Happy Monday. Here’s a hypothetical situation for the sake of conversation. Is it better to hire someone based on experience or someone who seems a more adequate fit for your company culture?
Let’s say business is booming, and it’s time to expand. The timing is perfect for you to bring on some fresh new talent to help with marketing, team project management and customer retention.
Here are two candidates who applied for the position. Let’s introduce both; shall we?
Hillary- Has a stellar resume. She graduated (with top honors) from an Ivy League school and has all the upside (on paper) of an extremely bright future. Back in college she even managed an impressive social experiment project about the effects of pumping fresh oxygen in the workplace for the means of increasing employee energy and productivity (give me a break it just popped in my head:-)). She looks to be an “asset” to any company looking to grow. She was impressive during the interview and seemed almost methodical in her responses to your questions. Though she didn’t come off as what you would call personable-Hillary seemed nice enough. Maybe she was just being professional or maybe she was nervous. When asked what she believes is her strongest quality she said-she’s very “goal oriented.”
Jessica-On the other hand has been a sales manager in a real estate company for over ten years. She’s looking for something new; something challenging. She has very little formal education (college) and doesn’t seem to mind it. Her skills come from hands-on experience. Jessica’s passion reflects in her answers and all signs point to her being a good fit for the position. But is she really qualified? When asked what is her best quality she gave a cool answer-“my ability to motivate.” During the interview there were a few chuckles. Jessica seemed very relaxed, down to earth and confident in what she’s bringing to the table but was also quick to point out there will be a learning curve.
Who would you rather bring on board?
“Is it better to hire for cultural fit over experience” is an interesting article on how often times the person who has the most skill may not actually be the best fit at the office. Who would you most likely be more inclined to bring aboard? How much do you factor in a person’s ‘likability’ around the office?
The bottom line
Hillary and Jessica both have their strong points. Hillary has great experience and is very technically savvy for the position. Jessica has a stand out personality. She seems likable and respectfully opinionated. Both bring value but which one is a better fit?
Mine would be Jessica. I believe you can’t teach a person to be a leader. They either are or they aren’t. Jessica is a natural leader and those personalities tend to bring the best out of others. Although Hillary has an extensive background, she’s a little too serious for my team’s taste. Will she be a great fit somewhere else? Absolutely. Will it be with Premier Pixels? In all likelihood-no.
Different playing fields
Just because it’s not a fit for us doesn’t mean it won’t be for you. Each of us have a different approach. As you build out your business; what attributes are you looking for as you grow out your team? We all have similar goals but different needs. It’s all about how they fit in. Your team already has their quirky ways (we all do). Being a good fit for the overall team is more important than technical know how.
A person who is a good fit for the team can grow into their position whereas someone who has the skill already but doesn’t hit it off with the team will at best cause conflict. Building a great team is like the setting in a diamond ring. A (flawless) diamond may sparkle in the sun, but without the setting to hold it in place, no one would even know the diamond is there in the first place.
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