If You’re Hiring Based on Skills, You’re Hiring Wrong — Here’s Why

There’s an internet meme going around that makes a profound point, “Hire based on attitude, not skills — because you can always teach skills.” And, it backs up some very interesting statistics. For instance, did you know that 85% of a company’s success is due to the team’s attitude, and only 15% is due to individual skills? That’s why when businesses are looking to hire new employees, they should focus on finding individuals with the right attitude, not just those who have the perfect skill set. So, let’s expound a bit as to why.

Attitude vs. Skill

When it comes to hiring new employees, many businesses focus on finding candidates with the appropriate skills for the job. However, in order to create a successful and productive team, it’s important to also consider attitude. A positive attitude is essential for maintaining a positive work environment and achieving company goals.
Is it better to have someone in a team lead role who has a strong work ethic and is all-around positive and can learn the skills or is it better to hire someone based on skills only? What is most important — the skill set or the attitude and growth potential? It depends on the job. There are some jobs where it might make sense to hire for attitude and teach the work itself when it won’t require a major investment of time to do so. There are other jobs where experience and a pre-existing skill set are essential. —Inc.com
Therefore, businesses should focus on hiring people who have the right attitude, even if they may not have all the necessary skills. With the right attitude in place, employees can be taught the required skills over time. This makes sense, especially when looking at first-time job seekers in entry-level positions. Those individuals often have little to no skills at all. Those are taught through direct instruction and experience.

The Advantages of Hiring Based on Attitude Rather than Skills

There is no question that skills are a critical component of any employee’s toolkit. However, research has shown that an individual’s attitude is a stronger predictor of success than their skills. In order to capitalize on this, businesses should consider hiring based on attitude rather than skills due to the following reasons:
  • Longevity. Hiring based on attitude will help you find candidates who are motivated and passionate about their work. These are the employees who will go above and beyond for your company. They will be more engaged in their work, and they will be less likely to leave their positions.
  • Synergy. Hiring based on attitude will help you find candidates who are a good fit for your company culture. This is extremely important, as it can save you time and money in the long run. If a candidate is not a good fit for your company culture, they will likely be unhappy and unproductive in their position.
  • Flexibility. Hiring based on attitude will help you find candidates who are able to adapt to change. When a company hires based on skillset, they may hire someone who has very specific knowledge and experience in their field. But this person might not be able to adapt when things change in the future.
What other benefits are gained by hiring based on attitude instead of on skillset? Please take a moment to comment and share your thoughts and experiences so others can benefit from your perspective! Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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