As I am in the process of recruiting more staff at my company, I have to sit down and think about the charasteristics of the ideal employee. Is there such a thing as a perfect employee? In the negative, what makes at least an awesome employee? I agree with Ryan Harwood who published an insightful article in Fortune magazine on the topic.
Do not recruit only based on skills. So true. Skills will at some point and faster than ever become outdated. You need someone who will be capable of learning new ones. Better, someone who will be willing to update his skill-set. A lot of candidates say how adaptable they are during job interviews but few truly embrace change once in the job. So it is clearly something I will be assessing and looking for in my next hire.
March 7, 2015 by Ryan Harwood
Not quite, so try looking for this instead.
The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question “What’s the best mistake you ever made?” is written by Ryan Harwood, CEO of PureWow.
Don’t hire based on skills alone.
In the early days of PureWow, I always thought you needed to find the perfect employee on paper. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I quickly learned that you can often teach employees new skills, but you can’t teach them how to fit the company culture. If an employee doesn’t fit the mold initially, they most likely never will. This could force them to quit, or worse, frustrate other employees.
It didn’t take us long to realize how much more fun (and productive) work is when people enjoy their work environment. We encourage our team to constantly communicate at PureWow: ask questions if you don’t understand something, cc or bcc your manager for visibility on emails, and let your colleagues know what you’re working on. Those who don’t like to share and prefer to work in silos won’t do well at our company. However, this wasn’t always the case, it took time for us to clearly define the company culture we wanted to create.
Now, I’m not saying you don’t need to look for skills — of course you do. But hiring smart people that also happen to fit your company culture is what you should strive for. EQ is more important than IQ. In every interview we conduct at PureWow — from tech to edit, and even sales — we ask our employees to consider some of the following questions before hiring anyone: do I want to regularly communicate with this individual? do they have a great work ethic? how do they react during stressful situations?
Brilliant ideas don’t make companies successful; the people who execute those ideas do. That’s why hiring is the single most important thing any company can do and it should be done with great care. It’s the CEO’s job to be the conductor of the orchestra; find the missing puzzle pieces. Seek out employees who complement the skills of those already employed – every company needs a devil’s advocate, right? And most of all, look for candidates who believe in your company’s vision and are more interested in growing the business than achieving individual success.