Skills and experience are not enough

My conviction, from the past learnings, especially in managing people is, we need more than just skills and experience to deliver.

I will start with 3 major buckets when looking for resources in a project team. For that matter, into the organization.

  • 1. Skills
  • 2. Experience
  • 3. Qualities
  • Skills are the knowledge elements required for the job. You advertize them prominently. Experience is obvious which is also advertized prominently. The last, but most important one, which is often not even realized and recognized is, the Quality.

    I will define Quality as the personal characteristics of the individual. Definitely, there are many of them to make a large list. And they differ from role to role.

    For example, a project manager is expected to display maturity, patience, commitment, trust, integrity etc., Whereas, for a developer, focus may not be on these kind of characteristics but on generic ones like commitment and attitude. As you can see, Qualities are distinctly different from Skills. They can’t be taught in school (or, probably can be!!)

    The point I am trying to emphasize is that, every job requires some of these qualities, varying in number and degree from role to role. The organization must list, define and assign them to each role. AND, don’t just stop here. When bringing in someone into the system, check their qualities which are expected for that role, just as you would check the guy’s skills and experience. If someone doesn’t have it, don’t take them in.

    I think you’ll have a wonderful system in place. You certainly don’t want people who lack commitment, even if they are having the best skill and tons of experience.

    However, the challenge will be to try and evaluate these qualities when interviewing people. Some food for thought for the HR function?