6 Reasons Why You Should Hire for Attitude and Not Skill


Personality outweighs skill when it comes to hiring employees, and hiring a bad apple can wreck the dynamics in your office. When many of us started out in the working world, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, there were a few factors stacked against us. Job descriptions had unrealistic expectations when it came to experience and maybe the level of education wasn’t exactly right.

Hiring the right people is important in any organisation, but when it comes to a small business, it’s critical. Here are some practical and effective ways to avoid such a sticky situation when recruiting:

1. A is for Attitude

Skills are important, but the real driver for great results is attitude. When hiring someone you should probe and test their attitude to work, life and daily challenges. A great deal can be done when you work with someone that has a ‘can-do attitude’ – even if they lack skills. Someone with good skills who is lazy, obstructive and sits back waiting for things to happen for them can ruin the company culture you have created with other employees.

2. Think about your company culture

When an experienced recruiter is looking to place someone in a corporate, they know that they must take into consideration the candidate’s temperament and working style. In an SME this is even more important. Look for someone who will fit into the workforce and culture with ease. For example, if you have a fun, joke-filled office someone who is uptight and serious will not fit.

3. One interview is never enough

 The interviewing stage of hiring someone can be seen as ‘match-making’. It gives you time to get a feel for the person – rather find out what you need to in the ‘dating’ phase than waiting for when you are ‘married’. For this reason, multiple interviews by more than one staff member is a good idea. Scroll down to the infographic about the top interview questions to ask to gauge soft skills.

4. It isn’t all about the job description

When you hire someone, you might need them at some point to do something outside of their job description. For an employee with a good attitude this will never be an issue. They are happy and willing to work outside of job “boundaries” and forge ahead without a promise of reward or compensation for extra work.

5. Desired skills are constantly changing

We live in an ever-changing technological world as we point out in our book overview of The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly – this also impacts the skills employees have because they too need to constantly evolve to keep up.

The requirements for a job could easily change as time goes by and if you have invested in someone that has the right attitude towards their work and a positive energy they will adapt with the job and grow within the business.

6. A marketable employee is a valuable asset

Being a marketable employee can mean a variety of things – internally and externally. Within a business, it means that an employee is well liked by co-workers as they have integrity and leadership skills. Externally, it means that an employee represents the brand well and is able to be sent out to meet clients. Exceptional employees are in control of their egos, emotions and steer clear of office politics.

The success of a small business is directly proportional to the quality and cohesion of your staff. So take the time to focus some attention to this important area. It will pay off in the long-run.

6 interview questions to gauge these key soft skills:

Interview Questions


  1. World Economic Forum
  2. LinkedIn article