It’s easier to hire people you naturally feel comfortable with, and you’ll feel most comfortable with people who remind you of yourself and your in-group. This is instinctive—it’s part of what psychologists identify as implicit bias.
However, clone-hiring initiates groupthink. There’s much value in surrounding yourself with others who are not like you—people who may make you feel a little uncomfortable and bring a different perspective. As the Bay-Area career coach Marty Nemko cautions, “We find comfort among those who agree with us, growth among those who don’t.”
To build a team with diverse talents, look for people with complementary skills and agreeable temperaments. As I explained in my article on competency modeling, identify the traits, characteristics, and behaviors in the star performers on your team and not in the average performers. Then, hire and promote people who have demonstrated the distinct traits and behaviors of the star performers.
Idea for Impact: Don’t try to hire clones. Instead, look for people who’re a complement. You need people less like you and more of a complement to you. Compatibility is not about being similar in nature; it’s about co-existing and thriving in harmony.