Crafting the Perfect Blend: The Dance Between Skills and Attitude in Hiring

Ever been through the hiring processes where you have ended up in a bit of a dilemma, torn between a candidate who possesses the ideal mix of talent, attitude, and experience?

There is an ongoing debate that occurs daily in team calls, over the phone or in offices between recruiters and hiring managers, revolving around the significance of skills versus attitude. Often striking a balance between the two can be an arduous task, leaving employers to choose between an individual with the right attitude but limited skills and one with an impressive skill set but a questionable attitude.

So, what truly sets skills apart from attitude?

In simple terms, attitude encompasses an individual’s behaviour, that is shaped by their personal values, goals, and motivations. On the other hand, skills are the acquired capabilities that individuals develop throughout their professional journey.

While both are essential attributes, the question arises: does a can-do attitude and limited skills make for a better candidate?

The resounding answer from most recruiters is yes! A positive and eager-to-learn attitude can prove to be an invaluable asset for any company over the long term, especially businesses that are willing to invest time and money in growth opportunities, and upskilling.

Candidates with a positive attitude are more likely to exhibit traits such as resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to collaborate, which can contribute to a healthy and cohesive working environment. We can all vouch that a positive working attitude can be contagious and can do a lot in influencing the morale and productivity of the entire team.

There will be times, however, particularly in scenarios involving short-term projects or contract projects, where timely and cost-effective completion takes precedence. In such situations, the immediate requirement for specific expertise may require hiring individuals solely based on their skill set.

Choosing the right personal requirements for a business is really a challenge, and hiring managers may want to take a step back and critically evaluate what matters most for their company. If time sensitivity or meeting project deadlines is not a primary concern and the company culture holds significant value, then providing an opportunity for candidates with less experience to gain the required skills becomes an attractive proposition. By doing so, employers not only offer a chance for personal growth but also cultivate a loyal and appreciative workforce, which can have benefits for the business long term.