Members only organizations are those with exclusionary hiring practices. They end up looking and feeling like a clone factory or old school country club. These practices not only stifle innovation, they create a feeling of “other” that people are getting pretty fed up with.

Academic, writer and entrepreneur, Vivek Wadhwa (@Wadhwa) has been causing quite a stir in Silicon Valley lately. His movement to break the mold in tech hiring has really taken off, and now all of the major tech companies have fallen under harsh scrutiny surrounding their hiring practices.

In an Inc. video interview, Wadhwa calls out tech companies for their lack of diversity, calling it “A frat club gone wild in Silicon Valley right now.” It is understood that Wadhwa has nothing against the good ol’ Greek life; this is simply a phrase he uses to refer to the clone culture that we see in so many companies.

Breaking the Mold

It’s hardly ever truly a matter of supply and demand in the talent chain in these companies that lack diversity, but rather a matter of inclusion. So how can organizations who have a history of lacking diversity break the mold?

Appoint an Effective Team Building Leader:

If it’s not somebody’s job, it’s nobody’s job. Your diversity initiative is going to need someone at the helm who is invested building and maintaining a culture of diversity. There might even be someone in your organization with the passion and skills to fill this position. They need to be dedicated to finding and implementing workforce diversity best practices. Your Diversity Officer is going to need C-level support and buy-in to be successful.

Create Awareness:

Shine some light on the current state of your company culture. Get honest about the petty things that have become deal breakers in your hiring process. Most organizations that lack diversity look at their key talent, and try to simply find more of those types of people. Engineer and author Carlos Bueno explains the trouble with cookie cutter hiring as it always seems to happen:

“We’ve created a make-believe cult of objective meritocracy, a pseudo-scientific mythos to obscure and reinforce the belief that only people who look and talk like us are worth noticing. After making such a show of burning down the bad old rules of business, the new ones we’ve created seem pretty similar.”

Build Diversity into the Culture:

85% of corporations in a survey reported that diversity is crucial to fostering innovation in the workplace. While creating a tolerant culture is important, it is vital to establish and communicate the proven benefits of a diverse workforce. To merely tolerate diversity is not enough, it must be projected and accepted as a strategic advantage in business.

This is all done optimally through employee assessment tools that can help take the subjectivity out of hiring practices and team building processes. When a leader can hire or assemble a team based on objective information about their employees or candidates, it is much easier to build a diverse culture, and break the mold.

Dedicating resources to becoming more diverse simply makes good business sense. A diverse workforce is known to increase innovation and have positive effects on consumer reach. Investing in effective team building tools and practices will prevent you from becoming a “Members Only” organization.

Want to learn how to hire the best person for the job, not just anther clone?

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