It is very easy to be tempted by skills in a resume. This reigns true in IT, where unemployment is less than 3%. Sometimes the blinders come out and we tend to narrowly evaluate and over-inflate the value of a person’s technical skills.
The reality is that new skills are often taught more easily than trying to change one’s behavioral styles and track record of success. If someone has great skills on paper, but seems to jump around from company to company, never going back to the same place twice, it very well could be a hiring trap.
Remember hiring managers, “if they’ll do it for you, they’ll do it to you!” – Al Debuc. If they’ll quit in the middle of an assignment to take a position with you, while offering very little to no notice to their current employer, they will most likely do the same thing to you.
So how do you know if you’re hiring the right people?
Tips for Dealing with Human
Everyone has a set of core values they live by. Determine the candidate’s core values and what motivates them. Is their alignment? Motivators are the strongest predictor of success on the job!
Is the candidate comfortable behaviorally with what you are asking them to do? For example, asking a task-oriented person to do detailed behind the scenes work vs. asking them to influence people all day long. The more behavioral comfort with the work, the longer they can produce at a high level.
In most cases, you are better off teaching someone new skills rather than trying to change their behaviors or values. Teaching a Software Engineer the latest version of Java is easier than pushing them in front of customers, if they’re not comfortable. Consider hiring a Software Engineer that is comfortable with client facing and teach them the latest version of Java.
One of the best ways to predict what people will do in the future is by assessing their past. If someone hasn’t gotten along with their last three managers, there is a good chance they are not going to get along with you.
Hiring managers often fail by thinking they can easily change a person’s values and the way they think. You can change people at times, but it’s often times much easier and more predictable to teach them new skills.
Ask Yourself These Questions:
● Is your training program aligned to fill gaps in a tight labor market?
● When is the last time you enhanced your interview structure or added new behavioral questions to align with changing demands?
● Are the candidate’s core values aligned with your organization?
● Do you utilize an instrument in your hiring process to assess behaviors and motivators?
In today’s job market, you may have some difficult decisions to make with concessions regarding skills. Hiring the candidate with the right motivators and behavioral comfort while filling in the gaps with technical skills training will save you time, effort, and money in the long run!