It wasn’t that long ago when I caught up with a Director of a growing SME that was looking to employ someone in a newly created role who said, “I want a person just like me.”

“Really?”

He then told me about the type of person he was looking for that mirrored his impressive background, his international experience, the types of notable companies he worked for, and oh yeah, let’s not forget about the type of personality, attitude and cultural fit he possessed.

In the back of my mind I was thinking three things.

Firstly I was thinking “Jeepers that is one classy candidate. It’s his Mini-Me” Secondly I was thinking, “Gee, I am not sure that is exactly the skillset he needs in that new role”, and lastly I was thinking, “if you had that same personality type in that new role there could be some real collateral damage.”

It may not always be wise to obtain a replicant of yourself or someone who is doing a similar role (i.e. I need another Sandy, John, or Sudesh) when you approach your next new hire.

The individual strengths, different personality types, and varied experience applicants may have when you are not coming from a Mini-Me or replicant perspective can bring fresh ideas, different perspectives and further improvements.

I can appreciate that there may be more vanilla flavoured roles, such as those in production or call centres, however even those shouldn’t entirely lend themselves to the   “I want another person like John or Mary mentality.”

What else do folks have in their toolkit bag? (So to speak).  I have met lots of applicants that may have started in a more standardised role, but because they have past experiences that they can bring to the table they have become leaders, subject matter experts etc.

The organisation was better off for having them on board.

This may not have happened if you were just looking for a Mini-Me.