Does this sound familiar? You interview a candidate who has deep knowledge of your industry and checks off every box in the ‘skills’ section of the job description. They assure you that they are the perfect fit for the position, able to hit the ground running on day one. They look great on paper and seem to be excited about the job. You make an offer, the employee starts working, and soon you are inundated with red flags and problems coming at you from all sides.
What went wrong? You didn’t assess the two most important criteria for any new hire: personal characteristics and motivation.
There are four key hiring dimensions: #1 personal characteristics, #2 motivation, #3 skills and #4 knowledge. In the above scenario, the focus was on just skills and knowledge. And while these are still critical to predicting the success of a potential hire, they should take a backseat to personal characteristics and motivation.
For the most comprehensive picture of a potential candidate, you have to look at all four dimensions, in this order of importance:
1. Personal characteristics are just that—core to one’s personal character.