Hire for attitude and train for skill

As we continue to hire hundreds and hundreds of skilled and semiskilled employees including freshers what do we look for? Skills or Attitude?

In my 20 years of recruiting career, I have seen hiring gone wrong as one has focused on quick fixes and hired only looking at the individual skills. I too have made these mistakes in the past and have realized it the hard way.

Recruiters are always under pressure of filling the open positions on time, here we need to be extremely mindful of getting in the right talent, one wrong hire, and it could be catastrophic (this is an extreme expression simply to make you aware of the consequences).

What happens when you hire a candidate with the wrong attitude?

Productivity Loss–A bad hire will surely impact productively, the time and effort in training the individual will be. Employees with the wrong attitude will also negatively impact business

Loss of Employee Morale – A person with a bad attitude will surely impact the team in a negative way and its morale.

Customer Satisfaction – This can surely take a hit, with the wrong attitude and the lack of willingness to assist a customer, can also drive customers away.

The question here is what do you look for then in attitude and how can one identify if the incumbent has the right attitude or not, besides having the skills to do his/her job.

There are different types of positive attitudes and these are

a) Confidence
b) Sincerity
c) Adaptability
d) Flexibility
e) Accountability
f) Optimism.

Using the various styles of interview one can identify these traits in the candidate.

Even if after this you do end up hiring a candidate with a poor attitude, you must immediately have a one on one with the individual and address the issue, one solution is to move him/her to another dept. by giving them another chance and if that too does not work the best is to let go of the person before more damage is caused.

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