Hiring for work ethic almost always trumps hiring for knowledge. Here at Webconnex we are a well oiled machine. We are small, tidy, and ready for action. Are we perfect? Nope. Do we do amazing things for such a small team? You betcha! Looking at how we’ve hired, and observing some of the most revered companies in the world, I’ve noticed consistencies on the most important traits to hire off of. Ultimately it almost always comes down to heart and ethics.Here are a few things to keep in mind when hiring.

1.  You can teach skills, but you can’t change ethics.

For MOST roles  hiring for heart is better than knowledge. There are a few exceptions to this rule such as highly technical roles that rely on a specific skill set.. However, for most roles you will win more in the long run by hiring for someone’s work ethic, cultural compatibility, and future goals. Key points:

  • Ethics are developed from a childhood and into the adult years. These can be hard, and maybe impossible to overcome.
  • Knowledge is usually created within a matter of months to years, that is something more easily obtained while on-boarding.

2.  Build in time for the training.

You will see greater rewards in your long term team goals if you take a hit on the on-boarding upfront than if you hire someone a bit more experienced only to find months later they don’t work well with your team. This isn’t to say you can’t find a candidate that possesses both. We have found at Webconnex that if we hire for work ethic first, and skill set second, we get a better return in the long run. Key points:

  • Gauging training times upfront is easier than letting someone go.
  • Letting in a ‘bad fit’ culturally can have far reaching and damaging implications on the rockstars you already have on your team.
  • Employee’s with strong ethics also protect you from possible fallouts when/if that employee moves on from your company.

3.  Don’t rush it but don’t take too long either.

The perfect person doesn’t exist, but amazing ones do! If your team is prepped with a great on-boarding experience, and good teaching tactics, you can get an amazing hire to become a perfect fit for your culture. No one will be that perfect fit before stepping through your doors. Don’t let little hiccups here and there keep you from missing a great future team member. Key point:

  • If it takes you 3 or more months to find a fit for a lower to mid level position, then check your process on hiring for refinements. This is too long for the position to be vacant.

4.  Glean insight your team.

If you have a team of 15 people in the department of the open position, then loop a few members in. It helps make a great hire by including some of your team.We have learned a second pair of eyes can catch things the other might have missed and always for the better. Does your team get any gut checks, or does everything seem great? Remember to use the wisdom of your team, they have already sat in the new hire’s shoes. Key Points:

  • Your team has already been there, and done that. They’ll know what is needed.
  • Whether they are pivotal in your hiring process or not, your current team can add a great value to the choice you make.

Hiring can be an exhausting journey, but if you remember to hire for their ethics, and not for an ideal skill set that could be taught through on-boarding, chances are you’ll come out ahead in the end.