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Hiring a ‘Mini-Me’: Is this the best match?

Whenever we lack a predefined set of hiring criteria, we fall back on our most immediate instrument of measurement: ourselves. In our work we’ve noticed that many company owners, managers and directors seek to hire identical versions of themselves, and multiple articles confirm this as well.

But is it actually better for your company’s future progress to hire people who resemble, um…you?

The Pros

This article argues that interviews reveal that, if a hiring manager feels that spark with a candidate, they’re more likely to overlook technical deficiencies. Though a lack of exact or technical skills might cause future struggles, the “click” between employer and employee might facilitate a more efficient way of dealing with future struggles. Another benefit might be that managers who tend to hire mini-mes may be more nurturing toward those hires. Another article   states that: “The manager is looking for a younger version of themselves who they can guide and mold. A mini-me to advise, mentor and eventually pass on the torch.”  One of the key elements of nurturing is seeing your protégé grow—so, yes, mistakes are expected along the way. But the bigger picture can be long-term growth for the employee and the company.

The Cons

The greatest potential danger in hiring a mini-me is that it decreases the company’s diversity. Seuss Recruitment believes wholeheartedly that diversity makes your company stronger. This article supports that notion, stressing the importance of that click we talked about, but emphasizing that it needn’t be connected to a “mini-me.” Think about the saying “opposites attract”: the fact that you have a spark with a candidate does not have to imply that that person is a mini version of you. It could happen with someone who is the total opposite of you! The spark simply is that connection felt by the candidate and employer, and often the healthiest working relationships are borne of mutual appreciation of skills the other possesses that you do not yourself have.

The Conclusion

Be aware of biases. Ask yourself whether you are hiring someone exactly like you. If so, why? Sometimes someone who is very different (for example, a disrupter) might be the one to give your company the kick-start and fresh perspective it needs. Would the job itself get done more effectively by someone you can more easily communicate with, or with someone who has the right skills but a very different personality from your own? It’s okay whichever you decide—just be honest with yourself and think about what will ultimately make the company grow!

Written by Pauline Thijssen, Pharma and Biotech Recruitment Consultant for Seuss Recruitment.