I remember inviting a classmate to my house to "jam" with me in middle school. He'd play piano while I sang and played guitar. I was looking for more people to perform music with and heard that he was quite good.
Despite being a talented pianist, classically trained through childhood, he could not keep up. There I was, self-taught, jamming away, not even sure what key I was playing in while he sat there trying to make sense of every note. Unfortunately, I had no sheet music to guide him.
On paper, he was brilliant. In practice, it was not a good fit. As he packed up to head home that day, I remember thinking that I should have talked to him about what I imagined our session to be like rather than making assumptions about his background.
Whether it's adding a new member to your band or a new project manager to your team, who is the right hire?
Someone with the perfect skillset?
Someone with the right experience?
The right hire for you may not be the right hire for me, but does that make the candidate any less qualified for the job?
Imagine choosing a spouse or friend based on the skills you think they'll bring to the table or their track record with past relationships. While these areas may get surfaced early on in one way or another, they are not enough, on their own, to determine the future of the relationship.
You know you've found the right hire because you can feel it in your gut.
Maybe they don't have the perfect skillset.
Maybe their experience isn't what you'd expect.
Portfolios, resumes, tests, and personality assessments may help you feel better about that feeling, but when you know, you know. And more often than not, when you don't know, but let what's on paper tell you otherwise, you end up wishing you hadn't.