Jason Yip’s Hire squirrels instead of turkeys has a link to a discussion of Harvard’s hiring of Faust as the new president. Looks like Harvard got smart and thought about cultural fit, and those critical influencing and negotiation skills. (See my other post A Perfect Example of Insufficient Cultural Fit.)
On the other hand, read Seth Godin’s Sheepwalking, where he describes people putting in time at their jobs, instead of being creative and solving problems.The first part of a smart hiring decision is to know what non-technical qualities, preferences, and skills you need. That’s why you need to think about the deliverables and activities the employee will perform on the job. (That’s why I put so much emphasis on the job analysis.)
Technical skills are easy to train. Finding people who can solve problems and do the hard work you need them to do–that’s hard. And that’s what’s necessary for a smart hiring decision.