How to Hire a Diverse Team

Will your new-hire bring a different perspective to your organization?


Sandy Welfare, executive director of Women in Technology (WIT), explains how to hire a diverse and adaptable team that will enable your organization to thrive in a global marketplace.

When hiring, Sandy says leaders should scout for someone who will bring a new perspective to the organization, and one of they key ways to do that is to take focus off of GPAs and schooling.

“That's important, but that's not the only aspect of what makes a great work team and, more importantly, what makes the best scenario for companies to deliver to their client ultimate maximum results,” she says. “You need that diversity.”

Watch the interview to learn Sandy’s tips for hiring a diverse team.

You have to be more specific around teams being diverse, teams being inclusive, teams being cultural. We are in a world of global dynamics I have never seen before, and you're then needing to take look at every single resume that comes across your desk, and push back to say, "I don't necessarily want everyone who is from the top university with the top scores. I want someone who's going to bring a different perspective."

I think that references are always to me more important than the GPAs and all the other things people think are the reason as to why someone gets the job. It's a fit for the person, and it's really more of are they bringing in a talent and personality that I can work with? For the most part, I can take someone who's got 70 percent of work skill, train them to do the other 30, but if they have the right attitude and talent, they're golden. And so I think you've got to look at the way hiring goes down in order for you to have a diverse cultural experience because, otherwise, it will be the status quo of the top schools and the top GPAs. That's important, but that's not the only aspect of what makes a great work team and, more importantly, what makes the best scenario for companies to deliver to their client ultimate maximum results. You need that diversity.

Whenever you’re trying to bring a new person to the team, you really want to know do they fit well in a new environment? Are they adaptable? Adaptability is probably one of the key components to being in a more global environment. If I went to Singapore and I wasn't willing to adapt to the Chinese culture there, Chinese Singaporean culture, I would not be there long because you've got to find a way to play nice in the sand box, but more importantly, get more people to want to play with you. And I think you've going to find a way where it's about mutual respect. We're back to that.

When I was invited to a Singaporean wedding while I lived in Singapore, I was in awe that they would invite me into their family. This was a huge family event for them. And so for me, it was wonderful to be a part of this custom of this seven-course dinner. We ate things I have never heard of before. I had to have some people explain it to me. But the more I embraced each time I've been in a very unique situation, it has prompted me to really be grateful for the experience that I've had.
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Sandy Welfare

Sandy Welfare is executive director of Women in Technology (WIT). She has more than 20 years of global operations experience in Singapore, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. She has consulted with a myriad of Fortune...

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