Volano recently hired two software developers whom you’ll read about later this week. We are also hiring our first office admin person. The process of finding and screening good candidates has been educational and cause for some reflection. Finding people whose skills line up with the prerequisites of the job is one thing but identifying the intangibles is quite another. You’re not only trying to find a good employee, you want to find one that will take the position and re-define the role, raise the expectation level and help elevate the culture and production around them. No role is immune from these opportunities but a bad hiring decision can have the opposite effect on morale, production and culture.
I got to thinking of a few professional attributes that are harder to represent or quantify on a resume but have equal if not greater importance.
- Agility. Our clients do not all code in the same language and proficiencies. Good developers are not simply masters of a skillset but students of technology. How comfortable is a person with unfamiliar software languages and how capable are they of finding answers.
- Affability. I don’t care how good you are at any one thing, or many things. If people don’t care for you, neither do I. Great ideas and initiatives are left unrealized when buy-in was not sought or received by peers and direct reports.
- Accountability. Much time could be saved if the first page of a resume simply said “I say what I’m going to do and do what I say.”
Candidates that possess these skills empower employers to utilize them in multiple roles and capacities. Subsequently, these types of employees make themselves hard to get rid of when budgets tighten up. For employers, the key to unearthing these qualities in an interview is by asking for specific examples that demonstrate these attributes and by checking references. Good candidates have people who love to sing their praises. Candidates should avoid clichés and platitudes. Assume that every job candidate competing for that role will say they are a hard worker, fast learner and love working with people. Specifics sell. Chances are, you’ve got a lot of stories that exemplify these traits.