I want someone who thinks like me.

Whether you’re a startup founder turned employer or an individual contributor turned manager, here’s a new series from Newance on the most common ways to go from a frustrated new manager to a happy best manager.


When new managers hire people, like everyone else, they want to assess skills and abilities of potential team members. Where this goes wrong is that new managers use only their own skills and ideas as a benchmark.


So, a team ends up being too homogeneous in their thinking without the diversity needed to thrive. They think a great candidate is someone who thinks like them. Subconsciously, they also think a great candidate looks and sounds like them aka “like-me bias”.


Clarity in an interview process can help with this tremendously.


Start with what specific work you want done. Not what job. What results need to be there in a 60/90/365 days.


Next consider what gaps there are on your team from a style perspective. Are all of you logical operators with no big vision dreamers? That’s a problem for long-term growth.


The job description is what you shape from those results and those gaps.


Your process should be designed accordingly. There are tactical tips here that while specific to underrepresented groups in tech (very important!) could also be be applied in any environment.


It’s important to ask candidates about what they have expertise in rather than spending an hour quizzing them on your expertise.


Yes, there are some general industry standards that people should know. But making your questions so specific that only someone with your exact experiences could answer them is not effective hiring. That’s just an ego based game.


The best managers know:


Culture fit is a values match not a cloning process.


The best team will have people who challenge my assumptions and create better results.


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