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How to hire for personality and train for skills

Sharon Florentine | June 5, 2015
Even in a tight IT labor market, finding talent with the right technology skillsets probably isn't your biggest challenge. What's much more difficult is finding talent with the right personality fit.

Bad hires do happen
Hiring for personality and potential isn't a panacea. Bad hires happen regardless of what criteria you're using. The key is to acknowledge, accept and move forward. "I can really like someone and think they're great, but sometimes it's not the right fit. In those cases, you have to make the hard decision and let someone go -- but I've found in those situations, that person innately knows it's not a fit, and there's a sense of relief, almost, that neither one of you will be stuck in a bad situation," says Labourey.

This focus on potential and personality doesn't always work, adds Jersin, and it's also not the best way to do things if you need a very specific job done quickly, or if you have a project or feature that isn't that complicated, he says.

"But because of the speed of change now, even baseline tools like Excel, for example, are going to change, and change fast. So, if you're going to be hiring anyway, why not look for potential -- for soft skills and these evergreen needs that you're always going to have so you don't have to keep repeating yourself and replacing your hires?" Jersin says.


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