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Mar 26 2018

Recruiting for Diversity, Truly

I am really enjoying my work at Horton International Finland. We partners are a diverse team with one economist, two engineers and one psychologist. Even though, we seniors are too close to each other in age, we are well balanced with our research team ranging from 25 to 31 in age. All together we are four women and four men. Well, it’s not always easy but we have learned so much about diversities in thinking, acting, cooperation, and looking at matters from another perspective. When we take the whole Global Horton International family, luckily there is even a lot more diversity to add when it comes to nationalities, ethnic groups, etc. We are fortunate, by the way, to know personally each other quite well. This, I’m sure, will contribute to our assignments and benefit our customers truly and deeply.

Many companies have added diversity clauses to their compliance statements and recruitment policies already a long time ago. For many reasons, women’s role, participation, number, etc. have been raised up recently, so I’m not going to talk about that. What I really would like to see, and maybe am seeing a little more just lately, is diversity in the background and business, also in roles involving business P&L -responsibility.

I hear you saying that this has been around for quite some time and yes, it’s been in discussions and even target settings. However, it has not come true. Maybe there is not enough push for it. It might be that traditional business is still going strong, and thus, no need to change how to lead it. There may be a certain amount of protectionism in the “old boys’ clubs” and also, it is sometimes difficult to admit what you don’t know. It’s likewise so much easier to lead a team with look-alikes.

Companies realize their future lies in new products and services but it is difficult to predict. Many companies struggle when trying to understand the future and where to take their business. I see two solutions: first to hire CEOs from outside the business, and then secondly, for the CEO to hire a diverse team from different businesses. In both cases what comes much more important than the solid track record in this particular manufacturing industry, this exact finance sector or retail branch is the ability to lead people. The ability to motivate, empower and get the best out the different people in the company, is crucial. Also the ability to think out of the box when trying to navigate in the ever changing game of new business development. This is especially needed in those businesses that are changing rapidly. But are there any others left?

Next time when making a hiring decision: Make it differently! Make it truly diverse, deeply… maybe even madly?

#recruiting #diversity #diversitymatters

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