We were a security company that built security software and sold it to security professionals. So you'd think we should have gone out and hired people with security in their resume and experience with products like firewalls, intrusion detection, and from companies like McAfee and Symantec?
But we structured our recruiting, onboarding, and employee evaluation process to focus on more impactful keywords: great team players, communication and leadership skills, entrepreneurial enthusiasm, customer focus, cultural fit, and functional expertise.
When we focused too much on security keywords, the hire was often gone within a year. Some were from dysfunctional startups and had lousy teamwork skills. Some were good big company people but were not entrepreneurial. Some were used to low-level technical buyers but couldn't communicate with executives. Some just didn't like us: they chose us because we were a security company, not because they especially liked the people or culture. They used the wrong keywords of their own.