Growth through Talent

Hire for Attitude Train for Skill

 14th Oct 2014

Hire for Attitude Train for Skill


For me this is one of the most important phrases in recruitment.

The reason it is so important is because no matter how skilful somebody is at their job, if they do not have the right attitude then they will cause you problems.

However if someone has the right attitude, then with the right training they will be a great asset to your business.

It is for these reasons that I like to discuss “Hire for Attitude Train for Skill” with my clients. If it is a phrase that resonates with them, then I know they will be interested to hear the values and motivations of my candidates. The clients are also likely to be receptive to seeing candidates with transferable skills and from potentially different backgrounds to the job description.

The most successful people I have worked with are the ones who want to learn from others, who are first to put their name down for training and who will stay the extra hour to complete a task before they go home.

The most successful businesses that I have worked with are the ones who provide extensive and ongoing training at all levels, allowing individuals with the right attitude to prosper and to keep on developing.


Hiring someone for any business, no matter what size, is an extremely important decision.


Some steps to make sure the person you are hiring has the right attitude include:

- Take out references, ask previous managers their thoughts on how they performed.

- Question their reasons for leaving roles, always ask “why else?” after their first answer.

- Ask about recent training sessions they have been on and what they have achieved because of them.

Some other questions to ask the candidate:

  • Tell me about the last time you wanted to give up and chose not to.

  • Tell me about the last time that you were asked to do something beyond your capabilities. How did you react and what was the outcome?

In summary, you will be spending a lot of time with the people you hire, make sure they have the same enthusiasm and passion for the role and the business as you do. 

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