A mistake made by many leaders in high tech businesses is hiring based primarily on current knowledge and skill. While these elements are important they pale when compared to how well the individual fits into the team and the company culture.
At the risk of generalizing, many highly technical people have underdeveloped people skills. If you have people like this and you can give them a more “singular” environment in which to work then they can prove quite productive. However, if they need to function within a team to succeed then you risk the productivity of the team.
Recent talent acquisition theory studies are espousing that Emotional Intelligence has a much greater impact upon performance and success than IQ. The studies go on to state that if a candidate has the attitude and aptitude then they can learn the specifics of the position. An obvious caveat is that they must have the fundamental skills to do the job.
The bottom line is that if you have two candidates that are similarly skilled then chose the one that has the most developed Emotional Intelligence as they tend to learn faster and will be a better fit with your team and culture.
Northern Star Bottom Line: Adequate skills but a great fit beats great skills but a poor fit every time.