Leadership Lesson: How I Learned To Hire For The Future.

How I learned the lesson to hire for the future; it happened right after I was promoted. I was put in charge of a new division of the bank, a group that was pushing technology to the next level. A group focused on innovation and strategy.


My first hire was an easy choice. They already owned a portfolio of projects that would be pulled under my division’s responsibility. It was a no brainer. To hire six new employees, to get them onboarded and productive was daunting. To hire five new employees and have one who knew a portion of the portfolio was manageable.


This individual was charismatic, positive and a great individual to work with. They cared about the business, they wanted to be a team player. I thought the culture fit was there.


When I hired, I hired for the NOW, not the future.


After six months, I realized that I made the wrong choice. Despite this individual trying extremely hard and putting long hours in, they weren’t cutting it. They couldn’t grasp the new innovative technologies we were working with.


I sat down and assessed “skill” vs “will”.


They had the will, without a doubt, but they did not have the skill needed for the future. It was extremely personal because this individual was such a nice person. This individual fit in with the team, they were part of the team. Although I did not need to onboard them, they transitioned from the top performer to the button within six months. The individuals I hired for the future growth of the team quickly outpaced this employee.


This individual wanted to play the game but didn’t have the skills to enter the arena.


After a year we moved them to a role that was a better fit. The lesson here was that personality isn’t a culture fit. A culture fit can also be a learning capability. The ability to learn new skills quickly and to be technology savvy and fast.


Are you hiring future? Take our recruiting process audit to find out (click here).


TechTuesday: Can technology solve company culture problems?


TechTuesday: App Review - Pocket

Nicholas Klisht