Which Is More Important…The Right Attitude or the Right Skills?

You’re down to two candidates you really like. One has just the right skills for the job and the other lacks the skills but has a great attitude?

Which one should you hire?

Well, ideally, you want a nice blend of skills and attitude, but if you really are down to these two choices, I’d recommend hiring the person with the great attitude.

Why?

You can always train and apprentice people to have the skills needed to get the job done, but you can’t “train” attitude.

Obviously, if your job opening is a computer programmer requiring a highly technical skill set, then those skills need to be present on Day One.

But let’s say you need someone to handle the front desk. Many companies hire the wrong person for this position. The front desk or receptionist needs to be the friendliest person in town. Even the slightest bad attitude on this position can cut right at your bottom line. I’ll address this position in greater depth in a future Hiring Tip, as it really is a key position in every company.

Many of us have worked with an employee who had a bad attitude and who poisoned the workplace, to the point of even sending customers away. And we held onto this person because they were “really qualified” for the position.

And we often find out AFTER we let the bad apple go how much damage was being done.

Lesson learned: You can’t put a bad apple in a basket with perfectly good apples and expect the good apples to remain “untouched.”

All in all, you want that combination of great attitude and great skills, but if the skills can be fairly quickly acquired, then always go for the great attitude.



 

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