Many people have a natural inclination to want to work with, hire and develop people similar to themselves. That tendency undermines the proven value of diversity, e.g., in gender and race. Writings abound on how diversity, among other things, makes companies more competitive, attracts better talent and increases innovation.
In addition to diversity, there are other factors leaders might consider when hiring. Felice Gray-Kemp is a senior in-house commercial attorney who was named in 2012 by Inside Counsel in its “R-3 100” talent identification project as one of 100 who have the leadership potential to become a general counsel within three years. Felice suggests that “leaders, when hiring and developing talent, should resist the reflexive temptation to mold people in their own image.” Instead, she suggests that leaders take an inventory of the skills, experiences and needs of their own group and fill in the gaps to ensure success of the department and ultimately, the business.