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Beyond Leadership

119 EpisodesProduced by Mark KalinWebsite

Beyond Leadership is a podcast that connects the business world with academia and provides a platform for entrepreneurs, leaders, managers, students, and everyone willing to learn and share their best practices and life stories about leadership. Going Beyond.Founder and owner: Mark Kalin

4:45

Tip of the Week 27 - Why You Should Invest in Unconventional Talent

The importance of building diverse organizations has been well-established. Diversity is linked to greater innovation and performance, and research has shown that more diverse companies have higher profits than their more homogeneous counterparts. But building teams with different skill sets and life experiences requires intention. By designing inclusive hiring practices — and letting go of the notion that there’s one ideal candidate type for a role — you can create more opportunities for a range of candidates who are more than capable. It requires thinking beyond the confines of traditional hiring. Prepare for new hires who will shake up your worldview and challenge assumptions about career paths. And then continue investing in their growth. Together, you can chart an unconventional course toward an inclusive workplace that welcomes extraordinary talent.

To make your hiring process more inclusive, especially of applicants who may have non-traditional backgrounds, adopt these strategies.

  1. Help unconventional candidates envision themselves at your company. When you’re writing a job description or interviewing a candidate, paint the big picture of a role rather than a checklist of specialized skills, degrees, or years of experience.
  2. Focus on potential rather than pedigree. When interviewing, ask questions that help you understand not just what they’ve done but what they’re capable of. For example, an open-ended question like “What were you doing the last time you looked at a clock and realized you had lost all track of time?” can help you uncover intellectual curiosity and understand what motivates someone.
  3. Don’t obsess over job titles. Rather than skimming resumes or LinkedIn profiles for a candidate’s education and experience, look at other non-professional experiences they may have, including volunteer or advocacy work, writing, or other interests. Those endeavors can often be more telling than a job title.

Inclusive hiring is just the beginning; ongoing investment is key to supporting candidates once they’re on board. Prepare for new hires who shake up your worldview and challenge assumptions about career paths. Continue investing in their growth. Together, chart an unconventional course toward the destination: an inclusive workplace for extraordinary talent.


Do you have inclusive hiring?

How do you go about it?


Ferguson, D. and Lee, F. F. (2021, May). Why You Should Invest in Unconventional Talent. Harvard Business Review.

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