In the beginning, the TV gods created Idol. Then, Dancing with the Stars made its debut. Now, born out of sheer brilliance, for all of us craving a variety talent show that incorporates everything from singing, to dancing, to hand whistling, America's Got Talent has arrived!
For those of you who watched this season white-knuckled as the four finalists made their way to the largest stage in the world, you know what I mean when I say ATG put the variety in variety show. The competition was fierce, and the talent was diverse. From 10-year-old Jackie Evancho, who sings opera like she swallowed a 35-year old woman, to "Fighting Gravity," the black light performance group, to my personal favorite, Prince Poppy Cock, the powdered, wigged songster, and of course, Michael Grimm, who filled the ears of America with soulful melodies and humble sincerity, winning him the title of America's most talented.
So how did Michael Grimm, the modest crooner from the swamplands of Mississippi come to win the hearts and votes of the American public? While his indisputable talent certainly didn't hurt, I dare to say, he was not the most talented contender. But he was the most humble, thankful, and sincere, which, in the end, won him the crown.
Much like Grimm's victory, the candidates we often select for a role are not always the most talented, but are the most humble, thankful, and sincere. This decision isn't wrong or irresponsible; in fact, it can actually be beneficial. As a hiring manager, you can teach workers the hard/technical skills they will need to complete their jobs, but soft skills are an inherent part of who we are.
You can teach someone to use a specific tool, but not how to be a team player, or charm a customer into buying magic beans. Hiring for soft skills might be better for your organization in the long run. When you hire for aptitude and attitude, your new hire might not hit the ground running, but they will likely add more value over time and stay in their position longer.
Both soft skills and hard skills are important, but hiring a candidate only for their technical expertise while ignoring the rest greatly limits the potential for your hire to exceed expectations. Sure, they might hit the ground running, but they won't go very far.
Michael Grimm was selected for the job of America's most talented because he deserved it. It was not talent alone that brought him to victory, but a perfect blend of hard and soft skills. His talent captivated his audience, and his personality put the public on his side. He is, in fact, the perfect candidate for the job!