Why Qualifications, Skills & Experience Are Overrated
When most companies recruit they focus on three main areas: skills, qualifications and experience. However, these are not the areas that cause problems down the line. New hires leave (or are pushed) if they can’t communicate with the team or customers, they don’t show the level of autonomy that the job requires, or refuse to co-operate with their line manager.
But, despite the fact that businesses know this, few include intangible traits as part of their ideal candidate profile. The reasons for this are probably complex, but could be the unconscious assumption that people with the right qualifications will simply fit in. For example, engineers are classically introverted, meticulous and punctual – but this at best is a stereotype and does not hold at all for real people.
What you need to look for in your ideal candidate
So, if qualifications and skill sets that fill nearly every CV are not what you’re looking for, what should you identify in your ideal candidate instead?
Here’s our list:
- Will they fit with your team?
The classic is ‘are they a team player’ but this doesn’t tell you anything. Every team is different and you’ll have to consider the personalities and interactions of your own team.
- Do they have leadership potential?
Always remember, just because someone has leadership experience, it doesn’t mean they are a good leader.
- Do they fit your kind of work ethic?
Some people like to be told, others thrive on using their initiative. How do you want them to work?
- Do they share your values?
This is important as values are a fundamental part of a person that you can’t change. If you consider going the extra mile for your customer as paramount, and your new employee considers leaving on time more important, you might have an issue.
- Will they support your vision?
The right person can make the difference between achieving your company goals or not. You need to recruit with the longer term in mind.
- Do they have outside interests that could benefit the company?
For example, maybe they do charity work, or participate in a sport that everyone else could get involved in.
We’re not going to pretend that it’s easy to test for personality traits and more intangible skills – no-one has a certificate in ‘a willingness to listen to others’. But, there are good personality tests available that you can use such as the Myers Briggs test. You can also use other tactics like ensuring your candidates meet everyone on the team and giving them a tour.
At Gotcha, we prefer to use Talent Dynamics®. Talent Dynamics assesses a potential candidate’s personality, strengths, productivity, values and behaviour in order to identify how well they will work within your existing team.
If you’d like some advice on how to find the right person, just give us a call 01256 322255