When looking at what you can and can’t teach there is a specific line that business owners should ride. There are not many skills or knowledge based jobs that hard working people can’t learn or do. The book Finding A-Players touches on this topic. When hiring, many business owners are looking for specific types of people often times with specific backgrounds. Backgrounds they know produce hardworking individuals.
It is not that someone cannot learn skills and what not. The real reason a company look for people with pre existing skills is because they want to avoid that learning curve and jump straight profitability with that new employee. If you can receive and employee day one who is an asset to your business then you have saved yourselves plenty of sweat and labor.
The question that you have to ask yourself then is there anything that would disqualify someone from you hiring them immediately if they have all the right skills? Your answer should be yes! If someone doesn’t fit the culture of your company then they won’t be there long and their skills won’t ever be as impactful as they could be. Skills can still be learned by others but culture is a little harder for someone to enter into when you are talking about A-Players.
My reasoning for saying it is harder for A-Players to enter into the culture and learn that is that they typically enter into some form of leadership. If you have someone who disagrees with your culture then they will either change the culture, not good, or leave because they don’t fit well, also not good. This is why you catch them upfront.
A person’s values and priorities for a role of leadership are the one thing that I would argue is much more difficult to teach. Not necessarily impossible, but the risk of it is far higher for the longevity of your business than waiting for the right person. Good culture can motivate employees to work harder and be more proactive which in turn creates more profitability in the long run. Short term sacrifice for a long term gain.
Nothing can’t be taught, but somethings are harder than others. Know what you don’t have time to teach and then search for that because it can simplify your process.