Hiring for attitude or skills?

“Hire for attitude, train for skills”. When recruiting for a job it is crucial to not only identify what skills are needed to do the job, day to day tasks and to create a job specification; ask why is this job important to your team, company and business plan, where do they fit in the current team, what soft qualities would help bring the team forward, what can be trained on the job and what skills must be instantly available. I’ve linked to two articles, one that focuses on why attitude is so important especially within the smaller company and one that says recruiting for skills is critical for innovation.

I often recruit for small software companies where small teams but big innovation go hand in hand. We sit down and talk through what is critical for the position and for the successful candidate. Needing the right attitude with a core of essential skills is often the answer and it means the recruitment process is longer, and more difficult. Attitude doesn’t get through on a CV and requires interviews and questioning techniques, it requires the recruiter to have a strong understanding of the company’s culture, business and people. It takes time, lots of time and research and that’s what you pay recruiters for, hopefully you get the service and people you want but if that’s not the case then please contact my office and arrange a meeting.


A key word search service just doesn’t cut it for recruitment, and if this is what your company uses and isn’t seeing the personnel results that are successful then it might be time to look for a consultant who fully understands the attitude skills balancing act.


Below is a link to an article that argues for attitude, especially within the smaller company setting. See how important it is to know your company’s “brown shorts questions”.


Below is a link to aForbes article that argues recruiting for skills if your company is seeking innovation.




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