Anyone who works in people management knows the pains associated with recruitment. Finding the right candidate to fill a position requires hours of careful deliberation before even arriving at the sometimes-countless interviews you need to conduct. Finding a person with all the necessary skills to fill a position is hard enough before taking into account their passion, attitude, and willingness to grow.
That’s why businesses need to stop looking at skills and focus more on the person. Putting aside highly technical positions that require years of study, the majority of positions, especially at an entry-level, involve skills that can easily be picked up in a matter of weeks, particularly if you hire the right people. A prospect that arrives with a resume full of relevant industry experience is of course a nice asset to watch out for, but this will only get you so far. It is instead passion, drive, and a shared vision for the company that makes employees extraordinary.
It is always tempting to hire the person who shows up with all the right skills, but slow down and take a moment to see if they are the right fit. Try and look at different prospects for their potential, not just their qualifications. If you find the right person but they lack a few proficiencies, providing the necessary training is a small price to pay for a good employee. It is your job to provide people with the necessary tools to succeed, and a bit of training might be the only thing you need to get the skills you require.
Hiring for attitude rather than skill set also opens up a great opportunity for your business. Investing in people both professionally and personally will not only a create driven, capable team, but will also build a strong loyalty to your company, which is fundamentally what will make people go above and beyond to ensure your success. Everyone has to start somewhere, so helping people get that foot in the door will pay off in the long run.
Helping your people to grow also introduces a culture of growth that will stick with them for as long as they stay with the company. When you hire someone who already possesses the proper skills for a job, there is not always room or willingness for growth. However, when you empower people to grow and learn, they usually continue growing and challenging themselves throughout their career, which of course directly benefits your company.
With this being said, the choice between a highly skilled prospect and one with the attitude to fit your company should be an easy one. Considering that the wrong person could be toxic to the growth and success of your business, it is important to remember that there are certain things that are more important than skills. Hiring according to your core values will lead the way to a stronger, more engaged team.
In the end, it is important to remember that passion cannot be taught. Training will make up for any lack of skill, and if you’ve hired someone with a positive, driven attitude and a willingness to learn, the skills will come naturally. After all, the most important part of a business is its people, so make sure you are hiring the right ones.
Helen Ives, VP of People, Peer 1 Hosting