We’ve all heard it before: “I don’t try to hire a specific number of [whatever demographic they’re talking about]. I just hire the right person for the job.” That’s a noble intention. But does it work? Can it work? Here’s what Sallie has to say.
What’s wrong with that approach is the way we’ve been socialized, and the biases that we have internalized. The “best” person for the job can often be the person who makes you feel most comfortable. The person who’s a culture fit. Who’s like you. Who you want to work with. Whose sentences you finish. As a result of that, if you have people in the majority making the decision, then it can tend to perpetuate and bring in more folks who are in the majority.
The better question is whether you can hire the right person for the team. By trying to hire the right person for the team, that can drive you to someone whose skills and experience and background are different from that of the team — and therefore add to the team — rather than just copying yourself again and again.
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