Theories on hiring and applying

I used to have this theory that I called “Like Hires Like”.  It seems like a well-recognized fact that diverse teams are more successful and yet what I saw in my old job was that teams tended to be highly homogeneous.  Just like humans are often attracted to mates that are similar to them in looks, interests and socioeconomic status, I assumed that managers preferred employees that were more like them.  But then I got more involved in the hiring process and I discovered it may not be the manager’s fault at all.  I’ve revised my theory to “Like applies to Like”.  When we had openings, it seemed like we were only getting one type of candidate.  Another team in my office had recently hired people with similar skill sets, but they got a different type of applicant.  Do people choose not to apply for a job based on the ethnicity or gender of the hiring manager?  It’s often easy to guess from the name, and if you are a little more enterprising you can Google them or check them out on LinkedIn.  Have you ever made a decision about a job based on the ethnicity, age or gender of the hiring manager?

I’ve been wondering about this phenomenon long enough that it was certainly on my mind when I was searching for my current job, but I don’t think it influenced me too much.  On the other hand, when I was searching for a new dentist, I ended up picking one that reflects me in age, gender, ethnicity and alma mater.  In my defense, location and the ability to schedule appointments online were also important factors in my decision.  And it is a decision that I am quite happy with so if you’re looking for a fabulous dentist in Naperville, let me know!