Talent Management

Nov 20, 2023 8 min read

The Power of Attitude: Why Employers Seek the Right Mindset


In today's competitive job market, employers face the challenge of finding the perfect candidate who not only possesses the required skills and qualifications but also fits well within their company culture. While professional and academic qualifications are important, an increasing number of employers are recognizing the significance of hiring individuals with the right attitude. This article explores why employers prioritize attitude over traditional qualifications, the benefits of hiring for attitude, and strategies for identifying candidates with the right mindset.

The Shift from Skills to Attitude
Traditionally, job postings have focused on listing the specific skills and experience required for a position. However, employers have come to realize that skills can be taught and developed over time, while attitude is more inherent and difficult to change. This shift in perspective has led to a greater emphasis on hiring candidates with the right mindset.

The Importance of Attitude
A positive attitude brings numerous benefits to both employees and employers. Individuals with a good attitude are more adaptable, resilient, and open to learning and growth. They have a strong work ethic, take initiative, and are motivated to succeed. Additionally, employees with the right mindset tend to be more collaborative, fostering a positive work environment and contributing to the overall success of the organization.

The Numbers Speak: Attitude Over Experience
Research and surveys have consistently shown that hiring for attitude yields positive results. Studies conducted by LeadershipIQ have revealed that employees with excellent attitudes are more likely to succeed in the long run, regardless of their prior experience. In fact, only 19% of new hires with the right attitude succeed over the long term, while 46% of new hires without the right mindset fail within 18 months.

Furthermore, the same studies indicate that nearly 90% of new hires who don't last lose their jobs due to attitude-related issues such as lack of coachability, poor emotional intelligence, low motivation, or a bad temperament. This highlights the significance of attitude in determining employee success and retention.

The Future of Work: Skills Disruption
As industries evolve and new technologies emerge, the future of work is characterized by skills disruption. According to the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report, companies predict that 44% of workers' skills will be disrupted in the next five years. This rate of disruption has stabilized since the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused significant disruptions to the labour market.

Core Skills in Demand
Analytical thinking and creative thinking are consistently identified as core skills required by workers today. These cognitive skills are crucial for problem-solving, innovation, and adapting to changing work environments. Other self-efficacy skills such as resilience, flexibility, agility, motivation, self-awareness, and curiosity are also highly valued by employers.

While core skills may vary across industries, empathy, active listening, leadership, social influence, and quality control are among the top skills desired by employers. These skills reflect the importance of collaboration, customer service, and attention to detail in the workplace.

Reskilling and Upskilling Strategies
With skills disruption on the horizon, businesses are focusing on reskilling and upskilling their workforce. Training programs that bridge skills gaps are being designed and scaled up to ensure employees are equipped with the necessary skills for the future.

Companies are prioritizing cognitive skills, such as complex problem-solving and creative thinking, as they recognize the increasing importance of these skills in the evolving workplace. Additionally, self-efficacy skills like curiosity, resilience, and motivation are emphasized to foster a culture of lifelong learning and adaptability.

Strategies for Hiring the Right Attitude
Identifying candidates with the right attitude requires a strategic approach to the hiring process. Here are some strategies that can help employers find individuals with the desired mindset:

Define the Ideal Attitude
Before starting the recruitment process, clearly define the attitude and values that align with your company culture. Identify the specific attitudes and behaviours that are crucial for success in the role and within the organization.

Behavioural Interviews
Incorporate behavioural interview questions into the hiring process to assess candidates' attitudes and behaviours in real-life situations. Ask about past experiences, challenges, and how they handled difficult situations to gauge their problem-solving skills, adaptability, and collaboration.

Assess Cultural Fit
Evaluate candidates' compatibility with your company culture by exploring their values, work style, and preferred working environment. Consider conducting group interviews, team-building activities, or cultural fit assessments to gauge their fit within your organization.

Refine Job Descriptions
Craft job descriptions that highlight the desired attitude and mindset rather than solely focusing on skills and qualifications. Clearly communicate the importance of attitude and the company's values to attract candidates who align with your organization's culture.

Utilize Assessments and Tests
Consider using psychometric assessments or personality tests to gain insights into candidates' attitudes, motivations, and working styles. These tools can provide valuable information to assess their compatibility with the role and organization.

Conclusion
In a rapidly changing world, employers recognize that the right attitude is a powerful asset. While skills and qualifications are important, hiring individuals with the right mindset can lead to long-term success, employee retention, and a positive work environment. By prioritizing attitude, employers can build a team of adaptable, motivated, and collaborative individuals who contribute to the overall growth and success of the organization

References:
1-World Economic Forum: The Future of Jobs Report 2023 https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2023.pdf

2- Why New Hires Fail(The Landmark "Hiring For Attitude" Study Updated With New Data)
https://www.leadershipiq.com/blogs/leadershipiq/35354241-why-new-hires-fail-emotional-intelligence-vs-skills

     

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