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#WantedlyMeetup Recap: Hire for attitude, train for skills?

What is more important when hiring a new team member - attitude or skills?

Last Monday, we had the pleasure of hosting another event for our Wantedly community together with our partner SIBB. This time, talks and discussions evolved around the topic of "Hire for attitude, train for skills". What is more important when recruiting new members for your team? Should the candidate tick all the boxes and requirements mentioned in your job description, or is the cultural fit more important? Attitute and cultural fit are harder to change, or even train, than pure skills. Teams who get along well and share the same values and goals are said to be more productive and content, but sometimes having the right skills at hand takes upmost priority over anything else. An interesting topic for sure - this week's event location at Unicorn was jam packed with over 50 guests from various backgrounds and companies, who waited in anticipation for the session to begin.

Three speakers, three opinions - any many interesting thoughts

Three speakers shared their experiences and best practices with us and each of them had a different view on this question.

First up was Dr. Lea Schroeder, Head of HR at raisin, who was able to highlight some interesting points from the perspective of a fast growing tech company. Having doubled in size within the last year, raisin has seen some substantial growth especially in their development teams. While cultural fit is considered extremely important at raisin, Lea also stressed that hiring for attitude alone won't do the job. Especially startups and small, growing companies often can't provide training for new staff and are dependant on the expertise and experience of the people they hire for a position.

However, startups and fast growing companies also often seek to preserve their unique "team spirit" - here, raisin shared their approach of checking cultural fit (as one of many criteria) in their hiring process by asking questions linked to their company values. According to Lea, the most important part in assessing cultural fit is staying objective - which is why raisin has deveoped a five-scale rating system to help compare impressions and assessments throughout candidate interviews.


Dr. Lea Schroeder from raisin

After a brief round of questions, Finn Lampe, HR Generalist at samedi, shared his views on the topic. At samedi, hiring for attitude is a primary goal in their recruiting process. This can partially be achieved through taking advantage of referrals from current and former employees, who are likely to know suitable candidates that also fit to the team and culture at one's company.

Equally, involving the team from the very beginning on is a good way of ensuring that a potential candidate gets on well with their future colleagues (which is also something both sides profit from during the interview process). And when it comes to training the candidate that has just been hired, Finn stressed the importance of setting clear expectations and a realistic training plan to help that person reach their full potential. There were also some words of warning - although hiring candidates with a similar attitude might have a lot of advantages, it can also bear some problems, as a too homogenic group of people might be averse to change and lack a variety of perspectives. This is why Finn suggested to really assess what one's team needs at a particular point in time. Especially with big changes coming up, it might be better to look for certain skills or even hire someone with a different attitude overall.

8 Tips from samedi

Last but not least, Felix Berghöfer, HR Director at Visual Meta, was up. Felix has more than 12 years experience in people management and recruiting and was able to give some valuable insights into best practices at his company. Similar to samedi, Visual Meta also value the method of team interviews to assess whether a person does or doesn't fit to a team. Most importantly, though, was for Visual Meta their onboarding process for new candidates. This could range from visa application support, Berlin guides for candidates who just relocated, to simply making sure that a new recruit feels welcome. Every new candidate also receives training sessions to ensure that a certain standard of soft skills, an understanding of the company and its working methods is given. Furthermore, every new hire with a role in people management and leadership gets training on recruiting, leadership and team development.

People join a company, but leave a manager - this is why we make sure that every person leading a team gets trained in their onboarding process,

quoted Felix to explain the idea behind this onboarding training. Visual Meta ensures that way that their members are equally empowered to manage and continuously inspire members at the company.

Felix Berghöfer, HR Director at Visual Meta

This was plenty of food for thought - now it was time to enjoy some delicious pizza and chat about everyone's experiences. We were excited to see multiple discussions evolving and would, again, like to thank our speakers Lea, Finn and Felix for sharing their insightful opinions on this week's topic with us.

After another hour of networking, it was time to say goodbye - until November 20th, when our next Wantedly Meetup will take place.

Next time, we'll discuss how to best manage and empower intercultural teams - make sure to stop by and share your experiences with us!

Get your ticket and join us at our next event on 20th November at WeWork Potsdamer Platz!

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