One of the best ways to change up your work groups and increase the diversity of your company is to use external recruiters and I am not just saying that because I am an external recruiter.
When you work with someone outside your company, you focused on describing what the new person is going to do and where they fit into the greater scheme of things.
You talk about the activities, responsibilities and leadership style, their technical knowledge and priorities.
The external recruiter does not know that people in your organization all went to Stanford and all play broom ball.
So the recruiter hits the candidate marketplace and starts talking about your company and the great things that are happening and within a few weeks, you have a fresh, new group of candidates who would not have applied to your posting or been a part of your employees’ networks.
There is going to be some new thinking in that group. It can be a pretty interesting experience to interview someone who understands the role but is from a different environment.
Those candidates have credibility but none of the baggage. This can be a tremendous help with innovation based roles or where a group has become a bit complacent.
The key is to keep an open mind when you are interviewing. Review your questions before hand. Be sure to spell out company specific acronyms or processes so the candidates have a fair chance to answer within the right context.
When you find the gem and hire them, make sure you have a very inclusive, comprehensive on-boarding process. Hiring managers and peers alike sometimes need to be reminded that even though someone can’t play broom ball, they can still contribute some great ideas.