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Why Recruiters Should Be Hiring People They Wouldn’t Be Friends With

image_018According to Joel Peterson, the Chairman of JetBlue Airways, the first mistake in recruitment is hiring someone just like you [1]. When making friends, it might be natural to gravitate toward people who look like you, went to the same school as you or are the same gender. In the workplace, however, recruiters should be hiring people from diverse backgrounds, even if they might not be friends in a different setting.

Diverse Groups Can Solve Tougher Problems

A study put forth through the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that diverse groups are better at solving complex problems than homogeneous but high-performing groups [2]. Hiring qualified candidates is key, but so is hiring a diverse team with a range of backgrounds and experiences that can add value to problem solving.

Diversity is a Key Driver of Innovation

A recent Forbes study showed how a diverse workforce can greatly increase innovative ideas [3]. Thinking outside of the box is easier if every member of the team has a unique worldview. The same study revealed that feelings of inclusion may encourage team members to work harder and prove their worth through innovative ideas and an increased drive to perform at the highest level.

A Diverse Group Can Attract a Larger Consumer Demographic

The Center for American Progress believes that a diverse workplace can bring about a number of economic benefits, just one of which is appealing to a larger consumer demographic [4]. A team with varied and diverse upbringings, cultures, ethnicities, genders and life experiences will be able to utilize these differences to create advertising campaigns that reach a bigger percentage of the total population. This, in turn, can increase consumers, users and profits for any given company.

Diverse Hiring Practices Means a Wider Hiring Pool

When recruiters expand their scope to include candidates they wouldn’t normally be friends with, they are widening the hiring pool significantly. At the same time, Glassdoor reveals that recruiters may have an easier time attracting top talent if they have a diverse workforce, which is a plus for many candidates at the highest level [5].

[1] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20130529070259-11846967-top-10-hiring-mistakes-1-hiring-yourself

[2] http://vserver1.cscs.lsa.umich.edu/~spage/pnas.pdf

[3] http://images.forbes.com/forbesinsights/StudyPDFs/Innovation_Through_Diversity.pdf

[4] https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/labor/news/2012/07/12/11900/the-top-10-economic-facts-of-diversity-in-the-workplace/

[5] http://www.glassdoor.com/press/twothirds-people-diversity-important-deciding-work-glassdoor-survey-2/