top of page


Attitude is Everything


Why skills are not the most important thing when recruiting and attracting talent, you hope to retain

When you set out to hire a new employee for your company, you probably have a good idea of what sort of candidate you are looking for. The ideal candidate will have experience in the field, skills that fit the job, and up to date knowledge.


For many managers, finding and hiring talented and skilled people is the most important part. Still, there’s also one more factor everyone responsible for hiring should consider "Attitude".

At the moment, millennials and the generations following them are one of the most highly educated groups in the world, so there is a lot of talent to choose from.  However, talent is not enough.  For a good fit within your company culture and a successful long-term hire, studying the applicants’ attitude will be more important than where they graduated from.


In the past, just finding the right talent with the required skills was a job in and of itself. Now there is an abundance of highly educated and qualified people to choose from, and it’s possible, even needed for anyone involved in hiring practices – to be more selective throughout the hiring process. When you’re trying to decide who to employ from a large pool of talented applicants, take a serious look at the attitude of each individual. For a good fit within your company culture and a successful long-term hire, studying the applicants' approach will be more important than anything else.


The importance of the right attitude in potential employees

So, what should you look for in attitude? Think for a moment of yourself. If you would rather work with a naturally positive person over someone more aloof, you’re not alone. Studies show that a positive team offered more to a company than a more average team.  Potential employees are beginning to understand how important attitude is to the workplace as well. 


A positive attitude isn’t something someone can get a degree in. Still, it is something you absolutely need to look for when hiring an employee. This is because a positive attitude very often brings with it positive qualities, such as a collaborative spirit, open-mindedness, flexible approach, and a proactive attitude towards taking responsibility and problem-solving. Those and any additional traits that are specific to your company's culture are more and more important in today's workplace.


Positive Employee's attitude is more and more important in today's workplace

Top tips for identifying a positive attitude during the hiring process, as it is not very many people put 'positive attitude' on their resume.  In fact, the notion of positive attitude may even be misunderstood or trivialised. But a truly positive attitude is priceless for the future of your workforce and your entire company. To figure out whether someone has a great attitude to go with the skills required for their position, you may have to take a closer look at the person.  How they act over the phone, by Email as well as when they come through the door.

  • Observation

When a potential candidate is speaking with you, they're going to be on their best behaviour. However, it is crucial to get a deeper understanding. So, can you find out how do they act when they think no one is looking? By watching the candidate before and after the interview. Pay attention to details.

  • Ask them about their worst failure
    During the interview, ask your candidate what their worst failure was, and listen … less to the facts of their answers and more for attitude traits in their response. For example, are they placing the blame on someone else? Are they justifying and giving excuses?; Are they holding grudges and bitterness?; or are they taking responsibility for what happened? And have they learned from their failure? Watch their body language too: do they look away, are they fidgeting in their chair, and nervously twisting their fingers?


  • Test for the attitude you need behind the skills, first hand
    For example, if you are looking to hire top performers that are required not to take "no" for an answer once on the job, then ask the applicant about it is not nearly as revealing as getting them to demonstrate, indirectly of course. Test that very skill yourself. For example, try challenging the person during the interview, say something like: “Convince me you are right for this position" … and observe. Do they fight for the position? Do they sit forward and show you why they are the best? Do they demand an explanation?; do they do it gracefully?; or does it turn ugly? In summary, what attitude do they take when answering the question.


Attitude is one of the main skills of the future. In fact, it is the one that underlies and drives all other skills. It is an attitude that can hinder or accelerate any other skill. Many companies nowadays hire based on attitude alone and then train the skills they need into the employees they hire.


So, as a Manager, if you are having difficulty choosing which candidate is right for your company, choose the one with the best attitude. Skills are easy to polish up and cheaper than having to search repeatedly for new employees over the long term. Qualifications and skills are important, but attitude is everything.

(An Extract from an online article: KKA Architects, January 31, 2020)

Laz and Bubs have the right attitude!

bottom of page