It’s become pretty standard business advice these days to suggest you need to “hire for fit” rather than experience or job skills.
Most interpret fit to imply fit with the culture of the organization. While I agree that your recruitment should aim to attract people that share your mission, vision and values, it’s also essential to consider how they might fit in the new reality of business.
There is a specific skill set required these days in order to be successful in the world of marketing and business owners need to start finding ways to uncover these skills in the people they recruit.
Most of these skills aren’t taught directly and come more naturally to some than others, but an employee that lacks them, or worse, questions them, is going to contribute significantly less to your organization in the coming years.
While I can define the new skills, you still have to find the ways to unearth them and bring them out in your culture and your employees.
The good news is that these are the same qualities it takes for any business to compete and if you can make these qualities the central theme of your hiring, they will carry over into the central theme of your business in general.
Collaboration bias – Today’s business teams are as fluid as ever. They move from project to project, plug and play with virtual members and draw from around the globe. Work today is basically collaboration on all fronts. If any past experience matters it’s experience that demonstrates ease with contribution and collaboration. Some people thrive on this way of work, some people don’t.
Design character – Creative people just see the world a little differently than most and, when balanced with stated business objectives, this can be a powerful tool. Look for people that demonstrate a feel for design, even though that may not be the primary or even secondary function. Creativity in design easily blends over into creativity in ideas, problem solving and collaboration.
Social knack – Recent college grads take note, social business is not Facebook. Social knack isn’t a tech platform at all. It is a skill that engages your ability to have a great conversation, to know how to find what makes people tick, to present ideas to a group and to innately look for ways to help others get what they want. If your staff possesses these qualities naturally, they can make whatever the tool of the week is pay.
Tech curious – Technology is an incredible game leveling tool in the hands of smart business owners. Blending high tech capabilities with high touch customer experience is the killer play in today’s plugged in world. Employees that are curious about new technology and gadgets as a means to creates a better, deeper and richer customer experience are a must. Hire self-proclaimed nerds and let them fuse the technology with proven processes.
Bundle vision – This is quite likely the hardest quality to identify, (certainly in a 30 minute interview) but it may be one of the most important. Business, technology, tools and trends evolve so quickly these days that every business owner and every staff member needs the ability to appreciate how seemingly disparate parts might come together to make something remarkable. This is perhaps the combination of all of the traits described above and when you find this trait and hone it, it will become one of the most valuable assets your business develops.