Fascinating. And yeah, over my 30+ years in industry, working a large global behemoths and small to midsize companies, in a very wide range of technology markets, it has been VERY rare that we had to let someone go because they were technically unable to do the job. It has indeed been emotional intelligence (and all that goes with that,) attitude, work ethic, etc. We say during the interview we’re trying to figure if they can do the job and then will they do the job.
Timing is interesting; we just lost two employees from the labs in the last week. Rare for us, One we couldn’t do much about; he was on parole for something he did a year ago, doing a background check we thought the parole imposed was pretty harsh for the violation (without going into details, pot drug related,) and decided to give him a chance, but he violated his parole by doing something stupid and he’s in jail now. But more related to this thread, the other was a person working in a QC lab, relatively young, has shown promise and we’ve increased his responsibility and giving him extra training, but he is one of those that just gripes and moans and complains about everything, all the time. Company sucks, pay’s too low, doesn’t like the hours, shows no respect for his manager (who was working in his job a couple of years ago and was promoted due to her growth and understanding of the needs of the group and is liked by most in the group,) takes breaks at the worst possible time (he needs to test and approve/not approve what is being made on the production line he’s accountable for, and he’ll take a break whenever he feels like it no matter what’s going on on the line,) and on and on and on. When his manager talks to him about his performance and behavior he just gives her attitude. As is often the case, he’s having an effect on those working around him.
So we pulled him in and said, it appears you just don’t like your job, and you’re not going to like your job. And every time we talk to you about it you just tell us how much your job sucks. OK - life’s too short, not every company is a fit for every employee, time for you to go find a job you like.
The sad thing: He’s really good technically. He could have had a really great career here.
As I type, I can’t remember the last time I had to let someone go because they were unable to do the job due to technical capabilities. In fact, if someone has the energy, motivation, attitude, etc. and they don’t quite have the technical ability, we’ll go out of our way to give them training in the area where they may be weak. It’s far easier to find people with the required technical capability than to find people who are great employees.