Diversity is an important topic. It helps to create an equal chance, something I completely agree with. We are all humans and that is all that matters. However, there is also a part of me who struggles with the concept. Especially with affirmative action and quotas. It is important in countries like South Africa right after Apartheid to balance the scales. But for how long? When and how it is altered or removed? Does it discriminate against others and therefore create resentment? It’s a can of worms.

It doesn’t happen in sport

That can of worms remains open as we still now use external markers to inform (anti-)discrimination and diversity quotas and approaches. That doesn’t happen in sport; there what matters is your performance – not your skin colour, not your heritage, not your sexual preferences. It can also be introduced into the normal workplace.

For one we need to remove the importance of the CV, which just lists the past, serving as a great indicator of your origins. A recruiter in Glasgow once told me: “It doesn’t matter if they exclude religion from the CV. We just look at the name of their primary school and know if they are catholic or protestant.”

Focus on personality

Then let’s move away from focusing mainly on experience and focus on potential instead. There are easy ways to ascertain if a person has a high probability of success in a given role, within in a company, by comparing the person with the profile of its identified top performers. At this early stage, no name, no CV, no date of birth, …nothing is needed. It’s just the data counts.

It works. When we look at the top performers of Advanced Resource Managers (ARM) – one of our clients – we find individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds, education levels, genders, experience levels and age groups. The one trait they do have in common, though, is their performance shape.




We produced the shape by asking all staff with business critical skills (recruitment consultants) to fill out a simple yet powerful test using Active Vector Analysis methodology. This accurately calculates a user’s natural persona, traits, skills, strengths, motivations and behaviours. We then overlaid it with business metrics to combine potential and performance. For more information, please read “The new recruitment maxim for an automated world.”

Build successful teams

All external markers don’t really matter when you build successful teams.

This is becoming even more important when companies can’t find enough people with the right skills. That means they need to train people; instead of choosing them by pedigree, they select by passion and potential.

The same method can also be used when making decisions on who to encourage into management and who to focus on a specialism. It is based on performance shapes and performance data – no other demographic information.

By removing human bias (the driver of discrimination), we can focus on the important elements of passion, potential and performance, improve productivity and create a successful team with individuals from all different backgrounds. No CV required.

Recommended reading

Thinking about yourself or others, too? – by Planet K2

Skill or Will gap? The truth about people development – by Derek Goff

The Problem of Women in Technology – On Hiring Technical Women – by Matt Buckland

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