Skills & Experience v Attitude, Attributes & Ability to Learn

All businesses consider hiring the best people a priority. Most managers tend to be conservative and hire for the short-term, emphasizing skills and experience over performance and potential.

So what’s the problem with focussing on a specific set of skills and experience?  Being too rigid on skills and experience can make you miss out on people who have terrific attitudes, attributes & the ability to learn.

In Good to Great: Why some companies make the Leap & Others Don’tJim Collins examines how great companies emerged from the average and found “…hiring great people is about defining the desired results, and then finding people with the ability and desire to deliver these results. It’s not about listing skills & qualifications”.

Lou Adler in Hire with your Head best describes it, as it all starts by preparing a “…performance profile“. The key points Adler highlights for hiring with a performance profile are: define the job, not the person; define success not the skills; focus on the doing, not the having.  Ask the hiring manager: “What does the person taking the role need to do to be successful?” List 6 to 8 performance objectives that define on the job success, ranging from dealing with people, meeting technical & business objectives, to organising teams, solving problems & making changes.

So think differently and think twice before turning a blind eye to any profiles and/or resumes that fall outside the lines of a pre-determined list of qualifications.

Share your hiring experiences – do you focus on skills & qualifications or do you think differently?

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