“When we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become wiser, more inclusive, and better as an organisation.”

Pat Wadors, Chief People Officer

Diverse teams are better positioned for performance

It is widely accepted that diverse teams are better positioned for performance. Having multiple perspectives, stemming from positive diversity levels, facilitates growth and innovation. It is this avoidance of 'group think' which drives better financial performance and a stronger culture for your employees.

Cognitive diversity - difference defined

At Essenta, we take the broadest possible view and consider cognitive diversity as a key dynamic. It is a type of diversity that is less visible, but all the more important as its impact extends well beyond quotas. We have designed an assessment tool to identify cognitive diversity in your existing leadership team. We can then compare the output against each shortlisted candidate to provide a quantifiable measurement of diversity. This is referred to as ‘Difference Defined’.

We challenge and support our clients in advancing their approach to D&I

We recognise our responsibility as a search partner to challenge and support clients in advancing their approach to diversity and inclusion. Curating a diverse leadership team is a critical step on this journey. Our assessment tool identifies the variance of cognitive diversity in your existing team and we use the learnings to purposefully hire and provide curated cognitive diversity insights.

Essenta is committed to providing truly diverse shortlists. We understand that diversity takes many forms and, by acknowledging the correlation between demographic diversity and cognitive diversity, we are well equipped to build executive teams who drive innovation and performance improvement. We strive to proactively identify, engage with, and attract a comprehensively diverse range of candidates. We keep building our own knowledge and understanding of this subject. We have affiliations and active relationships with a number of relevant organisations and associations.



We support our clients to understand what great looks like for them. We develop ongoing, proactive strategies including building diverse candidate pipelines and identifying positive cognitive diversity based on collaboration with our progressive affiliate partnerships.



We are thoughtful about the language we use in written and verbal communication. We take time to understand your values so we can represent your culture at its best. We tailor our approach and support based on your requirements.



Our proprietary approach to assessing cognitive diversity provides visibility of ‘cognitive fit’ between shortlisted executives and the existing management team. Based on the assessment, we guide clients through onboarding and inclusion strategies. Additionally, we advise them on how to run ‘best practice’ interview processes.



With expert advice from our advisory partnerships, we offer support to candidates and clients during the onboarding process to ensure inclusion. We share market insight on ways to promote inclusivity and equity.



A recent client study highlighted how the right combination of vision and process, when delivering diverse talent, adds significant and enduring value.


  • The core strategy of the company was centred on innovation.
  • The executive team was tasked with creating the environment for innovation to thrive.


  • The executive team had a collective blind spot when it came to ‘openness to new ideas’ and a cognitive similarity around how they processed information.
  • The group tendency was to ‘kill ideas’, not explore them.


  • By understanding the cognitive make-up of the executive team, the client could create a focused and purposeful recruitment strategy. The cognitive make-up of the team was assessed by our proprietary assessment tool.
  • To encourage the creation of a new and diverse perspective, the client was aware that, with any future executive hires, they had to ensure there would be a cognitive difference to how the individuals would explore ideas and interpret risk.
  • Essenta delivered a demographically diverse shortlist. These individuals were put through the same assessment in order to identify where the individuals would benchmark against the existing cognitive diversity ratios.
  • The client was able to make an informed hiring decision based on a preferred ‘cognitive fit’ level. The selected candidate did not demonstrate the same cognitive ‘blind spots’ yet shared some traits with the incumbent team, therefore was unlikely to be rejected by the group.
  • The hired executive integrated well into the organisation and has been successful in sharing new ideas and innovations that have not been rejected by the existing leadership team. The client acknowledged that the data insights gathered throughout the process have been revolutionary for future hiring decisions, significantly enhancing their talent acquisition, onboarding and retention strategies.

With our cognitive diversity tool, we believe you can create truly diverse leadership teams that yield more innovation and progressive business results.


If you would like to receive further details about this measurement tool, and the traits it can highlight, please email Nanda Veldink nveldink@essentapartners.com





Essenta was an incredible search partner to work with.  They took the time to truly understand not only our business needs, but our brand and culture. Through an extensive global search, in a highly competitive digital market, they delivered us a truly perfect candidate for the Senior General Manager position in Asia. Their thoughtful consideration of our needs and culture, coupled with their communication and follow up, has ensured that we will work with Essenta Partners on future executive appointments

Tara Poseley - CEO
Paula's Choice