Yesterday I had the chance to meet with a small company that I advise and tell them my story. They’re a very well run, scrappy small agency and their CEO wanted me to tell their team how we started small and built a successful agency (Spunlogic).
We had a great discussion, and one of the areas they wanted to dig into was how to make sure you hire the right people. Specifically, this question was asked: “If we’re on the fence with a potential new hire, how do we make the final decision?”
My answer was simple: Hire on values, teach skills.
I’ll hire someone who fits our values over someone that has great experience, but is not someone that fits into our culture. All day. I can teach someone to learn better QA testing skills, for example, but I can’t teach someone not to be an a$$hole. I can’t teach someone to be honest. Or kind. Or unselfish.
One way to really get a sense of someone is to get them out of the office and see them in the real world. If you take a walk around a park and everythings going great, and suddenly you see a snail in the path and the person you’re with goes out of his way to step on the snail, that might be a sign the person is hiding something. Or, if one of your company values is “Be vicious”, then maybe that person is a great fit ;)
Don’t fall into the trap of hiring someone because you think they have amazing experience but might not be a great culture fit. Understand your values and ONLY hire people that fit into those. No exceptions, ever.