Widening the Talent Pool – eradicating ‘Mini-Me’

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In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th 2015, IRG Executive Search & Selection will be providing a series of points of view to prove the business case for gender diversity at the executive level.

In all aspects of life, our strongest relationships are often with those whom we have the most in common.

In recruitment processes, this is typified by a phenomenon called ‘mini-me’ syndrome. Hiring executives are naturally drawn to candidates similar to themselves, thereby forming a self-perpetuating specification for that role. A ‘mini-me’ hires a ‘mini-me’ of themselves, who does likewise and so on and so forth….

At times, we can subconsciously stereotype and categorise those who are different to us, forming thought patterns that can become default which in turn has greatly contributed to the lack of diversity at the executive level.

On this basis, the subconscious thought processes of hiring executives have previously excluded capable women. Affinity bias such as ‘mini-me’ syndrome can often lead to a male hiring executive having preconceptions of a female candidate, irrespective of her capability. The effect of ‘mini-me’ syndrome is not the sole plight of womankind and runs deeply throughout the corporate world, prompting prejudice in relation to a range of different aspects of identity.

Businesses can no longer afford to recruit in this manner. The war for talent rages on as employment rates begin to recover. Capable individuals are in high demand, multiple organisations are competing for the same skill sets and retention plays and counter offers are becoming standard practice. ‘Mini-me’ syndrome is restricting already limited talent pools and in order to sustain competitive advantage, organisations may consider educating all involved in the hiring process on this topic to overcome this global problem. Once the stereotypical profile has been dispensed with, capable women can certainly offer a solution to talent acquisition.

IRG is co-hosting a 2015 event in celebration of International Women’s Day. The event embraces the UN’s International Women’s Day theme for 2015, “Making It Happen,” and explores the theme, “Stepping Up Together”. For real change to be implemented, IRG believes that men and women together need to fully commit to changing the imbalance in diversity.

We have already lined up some inspirational and motivational sessions and we’ll be working with Care International UK, who will help us understand their latest campaign “Walk In Her Shoes”.

For more information please visit: http://www.irgexecutivesearch.com/iwd-2015

International Women’s Day (IWD)
Make it Happen – “Stepping Up Together”
5 March 2015| Mayfair, London

Michael Mcloughlin is the Managing Director and Aimée-Leigh Musgrave is an Executive Search Consultant with IRG Executive Search & Selection.