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Character VS. Skill When Hiring a New Employee

When interviewing a potential employee what are the questions you are asking?

If you are hiring a receptionist, are you looking for someone who has customer service experience? What about hiring a web designer, are you looking to see how many websites he’s designed? Although these are important, they aren’t the only qualities you should be focused on when hiring an employee.

Let’s say you have two potential candidates for a marketing position. Candidate A has 10+ years of experience and has worked for some big name companies. Candidate B recently graduated college and has been interning at a local marketing firm for a couple years. Most people would be inclined to hiring candidate A. That is where employers make a mistake. They hire based on skill and experience only. Once the employee starts their personality is not what you would want in your staff. Now you have a team member with great skills but is difficult to work with. You can teach them new skills and build their knowledge but you cannot change their character.

One employer mentioned that when they post an ad they put “experience preferred but willing to train the right person”. This is a great way to never miss out on meeting a superstar employee.

Jean Regan, President & CEO of TranzAct Technologies once said, “Personality is something that cannot be taught – it’s inherent to each unique person. Job skills, however, can be taught, molded and polished to facilitate the job in which the person is placed. This is why it is so important to hire for personality and train for skill.”

So next time you are on the market for a new team member, remember that you can teach them what they need to know to do the job, but you cannot change how they act while on the job.

hire character
"Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people." -Steve Jobs