How to Truly See the Most Qualified Candidates from a Different Perspective

With recent discussions concerning social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, many hiring managers make a conscious effort to find candidates from diverse backgrounds. Efforts to diversify a workplace often lead to someone commenting that “the most qualified person should get the job.” The author of this article suggests that discussing merit in response to diversity implies that your library/company does not believe diverse candidates are qualified. The author asserts the idea that “diversifying your candidate slate doesn’t mean compromising for a less qualified candidate, but it could mean expanding your understanding of qualified.” Hiring managers have been so focused on hiring for fit that they often miss candidates who can enhance their organization by bringing new perspectives to help them grow and expand. The author admonishes HR practitioners to “remember that diversity hiring isn’t about lowering the bar; it’s about widening the gate.” The article offers a few suggestions to ensure the “most qualified” candidate isn’t just the one who is most reflective of its existing employees, leadership teams, and interview panels.