Hire Traits – Teach Skills

There is a well known and proven philosophy in hiring people, that you hire traits but you train and teach skill-sets. The skills that are necessary to perform the task, whether it be in sales or customer service, behind the line or in front of the customer, those sorts of skills can be taught. You’ve developed them in your organization, you know what they are, you can teach them.

But traits are something that are inherent in an individual. And those things are very difficult to change. So if you want friendly, outgoing individuals working for your organization then you need to hire those types of people and then teach them the skills necessary to be successful on the job for you.

One thing that organizations overlook is accountability. I believe that’s the most important trait that we need to look for when hiring and individual. When you know that someone has a track record of accountability then you have a pretty good idea that they’re going to get done what you need to get done. Look for a track record in accountability in their resume and in the interview. Ask hypothetical questions and put them in situations where they need to give you an idea of how they would react or how they would respond. That should give you an idea of their level of accountability.

Also, when you check with your references, ask questions that lead toward how accountable they were on the job.

Thirdly, check out a copy of my book No More Excuses. In it, you’ll learn about the five proactive accountabilities. Those are the things that you want to be sure and measure perspective employees against. Those are the questions and hypothetical situations that you want to create for. So when you know what the proactive accountabilities are, you can tell if your potential hiree is strong in that area and has a great opportunity of being successful for you.

When you hire accountable people, you build an accountable organization. And when accountability is deeply rooted in your culture, you will achieve amazing things.


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