Confident And Capable

December 9, 2009

An excellent note by Kevin Dee titled; Confident in Your Abilities AND Capable, thats Good!! The post is concerned with the all to common issue of hiring individuals who confidently over promise particular capabilities, and then their skills under-deliver. As Mr. Dee states;

It is important in the hiring process to be “analytical” about the skills you are looking for and not be “snowed” by personality.

A great post, and there are actually two points I want to collect from it.

For the smaller business, one issue that crops up is the we don’t know what we don’t know problem. If you think about it, As a business technologist, what would my probability of getting snowed in this way be if I was trying to intelligently interview a senior cost accountant?  (pretty high I would think!)

For smaller business, when it comes  to hiring IT staff, they are often in that we don’t know area where  lack of expertise in technology makes it difficult to ask and understand the questions and responses necessary to overcome some of the difficulties in reaching a determination if an individuals confidence can be backed up by capabilities.

And let me also throw in the challenge of digging through paper capabilities! Even as a technologist I was once bitten by this one; an individual who has every possible technical accreditation and certification known to technology, and could recite all of them from memory – but lacks the ability to transfer that education into practical, capable application.

In fact, after that one incident I tended to rely more on hands on interviewing in support of the verbal part.

The second point I wanted to address when it comes to capabilities, is the responsibility those of us (myself included) that write. That includes writing blogs such as this one, to properly disclose relevant experience and capabilities.

I write this blog for non-technology managers in the small to medium business, about improving your technology. As such, many of the things I write about are things that I know well – call it the been there, done that, got the T-Shirt items.

Then there is the information that I think may provide value to some people who regularly read this blog – even though I cannot consider myself as capable in the execution of that information – I feel I must ensure that in those cases, that information must be disclosed appropriately, for example in this post (at the bottom) where I identify that the information provided was beyond my pay grade.

Because no one wants to be snowed.

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Photo credit ramen junkie via flickr

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