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Hire for attitude. Train for skill.

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The hardest people to manage are those with attitude problems, not capability issues.

So why do recruitment processes focus so much on technical fit, rather than cultural fit?

I think there are two reasons:

  1. It’s easier to test technical skills
  2. It’s hard to know how to balance the technical with the cultural

What’s the answer?

Recruit people through the lens of the matrix below.

The purpose of recruitment is to find a great fit for your role.

It’s not simply to find the best of the bunch for your role (because the best may not be good enough).

And it’s not to find the person who interviews best.

All that matters is fit for the role. Cultural fit. And technical fit.

If someone is a low to medium cultural fit, exclude them, irrespective of how technically strong they are.

The wrong person will reject and/or be rejected by your culture. At best, they will cause you, them and your team headaches. At worst, they’ll undermine your culture.

If someone is a strong fit on both dimensions, hire them and move forward.

If someone is a strong cultural fit, but a modest technical fit, assess their learning ability (by, for example, assessing their cognitive ability).

Only hire them if you’re comfortable they can close the skills gap in a reasonable period of time.

Where to next?