Thu 22 Jan 2009
Hiring for Attitude
Many business books will give this advice: "Hire for attitude, and you can always train someone for the job."
This is sound advice as a good attitude is an attribute that cannot be taught, yet it is as valuable as any other skill.
A good attitude can be contagious among your employees. The same is also true for a bad attitude.
It is very difficult to manage someone with a bad attitude and trying to do so will take more of your time and energy than you will want to give.
Go with your Gut
A small business owner in Maine was conducting interviews for a new office manager.
One applicant had an impeccable resume and loads of experience. During the interview, however, she came off a little condescending.
The business owner didn't want to have to spend a lot of time training someone, so she went for the applicant with the experience - and the bad attitude.
"I sort of had to ignore her attitude in order to make the decision to hire her," said the business owner. "It turned out to be a mistake."
The employee talked down to everyone in the office and acted as if she was doing everyone a favor just by showing up.
Counseling did not correct the situation, and after about a year the office manager was let go.
"I should have listened to my gut," said the business owner.
Back at Square One
The business owner was back at square one, taking out ads and spending time conducting interviews. Had she hired someone with less experience, but a great attitude, it would have meant a bit more time training her in the beginning, but it would have paid off in the end.
Remember - when hiring employees, attitude really is important.