finding a meek, mild, yes-man would certainly float my boat. But I can’t say that it would really advance my department much. And, let’s be honest, I probably wouldn’t recognize whether or not I was a micromanager, I would just unknowingly hire a department who works best with that personality.

I have a hard time, as a regular employee, understanding the hiring process sometimes.  I haven’t worked in a capacity where I have to build a staff of people around me who contribute to my goals and success, but I can’t imagine wanting a staff of ME all over the place. Not that I’m not an amazing, wonderful, energetic, hard worker, but it just sounds so…boring.

Maybe it’s not just about hiring people exactly like my best workers. Because while I get their sentiment on some level, it just seems to me that surrounding myself with people of different strengths and abilities could only provide a much more dynamic and comprehensive team. I have worked in companies that were generally fearful of progress and being outside of the box…so to hire people exactly like their best workers won’t get them very far.  On the contrary, hiring people too far outside of the box only scares them and causes them to withdraw into their safety net even more.

It’s nice to have people with different perspectives, men and women, young and old, to bring a wide range of views.  When all is said and done though, the manager decides how the department is run…having a diverse team and strong leadership is what I believe makes for great talent. Give your employees the opportunities to grow, don’t be afraid of failure, and be open-minded.  A wide variety of talents gives you a larger pool of knowledge to draw from.



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