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The Lack of Training Culture: You hire for Skills but not for Attitude

Our software industry has a significant Lack of Training Culture. In my last articles, I wrote “Learning is not an Integral Part of your Profession” , and “An Employer must support their Employees“. Today, I focus on an employer hiring for skills rather than attitude.

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If you want to know more about me, you have the short version in my previous post “Learning is not an Integral Part of your Profession“, and the extended version in my post “About Me“.

Here are the Four Signs of the Lack of Training Culture.

Today, I’m arguing from the employee’s perspective. I’m also writing about the software domain. This is only a stylistic choice.

I’ll continue with the third sign.

 

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    You hire for skills rather than for Attitude.

    As an employer, you should hire for attitude rather than for skills. Often, I see the following automatism.

    Invest a lot of money to get the best

    You put a lot of effort and money into hiring your new employees. You only want to have the bests and establish a sophisticated application process. Now, you have what you want, and your company’s future shines bright. Honestly, I’m not so sure. I created two times a knowledge culture in companies. I made a very surprising observation: The attitude of employees to learn new techniques and improve themselves is often unrelated to their expertise. Often the experts have the wrong attitude and are often done learning. This means you invest much money in the wrong people and objectives.

    Your employer is done learning.

    Often, experts are proud of their expert status and want to defend themselves by not learning new stuff. Learning new stuff, such as new programming techniques or programming languages, would put them into the apprenticeship state. Additionally, they are not eager anymore to become the best. They are simply the best and are paid very well. You should not hire for skills. You should hire for attitude and build an environment in your company so that your employees can become the best. Many companies have already recognized this change in mindset. They don’t search on the market for the best software experts (which are not there anymore); they search for engaged employees and establish a training program to make out of the engaged the best ones.

    What does this mean for you?

    Staying good is the challenge due to the short half-time of knowledge

    Search for engaged employees and establish a company-wide training program. Establish an environment where training is integral to your employee’s profession. Invest time and money in the training of your employees. This training on the job is way more impactful than just hiring the best. The fact that expertise in our software industry has a half-life of two years makes this change in mindset even more demanding.

    To Be Continued

    Of course, there are more signs of the Lack of Training Culture: You, as an employer, are done learning.

     

    I’m curious to hear your thoughts and want to keep the ball running. Please write an e-mail to Rainer.Grimm@ModernesCpp.de and state if I can quote you. I will write a follow-up post about this key challenge of your software domain. 

     

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