Hire Character, Train for skill.

(Muhammad Shoaib Tanoli, )

I hired a candidate who didn’t meet the educational requirements. She didn’t have an MBA.

Here’s why: It came down to her and another candidate. I liked her humility. The other candidate was very boastful about the college he went to and his accomplishments. The HR manager was really impressed with him.

As the hiring manager, I had the final decision and I chose her. She turned out to be an excellent team player.

"My biggest mistake is probably weighing too much on someone's talent and not someone's personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart" —Elon Musk

Qualification matters but if you don't have the right approach, attitude and willingness to learn, it is not of much use. You can’t teach life skills or common sense. A person is made up of experiences (work and personal) and it those experiences plus personality that make them a high performer - not education alone.

Select individuals with a passion for performing and a strong work ethic. You can teach a skill, but you can't teach ethics, ingenuity or drive. Competency must be coupled with character. You can always train skills but you can’t change character. We shouldn't be to quick to cross someone off who has experience but not the accompanying paper. Give them a chance to show you what they can do. Many organizations lose good (potential) employees this way. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg were all college dropouts. Don't hire a resume. Hire a person. Look for the value they can bring. I'd rather have the right fit in person than the right fit on paper.

I have learned over the years that having a degree does not make you better at performing at a job. It does not override qualities as humility, authenticity and integrity. If an employee lacks these traits they can bring a corporation to it's knees. In our digital age, and with the metrics used to filter resumes, so many people with great work ethics, the right attitude, good heart, and character don't even make it through the selection process. Too often our sole focus is on skills. There should be a healthy mix of both talent and character. Unethical employees cost companies billions of dollars each year in lost revenues, settlements and other damages.

“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society. ” —Theodore Roosevelt

A narcisstic team member can impact productivity on your team. The 20-80 principle advocates that 20 percent of the people you have to deal with produce 80 percent of the problems. Most hiring processes include some sort of evaluation system that scores candidates based on core competences, not soft skills. Technical skills for a role are essential and easy to measure but traits such as “team player” and emotional intelligence are better predictors of long-term success. Intelligence can get someone a job, but soft skills is required to perform well in the long run.

In today's world, we need to place higher metrics on these skills (humility, authenticity, integrity, etc) because they are becoming extinct.--

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