Skill Vs Attitude Vs Pedigree: What qualities matter more while hiring new employees?

3 June 2021 — Written by Aishwarya Muralidhar

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Pedigree, skill and attitude: ask any business owner who is hiring and these traits are likely to bubble up to the top of the list. What qualities do you look for while hiring a new employee?

Expanding your team while on your entrepreneurial journey, is a huge milestone. Welcoming someone new into your team when your business is in its nascent stages can be difficult and risky. So it’s understandable if you are struggling to find the right candidate. How do you make sure that that person you hire is right for the job?

While some focus on pedigree to assure a minimum quality of requirements, others give more importance to skills and attitude. So, how does one find the balance, and what is that secret sauce of finding the ideal employee? If you’re struggling to find the best talent for your organization, this blog is for you! Dr. Jeyavelu, our speaker for the latest session of Nudge Talks, is an IIM Fellow and an Ex faculty at IIM Kozhikode. He is currently the Dean of VIT-AP. Here are 5 tips from Dr. Jeyavelu on hiring the best talent for your organisation:

5 key takeaways from Dr. S. Jeyavelu's Masterclass

1. Best is the enemy of good: look for adequate skills instead!

Candidate with a varied skill set

A candidate’s technical skills are perhaps the main criteria for most when hiring. The more skilled they are at what they do, the better right? Dr. S. Jeyavelu however, suggests taking a different approach. When categorising candidates, he says to look for adequate skills and the right attitude instead of vying for candidates with the best skills. Make sure that hires fit in well with your team and have the right attitude.

2. Look for the right attitude in your candidate: ask the right questions

Interviewers asking questions to a candidate

An applicant might have a stellar resume, but your decision should boil down to their attitude and character. If they do not have the correct attitude, it can negatively impact team morale and productivity. So how do you gauge if they have the right attitude during an interview? Look for team players with a positive attitude and evaluate if they have the same passion for your cause.

3. Look for Pedigree: only if you can afford it

Four graduates showing off their certificates at graduation

Your early hires set the tone for your business. [Pedigree](Your early hires set the tone for your business. Pedigree offers a minimum assured quality with regards to intelligence, motivation, technical skills, competitiveness, etc. It allows for an easy recruitment process. So, if you’re looking to build a small team and require assured quality, look for pedigree. “Your early hires set the tone for your business. Pedigree offers a minimum assured quality with regards to intelligence, motivation, technical skills, competitiveness, etc. It allows for an easy recruitment process. So, if you’re looking to build a small team and require assured quality, look for pedigree.”) offers a minimum assured quality with regards to intelligence, motivation, technical skills, competitiveness, etc. It allows for an easy recruitment process. So, if you’re looking to build a small team and require assured quality, look for pedigree.

4. Look beyond IQ : focus on multiple intelligences

Different intelligences of a candidate

You cannot measure intelligence with a test. There are multiple intelligences- numbers, language, reasoning, logical, kinesthetic, visual, spatial, etc. Try not to miss the forest for the trees when hiring. Focus on these aspects when trying to arrive at a decision. Grade point averages might not tell the whole story about a candidate. Pinpoint factors that are critical for their work and seek their competency on those.

5. Move from selfish growth to empathy: balance between masculine & feminine sensibilities

Yin and Yang with the male and female gender symbols showing a balance of masculinity and femininity

I think we need the feminine qualities of leadership, which include attention to aesthetics and the environment, nurturing, affection, intuition, and the qualities that make people feel safe and cared for. - Deepak Chopra

  • Deepak Chopra

Effective leadership requires an equilibrium of the mind and the heart. We have to let go of the rigid and result-oriented way of leadership that has grown to be commonplace. Unless we do this, we’ll have a class hierarchy, operate on survival instincts, and develop socio-economics models which can cripple businesses.

Traits of masculine and feminine energies

Conclusion

While there is no dearth of skills, attitude and pedigree in the market, knowing which one to choose while hiring for your organization is important. While hiring, assessing your candidate’s attitude should be the key focal point of your interview process. Although it might seem as if looking for potential employees with the best skills is the logical first step, try not to lose focus of the whole picture. A candidate with adequate skills and an attitude that marries well with your organizational culture should trump a candidate that might have the best skills, but a poor attitude. Last but not least, don’t sweat too much over pedigree. Only opt for it if you can afford to.

Enjoyed the recaps for our masterclass and looking for more insights from industry experts? Check out the recap of the previous Nudge Talks session here. You can catch the next Nudge Talks session by registering yourself on our events page. The live sessions are interactive and filled with nuggets of wisdom so, don’t miss it! If you’re curious to know about the Beyond 8 culture and how we get our people excited about our vision, read all about it here. We are just an email away (contact@beyond8.in) if you would like to talk to us!

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