Hiring a staff with a variety of backgrounds and experience is a goal for many companies, but it’s easier said than done. The culture established on day one will certainly help with this, paving the way to attracting people that will make your company competitive in the global economy. Read on to hear 11 practical tips WeWork members shared on how to hire the best possible team.
Question: How do you make sure that you attract a diverse staff?
Provide a flexible work schedule
I see diversity on many levels: age, race, gender, experience, geography, professional background, etc. Being an exclusively online organization, we are able to be nimble and hire prime staff, regardless of location. We offer flexible work hours and are open to suggestions for growth. I believe in working with a perpetual ‘beginner’s mind’ where there are infinite possibilities and an attitude of openness and eagerness.
Hire candidates who complement and challenge your team
A practical tip I can provide for making sure that you attract a diverse staff is consciously trying to hire people that represent different backgrounds, philosophies, and personality types from one another. It sounds so simple, but I've chosen not to bring highly qualified candidates onboard that I deem to be too similar to existing staff. I'm focused on bringing people on who complement and challenge each other, rather than people who can fulfill specific roles.
Develop a culture of honor
Work to develop a team culture that is built around providing a fun and safe environment for everyone to be a part of. Team activities and traditions, including celebrating achievements, should allow everyone—no matter their background—to be and feel like they are a key part of your team.
Reflect on your organization’s mission
Starting a church in a diverse city requires intentionality of diversity in staff, communication, and conversation. We have to be strategic, and we are. My first hire was a young woman, and she is leading on an executive level. She leads men. We are looking to add another woman to our staff, and she is Hispanic.
Practice what you preach
We’re one of those rare companies that are 100 percent ethnically diverse, owned, and operated. How’d we get this way? A shared love for multicultural, global culture. We film all around the planet, so people who speak multiple languages and know how to jump across multiple cultures tend to gravitate towards us because we’re not quiet about how much we value those skills.
Discover other evangelists in your field
I typically look for staff that aligns with and wants to contribute to the overall mission of Nomadic Matt, which is to teach people how to travel cheaper, longer, and smarter. The newest staff member was chosen because of his absolute dedication as a member and contributor to our Nomadic Matt community forums. I always try to hire within the community because those people are the most excited and invested in the future of the website. They already believe in the mission.
Build a company with global reach
It will inherently attract a diverse set of people because everyone can relate to it. One tip is to be proactive about who you invite to the initial interviews. LinkedIn is a place where you can see a lot of information about people. There is plenty of diverse talent—you just have to go out there and tell them about how great it is to work at your company.
Explore outside your immediate network
Make sure to network beyond your network. When you're recruiting with minimal resources, its easy to fall into the trap of always looking for low-hanging fruit and going through your network. Unfortunately, this can often result in a homogenous culture. Attend new events, and become affiliated with new groups, to expand your network to people that are different from yourself and your normal pool of contacts.
Engage diverse people in small projects
Engage new people of all backgrounds on something that isn't too risky for the business. See how they do and how your crew interacts with them. Your best new teammate may not be that good-looking on paper, but they might be exactly what your company needs to grow.
Attract a diverse executive board
We attract a diverse staff by ensuring that our executive board is a representation of a variety of backgrounds in gender and race. We built our executive team with the importance of a diverse set of perspectives being a part of our company at the forefront.
Hire for attitude, not experience
When hiring, we use the mantra ‘aptitude is expensive, attitude is invaluable.’ That is: don’t hire people who have lots of experience and look good on paper. Use the interview process to find the candidate who shows passion for the client and enthusiasm for the role. If their experience or knowledge set isn’t strong enough, that can always be taught.