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“Hire People Who Annoy You”: Human Resources Speaker Douglas Merrill
War For Talent | July 27, 2012

“Hire People Who Annoy You”: Human Resources Speaker Douglas Merrill

Human resources speaker Douglas Merrill is the former Chief Information officer at Google—where he oversaw a team of 1,500 employees—and he has a lot of opinions about how human resources managers should (and shouldn’t) attract and develop talent. In this new Lavin video, Merrill explains that most HR decision-makers have a crippling bias: a natural instinct to hire and promote people who are most like them. This, he says, is the exact wrong way to build a company. Here's Douglas Merrill, explaining why:

Talent reviews don't work, because fundamentally you're going to say that the person who looks and acts like you is better than the one who doesn't. Which means over time your organization will become more and more singular, and less and less diverse. And yet, hundreds of studies (including some of mine at RAND) show that teams that are diverse—teams that think differently, that act differently, that have different backgrounds and educational strata—yield better answers. Every. Single. Time...To be a high performing company, you need to ensure that you have those diverse perspectives—hire people who aren't like you. Promote people who aren't like you. In fact, hire and promote people who annoy you, because they're more likely to be diverse. Do whatever it takes to ensure that your next employee is nothing like your last.

For Douglas Merrill, the key to fostering a sustainable culture of innovation is to challenge the status quo. His passionate, animated keynotes draw on his experience at Google, EMI Group and RAND to help companies build diverse, high performing teams. Even if some of the teams find each other annoying.

To see the entire series of Douglas Merrill’s exclusive Lavin Agency speaker videos, click on his link below.

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