“You can have either the best skills or you can have someone from a diverse background or gender.”
Not true. Recruiting for diversity does not need to be a case of either/or.
We often hear the argument that prioritising diversity is a zero sum game, because in the pursuit of recruiting a diverse workforce we are somehow foregoing talent that is a better match for the role. And yes, in some cases that might be true such as a hiring manager receiving a directive from the CEO or Board that requires diversity to become part of the company’s recruitment process, but without also receiving guidance as to how to do it.
But it absolutely does not have to be this way.
Just because you want to benefit from diversity in your organisation does not mean you have to forego the right person or skills for the role. At Open Door we come across this situation all the time, and some clients genuinely find this something of a dilemma, “We have an agenda to increase gender diversity, but our hiring manager just needs the right person and they need them now.” It’s understandable, but we reassure them that with the right recruitment processes you can absolutely have both the right skills/person AND diversity.
How do we do this?
Well as they say, if it was that simple everyone would be doing it, and lack of gender diversity just wouldn’t be an issue. It isn’t easy; it requires quiet determination and energy. But with the right mix of patience (to look where others aren’t looking), expertise (the right language and tone) and approach (knowing who and when to contact), you can unlock a section of the market that most employers and recruiters simply don’t see. And at the core of this, is trust. We have built our business on trust, and it goes three ways: between Open Door, our clients and our candidates. When our candidates trust us, we engage more deeply with them. When clients trust us, they know that it’s worth trying a different process.
Open Door is dedicated to diversity, AND providing our clients with access to the best talent for the role. It’s not one or the other – you can have both – you just need to know how.Back to posts
Talk to us about how we can support your diversity agenda: Executive search, leadership development and specialised recruitment.