Hiring Wisdom: In Case You Don’t Know It, Attitude Is Everything

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Most managers hire for skillset and hope for mindset. Therefore, only 9 percent of all new hires fail because they cannot do the job.

However, it also means that 91 percent do fail either because they won’t do the job the way it needs to be done, or, they don’t fit the employer’s culture or play well with others.

The remedy is to focus your selection process on these two factors:

  1. Start by making a list of the key attributes you are looking for. You will find that most of the items on your list fall into the area of attitudes, not skills. For example: Reliable, dependable, honest, positive, and, most importantly, a proven history of taking responsibility.
  2. If I could hire for just one thing, I would look for people who are responsible. The ones who take responsibility for getting to work on time every day, handling problems, and always doing a great job. The list could go on and on and on.

The beauty of this hiring focus is that you only need ask just one question to determine if the applicant takes responsibility: “What were your responsibilities when you started your present (or last) job and what are your responsibilities now (or when you left)?

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Hire people who take responsibility.

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.


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