Originally posted in March 2009 on Robert Braathe’s HR and Career Guide
Q: Why would an individual accept a position in a company where he does not meet all the qualifications knowing this position level requires extremely high levels of accuracy, and proficiency, knowing that the job generates high levels of stress for the employee?
A: It comes down to the SKA’s and the PIP’s. My HR professor at UMass, Dr. Fernsten, instilled this in us from day one. You should hire people based on PIP’s, not SKA’s, if you feel they can do the job with proper training.
What are PIP’s? They are Personality, Interests and Preferences. These are the natural fiber of someone, and are often less malleable than SKA’s – Skills, Knowledge and Abilities. Hiring people to fit your organization, who love your organization, and have the personality and interest to join that organization is so important; if they have the right character, you can often train them to do ANYTHING.
I recall a position I took back in 2005 working for a consulting company. The initial call was for someone to fix and maintain their computers and to update their website. At the time, I had little or no experience with websites, but I had good business sense, was getting my MBA, and wanted to work for this company. They brought me in for my PIP’s, not by SKA’s. I still work for them, and one of the comments from them was that I really didn’t know a lot about websites when I started with them, but I demonstrated interest, and they found me to be trustworthy and had the right personality for the work.