Hiring for attitude

Although technical skills and expert knowledge are important when hiring new employees, attitude can play a vital part in which candidate you choose to hire.

For quite some time we have observed a trend that is certainly not new but is becoming an increasingly essential part of the candidate selection process. It is becoming progressively more important to know who the candidates are and not just what they know. In today’s working world where the value of current knowledge can soon be out of date, new employees are hired according to the company’s corporate culture and team fit. We observe on a regular basis that the candidates at interview stage who are enthusiastic about the role and the company are favoured over others who may be a better match to the professional requirements.

The justification for such a choice is obvious; firstly, personal characteristics are difficult to train whereas one can acquire specialist knowledge more easily; secondly, it is mainly attitude and intrinsic motivation that differentiate high performers from average performers. Accordingly, after having hired a candidate, employers either get an average or outstanding result; a crucial difference when it comes to the competitiveness and success of a company.

Considering that each organisation has a unique culture, the definition of the "right attitude" greatly varies; there is no general statement about what the “right” attitude is. Hence, a comprehensive selection process is required to assess the match between the cultural identity of an organisation and the respective candidate. As consultants we are constantly faced with the challenge of quickly understanding the often unclearly defined culture of our clients and walking a tightrope between professional and personal suitability.

Have you calculated the weighting between technical and personal suitability? How do you design your selection process and which factors are particularly important for you?

We look forward to discussing your experiences with you.