Magazine Article | July 1, 2019

The Principles Of Competence

By Don Crawley

Is it more important to hire IT people based on their technical skills or their people skills?

I frequently hear business owners and managers say you can’t train people on people skills, so they hire based on good people skills and plan to train new hires on technical skills. A better practice is to hire people based on the requirements of the job description. You certainly wouldn’t hire a server administrator with great people skills, but no technical skills, any more than you would hire an attorney who hadn’t passed the bar or a jet mechanic with no aircraft experience, no matter how good their people skills. That’s not to say that people skills aren’t important. They are. It’s just that, for technical positions, tech skills usually come first. The key is to hire based on the requirements of the job description. Oh, and, by the way, according to psychologists, most people can learn and improve their people skills.

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