In a perfect world, a new hire should have the whole package – the relevant experience, latest job skills, correct attitude and cultural fit – to thrive on the job. However, it is no secret that today’s recruiting environment is far from perfect. Qualified talent is in short supply, and finding a person with both the skills AND the right attitude is a daunting challenge.
When you can’t have it all, what’s most important? Here are a few reasons why hiring a candidate for fit is critical – even if his skills aren’t a perfect match for the job:
Research favors hiring for attitude over skills:
According to a recent Leadership IQ study, only about 11 percent of new employees fail because of a lack of skill. The remaining 89 percent of new hire failures occur because of attitudinal reasons – things like a lack of coachability, emotional intelligence, motivation and correct temperament. In other words, most new hires don’t fail due to a lack of skill; it’s a lack of fit that dooms them.
You can tailor training:
If you hire a candidate with the right potential – the willingness and ability to learn, coupled with a personality style that matches your culture – you can customize training to your advantage. While you’re bringing his job skills up to speed, you can also direct your new hire toward fitting into your company’s culture and accomplishing your corporate goals.
You won’t have to break bad habits:
Ever heard the phrase, “That’s not how we did it where I used to work?” True, a candidate’s experience can provide perspective on solving problems; but, it can also make adapting difficult for him. Used to doing things one way, he may struggle to change his thinking and behaviors to match your needs.
A less experienced candidate will not face this problem, because he won’t have bad habits to break. Learning job skills within your environment, he will perform tasks the way you want them done.
An under-qualified candidate may be more loyal
When you bring your new employee on board, train him thoroughly and support his career growth – you’re building the correct foundation for a long-term employment relationship. Providing the resources he needs to flourish within your organization demonstrates a commitment to his success – one which he’s likely to reciprocate.
The bottom line? Hiring a less experienced candidate can require a higher initial training investment. However, in today’s tight talent market, it may make sense. By carefully selecting an individual whose goals, personality and attitude align with the job (and your organization), and then providing the training and support he needs, you can create a lasting work relationship that yields far more than your initial investment.