How to Hire for Character, Not Skill

Skills are important, but they can always be taught. When building a team, you want people who will fit the culture of the organization as well as someone who will get along with your team. You have to train new team members whether they’ve done similar work in the past. In fact, in some cases, ground-up training can be ideal because the new hire will be coming in with fresh eyes and no bad habits developed at other companies. Success isn’t about having every skill in place before starting a position, so figure out how to hire for a person’s character instead.

Find the right person through your network

Corporate recruiting is helpful but it can be difficult and time-consuming to wade through the list of applicants. Instead of relying on recruiters to find viable candidates, reach out to your network, and make sure your team is involved in the software development community. By relying on your network, you’re more likely to recognize up and coming professionals as well as learn about a person’s character before you’ve even had an interview.  

Treat your candidates like a draft pick

You want to show the candidates you’re interviewing that you value them and what they have to offer. You can do this a number of ways, such as properly preparing for interviews by making sure your team knows what to look for in a candidate. This way, they’ll be able to ask useful questions that will bring you closer to the right hire. Being organized and prepared will show a potential team member the professionalism of the team and make the person feel like their time is valued. 

Create the right job description

The job description should separate your team and company from other organizations and highlight what you’re looking for not only in skills but also in character. An example of a great job description that highlights a candidate’s character can be found in my Agile E-book. This E-book also provides beneficial information about Agile Coaching and how to create the right software development team. Check out the E-book “Become One of Today’s Top Agile Leaders” now to learn more about hiring for a person’s character as well as how to set your team up for success.