There is usually a strong focus during the recruitment process on a candidate’s skill and experience. This is absolutely right and important, but it really in my books isn’t the highest priority.
In priority order, these are the things I look for in candidates:
1. Attitude & values
2. Aptitude for learning
3. Relevant Skills
4. Relevant Experience.
Don’t get me wrong – candidates need to have at least the minimum level of skills and experience you need for the role. But every time I’ve recruited someone where the skills and experience fitted, but the attitude and aptitude were dubious, my team and I have ended up paying the price.
Which is why I stopped doing it. Someone whose attitude to their work doesn’t align with the values I’m looking for in my team will end up undermining the rest of the team, to whom I have a bigger responsibility, and therefore the organisation itself.
Similarly, someone who doesn’t show a desire to continue to learn, especially as the world is evolving at an ever-more furious pace, will very quickly become unable to help my organisation create and deliver value. Regardless of where their skill level is today.
So if you’re in the process of creating an organisation that will be profitable and make a difference, ensure you can tick all 4 boxes – the last two at least minimally, and the first two in abundance!