Hire for Interpersonal Abilities, Train for Technical Skills

Most business books and management classes recommend that managers hire applicants based on their interpersonal skills – and train for technical skills. Why is this concept so important in today’s job market? Because spending time with employees who interact poorly can result in long work days – and vastly unhappy teams.

Every company has hired a highly qualified candidate only to find later that, although the job gets done, interacting with the employee is downright unpleasant. Or perhaps the new employee doesn’t like the corporate culture and decides to leave after you’ve spent valuable training time and money. These tips can help you hire someone who is the right “fit” for your organization.

Define the Best Hire
Before you hire your next employee, define which strengths the person should have to do the job well. Is versatility and flexibility important? Does the employee need to interact with multiple teams? Which characteristics are “must haves” and which are “nice to have” qualities? You can’t make the best choice unless you have a solid grasp of the traits and skills needed for the job. Create a list and check off each trait and skill the candidate appears to have.

Assess Strengths
In addition to the job requirements you outlined above, what do you know about the candidates’ values, strengths, interpersonal skills, future plans, competencies, and learning ability? These are key parameters to evaluate to ensure the candidate is the best fit for your team.

Make a list of the candidate’s strengths in terms of how they relate to the position you’re trying to fill. Perhaps you’ve determined that your candidate is confident and team-oriented. But how does she manage multiple deadlines and priorities? How does she handle pressure? Ask your applicant to recall specific situations in which she juggled multiple priorities and competing deadlines. This provides a clearer picture of your candidate’s strengths in action – not just what she shared on paper. 

What About Technical Skills?
When an applicant doesn’t have key technical skills, hiring managers are faced with another decision. Can your new hire learn most of the skills required for the job? Are training programs available? If not, can someone in house train your new hire? In some situations, technical skills can be taught on the job, or your employee can be assigned a mentor or trainer. But in other scenarios, the learning curve may be too steep if your employee has several high-level tasks. And, if you’re entrusting your new hire to manage you’re A-List clients, you don’t want to hire someone who can’t quickly get up to speed on key accounts.

Make a Hiring Decision
Finding talent with the perfect skillset for your company is not nearly as challenging as finding the right personality fit. After you’ve met the candidates and posed carefully crafted interview questions, it’s time to make a hiring decision. Your Human Resources team will perform their due diligence, including reference checks.

Although bad hires happen, you’ve done your part to ensure a good fit for your organization. One way you can get feedback on your new hire is to assign a team “ambassador” or peer to help orient your new employee to the department. Asking your current staff member for input can go a long way in assessing your new hire’s work personality and adaptability.

Because the hiring process is time-consuming, many companies outsource their recruitment efforts. This is just one way in which Underwood Edge can help you, too. Hiring the best fit requires time, experience, stellar communication skills, and skillful management of human resources. Underwood Edge consistently meets and exceeds the needs of Atlanta employers by making their hiring needs our toppriority. Contact us today to learn how we can take the recruitment process off your To Do list.

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