Culture over Skill
“As long as they are driven, creative and smart enough to pick up those new skills. We really rarely care about what their previous experiences were.”
Hire for culture over skill. That’s a great rule of thumb. When you hire a skilled person who doesn’t fit into the company’s existing culture, it is not a guarantee that that person will eventually fit. People’s beliefs and behavior hardly ever change - not easily, anyway. But people’s skillsets change all the time. Most people want to learn new things and gain new knowledge. So if the choice is between a less skilled person who will fit nicely into your company culture versus a highly skilled person who doesn’t match your culture at all, go for the first choice every time. Remember, culture eats strategy for breakfast.
Even though WorkRamp automates the training of employees, Ted believes strongly in keeping the human element in onboarding and training. Your employees need to feel they work for people, not a faceless brand. In the onboarding phase, it is also very important to get all employees to a base level of knowledge of what the company does, e.g. everyone should be able to tell you the elevator pitch. By keeping everyone informed and up to date on the company activities and values, they’ll have this idea in the back of their mind when designing, selling or writing code.
Develop People’s Weaknesses
“If you can train people and progress people in their career - that’s ten people who are going to be touchpoints when they leave your company. They are going to be in ten other companies that might repay the favor or really look highly upon you given their time at the company with you as their manager.”
The focus of employers is of course to attract the best talent, but how do you actually keep them? What good does it make if you spend a lot of money attracting and headhunting the best and they just leave your company again after a few months? The key is to develop them, since most people want to be challenged and develop along the way. The tendency is to see employees as simply resources of the skills and knowledge they are experts in. But every employee has weaknesses, many of which can be improved. You need to focus on these and make them better - not only will they have improved capabilities, but the person who you developed will feel challenged and be more keen on staying with you.
However, this takes patience, so pace yourself for the long haul.
Three steps to implement in your company if you want to focus on developing your people
- Adopt the idea of investing in people into the company culture
- Get the managers closely involved with the employees, e.g. with Duuoo
- Get the infrastructure in place in order to invest in your people
This was just some of the insights from this episode- don’t miss a single thing! Listen to the entire podcast above.