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Don’t Hire (Only) People Like You

February 10, 2019    |     Courtney Stallings

Scientific research suggests that when hiring employees, managers look for the baseline of technical skills first – but really want people they can bond with and feel good around. It makes sense: spending a day at the office is more enjoyable when you can befriend, or at least relate to, your employees, and it’s certainly easier to get buy-in for your ideas when you surround yourself with people who think like you.

building with puzzle pieces, teamwork, business team, strategyBut will real work get done? Not as much as you think. Whatever you are – task-oriented, imaginative, introverted, extroverted, etc. – your employees will be, too. You’ll get along great because everyone will agree, even on not-so-great ideas. You need someone not like you to ask questions and start debates, because debates make ideas better. Someone not like you will see risks and opportunities you’d miss and provide the kind of tension that makes you stretch and step outside your comfort zone. Challenging? Yes. Essential for growth? Also yes.

And what if you love sales meetings but hate typing up the notes afterward? Or enjoy networking events but hate making follow up calls? If all your employees are like you, you’ll be forced to delegate those tasks to employees who hate them as much as you do. You need people whose skill sets complement your weaknesses, not just to avoid doing things you don’t want to do but because it’s better for business.

You could also open yourself and your company up for legal issues because when you hire people like you, it sometimes extends to characteristics like race, age, and gender – so hiring only people like you could look like discrimination and lead to discrimination lawsuits.

Every team needs thinkers and doers, introverts and extroverts, people-oriented and task-oriented workers, pessimists and optimists, big-picture thinkers and detail-focused thinkers. Every team needs a devil’s advocated to question your ideas and propose new ones.

Or you can find your devil’s advocate in an outsourced marketing team! Our team is carefully composed of people from all walks of life with a variety of skills to handle everything from creating websites to writing content to helping at trade shows to managing social media. Contact us – we can help.

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