We know you like yourself. We also know that you like to be liked. These are natural human characteristics. When taken at face value, these attitudes can be a good thing.
But did you know these natural tendencies could inadvertently sabotage your candidate hiring process? This happens when we gravitate toward people who mirror our own attitudes instead of hiring people who may have different opinions — but are actually a better fit for the role.
Stop Hiring Yourself ASAP
Stop trying to hire yourself and instead focus objectively on finding the right candidate for the job. Here's what you're doing wrong and how you can do it right.
Hiring for the Intangibles
You already know that hiring is a tricky process. Not only are you screening candidates for job-specific skills, you’re trying to get to know them in order to assess their ability to fit in with your team. We’ve written about the process of finding the right cultural fit, but we’d also like to suggest that too much of a “good thing” can be a very bad thing.
What we mean is that if you follow your unconscious biases to hire people just like yourself, you disregard opportunities to bring in new and exciting viewpoints that might positively influence the direction of the company. At worst, this behavior could be discriminatory; at best, it limits the input of fresh ideas and differing perspectives that can challenge your company to be better. While you may have a diversity of human colors in your organization, if everyone has a similar educational background or came from the same ZIP code, you really don’t have much diversity at all.
So, when does hiring the same types of people consistently actually create too much homogeneity? Turns out, there’s some research.
Creating a Culture of Conformity
In a study called “Hiring as Cultural Matching,” author Lauren Rivera interviewed employers and hiring committees and found:
Employers sought candidates who were not only competent but also culturally similar to themselves in terms of leisure pursuits, experiences, and self-presentation styles. Concerns about shared culture were highly salient to employers and often outweighed concerns about absolute productivity.
The problem here is that extreme sameness — or homogeneity — in an organization can actually be detrimental. While we naturally tend to gravitate toward people who reflect our own beliefs and attitudes, in the interview process these similarities can mask weaknesses that make the person unsuitable for the role.
While you may “hit it off” in the interview, it may not bode well for the new hire when they begin working on your team.
Using Checks and Balances in Job Hiring
We know that having a diverse mix of backgrounds, skills, and attitudes are what make a company great. So how can a Hiring Manager make sure they’re not falling into the trap of “hiring themselves?” One way is to put together a multi-step screening process that could include real diversity in the screeners.
Another way could be to work closely with a staffing organization such as Artisan Talent. Having an external resource to help “keep you honest” is a good way to get a differing perspective during the hiring process.
Sound Like a Solution?
Contact Artisan Talent today for our expert perspective on balancing cultural fit versus cultural conformity.
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