Hire For Attitude & Train For Skill
A recruiting tactic that’s growing among companies is to hire for attitude, then train for skill. But what exactly does this mean? Is this technique beneficial, and how do you go about implementing it yourself? Learn everything you need to know below.
HRDQ offers a library of online assessments that are designed to gauge employee’s soft skills. Discover if your applicants have the right attitude for the job with the HRDQ Online Assessment Center.
Why Attitude Matters
Attitude is indicative of many features, including a person’s eagerness to learn, ability to effectively communicate, how well they get along with others, and more. Many of these traits are considered soft skills.
Although task-related abilities are certainly important to look for in potential applicants, studies have shown teams that possess the right set of soft skills can improve customer satisfaction, productivity, teamwork, employee retention, and revenue.
By identifying the soft skills most beneficial to your team and seeking them out in potential employees, you’ll foster a strong company culture and put your business on the road to success.
Soft Skills vs Hard Skills
Understanding the difference between hard skills and soft skills is crucial so that you know what to look for while hiring:
- Hard skills are abilities that are measurable and teachable. For example, some hard skills may include mathematics, writing, understanding how to use software like Excel, etc.
- Soft skills are traits that make someone a great employee, such as problem-solving, communication, leadership, and more.
How to Hire for Attitude
To hire employees for the right attitude, take the following steps:
Define What You’re Looking For
As mentioned, soft skills encompass a variety of traits that make up a great employee. Before you can start interviewing candidates, you need to define the traits that would best allow someone to succeed in the open position.
For example, a customer service representative should have great communication skills and the ability to smoothly collaborate with others, while a manager should be a fantastic decision-maker and able to problem-solve efficiently. Make a list of the top three soft skills that would most benefit the job you’re hiring for.
Your top candidates are likely already current employees. They were hired for a reason—most likely because they embodied the traits and skills that best match the company culture. Starting with internal candidates is a great way to find people that possess the traits you’re seeking. Plus, they’ll be easy to train since they’re familiar with the way your business runs.
Target Your Interview Questions
Next, it’s time to develop your interview questions. In addition to asking the interviewee about their job experience, remember that you’re also trying to get to know them as a person. Create questions that ask about ways they’ve handled specific situations in the past. These are often indicative of the soft skills you’re looking for. For example, you might ask someone applying for a purchasing agent position to describe the deal they were most proud of scoring for their company. This would be indicative of their negotiation skills.
Use Soft Skills Assessments
After you’ve narrowed down your top candidates, we recommend that you give them a soft skills training assessment. The online assessments from HRDQ are professionally designed to accurately gauge individual soft skills. You’ll be able to view participant results instantly so you can determine which applicants have the attitude that you’re looking for.
Know Personalities Don’t Change
If an assessment indicates that a candidate does not have what you’re seeking in terms of attitude, it’s important to remember that personalities don’t change. While you’ll be able to help them further develop the traits they already have and train them in hard skills, some abilities like persuasion and innovation are just not part of who they are. Don’t make the mistake of hiring someone thinking that you can re-train their personality.
Training for Skill
You’ve gotten through the hard part of hiring a candidate with the right attitude. From here on out, training for skill should be smooth sailing! This is because you’ve selected an applicant you feel confident can thrive within your team. Plus, most likely, you already have an onboarding system for introducing new employees to the systems they need to learn. If not, we recommend pairing the new hire up with an experienced employee who can show them the ropes.
However, you may not be as familiar with training your employees in soft skills. HRDQ offers a fully customizable training library that allows you to virtually teach the exact soft skills you’re looking to cultivate. Explore our site to find all of the materials you need to create and teach a soft skills training program that will have a lasting impact on your team. For further assistance, view our blog on How to Design an Effective Virtual Training Program for Employees.
Get Started with HRDQ Today
As you can see, if you hire for attitude and train for skill, you and your employees will find great success.
To start the hiring and training process:
- Assess your candidates for the soft skills you’re looking for with HRDQ Online Assessments.
- Then, train your new hire by building a customized program using our Reproducible Training Library (RTL).
- If you need assistance in delivering your training program, our professional trainers are happy to help!