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Why Candidate Attitudes Should be Valued Over Job Skills

February 22nd, 2012

May 5th

Surprisingly, the attitude a candidate has is very often more valuable than the actual technical skills he or she may have. It used to be that those with skills and training were almost a guarantee to get a job. Things are changing, though. Things have changed because of the recession and because of just how global the economy has become. Now, many people possess the same technical skills and employers are expecting the best attitudes from those they bring in.

How to Hire with Attitude in Mind

For those approaching candidates for today’s employers, it is critical to factor in the qualities of an individual from a whole new prospective. How does one hire for attitude not just technical skills on paper? In order to hire a candidate based on his or her attitude, job recruiters need to change their interviewing skills around to center more on gathering this information.

No longer is it necessary to ask questions such as, “what are your strengths.” Rather, you should be asking more pointed, deliberate questions that help to bring out people’s views. These interview steps, such as “tell me about you” no longer deliver enough information. In addition, people have no problem delivering a canned response they have learned to perfect.

Tailoring Questions to Analyze the Problem Bringer or the Problem Solver

When hiring a candidate, one of the things you want to learn is if the person is going to be a problem solver or a problem bringer. In short, it is easy to know who you want on your team but it is not so easy to ask the right questions to get these answers. Here is why.

When you ask an attitude related question, you’ll need to string it together properly to get to the meat of what you are asking and to draw out attitude. For example, the simple question, “Let’s discuss a time when you adapted to a difficult problem.” The problem here is the word adapt. It lets the candidate know you want to learn what they did to overcome the problem, but that does not provide you with enough attitude information.

The Problem Solver

If a problem solver is the people you are interviewing, chances are good he will have many examples to provide in which he can show you how he adapted to the situation. However, if you used the word “faced” instead, not only will you learn about the solution to the problem but also what the problem was and how they reacted to it initially. That is the attitude portion.

The Problem Bringer

For the problem bringer, asking about adaption is a deal breaker. Most problem bringers do not have stories of adaption. They may have canned responses to provide, though. Rather, they may be willing to tell you all about the problems they have had without providing a solution. This is a good indication that these individuals may not be the best for the job.

Hiring for attitude is a critical step in protecting your long-term success. However, it is important to draw out that attitude through the right interview questions. For help with hiring your new staff members, be sure to get in touch with Concorde Personnel today.

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