On hiring thinkers and not activists

By Lee Dale


Let’s talk about the business case for “hiring thinkers and not activists”.

Those aren’t my words.

I’m reading from a new job board I found out about yesterday called Unwoke.hr.

That’s the header on their website: “Hire thinkers. Not activists.”

They continue:

“Don’t hire ideologues whose only agenda is to use your business to further a radical cause.”

I’d like to know, on behalf of all business leaders:

What radical cause is growing your operational excellence?

What radical cause is bringing new insights and accelerating innovation?

What radical cause is growing your access to market and building authentic connections with consumers?

These are all hallmarks of businesses that excel. And the data shows these are the hallmarks of diverse corporate cultures.

What is made clear by this homepage is that the anonymous founders of this job board know very little about business, and a whole lot about ideology.

Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at the “important message to business owners” which is anchored to the top of every page of the website at Unwoke.hr.

“Let them fill their diversity quotas.”

Any responsible and capable professional in HR or those professionals working on diversity, equity, and inclusion know that diversity quotas are not the path to build an exceptional workplace culture. Belonging isn’t a mandate. It’s not a number. Implying diversity quotas are the sum total of how inclusive cultures are created highlights how little the anonymous people behind this job board know about employee culture.

“Let their employees walk on eggshells in their bubble wrapped offices.”

There is no more welcoming culture than an inclusive culture. The suggestion that you have to walk on eggshells in an inclusive workplace environment shows a complete lack of understanding of how to engage with and support employees.

“Watch your competition implode as they do their hiring based on identity rather than merit.”

Every recruiter who is building an amazing talent pipeline understands that diversity plays a significant role in bringing capability to a team, especially a homogenous team. Finding diverse talent is about seeking out, supporting, and engaging with the best and brightest talent. Suggesting otherwise is a sign of intellectual and operational laziness. And it highlights how much of a disservice this job board will be to any business as they limit themselves to just a sliver of the talent they could otherwise attract.

“Let the woke go broke.”

As seems to be typical of people who completely misunderstand the topic they’re speaking about, and willfully ignore the data and evidence that contradicts their approach to business, the anonymous people behind Unwoke are stating the exact opposite of the outcome that will be achieved by businesses that pursue intentional and authentic diverse workplace cultures.

So cheers to those of us who understand the business value of workplace diversity and embracing diverse markets.

As they say, ”don’t interrupt your competition when they are making a mistake.”

Well, that summarizes this whole endeavour. It’s just one big mistake after another.

Simply put: there is no business case for this service.