I recently had a conversation with a gentleman at a conference, where he said they hired “to raise the bar”. I asked him what he meant by that. He started discussing the mean of the capability in the team.
Well, if you’ve hired for zero diversity, you might be able to discuss the team’s mean. And, if you haven’t thought about diversity of personality or experience, you might be in that position. I don’t know how to assess the team’s mean, so here are ways to think about this idea.
Consider reframing the idea of “raising the bar.” I find that assumption about the team’s mean demeaning to the people who already work with you. (What are these people? Chopped liver?) Yes, I do want to work with people who can teach me something–that’s exciting. I don’t want to always be the senior person who knows how to do everything without learning anything new. So instead of thinking of “raising the bar” consider a reframe to “increase the team’s capability.” Now you are open to alternative kinds of experience, diversity that can increase the team’s capability.
If you only look for senior people who’ve done the same kind of thing you have, you may get the people you want. But instead of pigeon-holing people, consider experience diversity to increase team capability. You are likely to have more great candidates, and if they can learn your problem and solution domain, you can increase your team’s capabilities.