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Recruiting team members is one of the greatest challenges in business. We start with the basics but most of us miss a key opportunity.

Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit. – George Carlin

Many of the requirements listed on job descriptions are not requirements. They were often created by bureaucracies in an attempt to attract “the perfect candidate”.  They are often based on skill set, experience, and “(emotional) intelligence”. There might even be an assessment based around these factors.

– Must have X years experience. This is great if you just want to stay in your X world. Sometimes fresh eyes are better.
Proven ability to influence cross-functional teams without formal authority. Can you play nice in the sandbox?
Outgoing, Energetic, Highly Motivated. Not easy to measure in a rehearsed interview.

Have you ever worked with someone with a great resume but they were a nightmare?

The interview:
The behavioral interview has been popular. One could argue about its effectiveness. Most of these canned questions can be rehearsed.

The unstructured interview is popular but ineffective.

There is a lot of legend around Google interviews but they aren’t always true [1].

Have you ever hired someone after a great resume and interview only to find out that they just didn’t gel with the group?

The better approach:
Can someone without a teaching credential be a great teacher? (my wife is a credentialed teacher, nothing against teachers)
Can someone without a hospitality experience be a great restaurant manager?
Skills can’t totally be ignored but wouldn’t we rather work with someone that fits our culture? Zappos is one company that looks at culture before even looking at skill [2]. They won’t compromise core values just to catch a skilled engineer. No culture fit = no further discussions.

Having the courage to wait to find the right candidate is not easy. Finding someone to fit our company culture ups the ante in the process.  It forces us to identify who we are. It forces us to identify who fits in.

Having the courage to move past resumes and interviews takes time. Having the courage to not to hire someone with an amazing skill set is tough. Most things worth doing are not easy.

[1] Wired interview Lazslo Bock.
[2] Zappos Insights blog

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