Hire for Attitude, Train for Skills


There are many factors that can make a person an appreciated employee and great at their job. According to the latest trends in human resources (see Hiring for Attitude by Mark Murphy), it is the attitude that matters the most. The key to performing well at a job seems to have shifted lately from technical skills and experience to something completely different. Employers have lately embraced a new trend when it comes to hiring, the belief that the most important thing that can make an employee succeed is his/her attitude.

According to this latest research, the most common traits making an employee a great addition to the team, a well-performing colleague or a potential new hire are:

  • Coachability: start by identifying what you can improve yourself, and accept feedback from colleagues, managers and clients
  • Emotional intelligence – being able to understand our own emotions and reactions and those of our colleagues (empathy)
  • Motivation – our ability to constantly grow as a professional, learn new things and do a great job
  • Temperament – having the right personality and attitude for the job

These are all non-technical reasons that can make or break success in a position in a modern company. Technical skills are very important, but the constant changes in the software industry, as trends develop very fast, mean that something new has to be learnt constantly, which gives us back soft skills: willingness and an approach that can be continuously adjusted. So, what makes THE ATTITUDE?

It starts with seeing the bigger picture. What are the values and the culture of the company you work in? Being a top performer means more than merely doing your part in day to day tasks. This demonstrates your interest, proactiveness and involvement.

Since we established that experience and technical skills are not enough for someone to be a great employee, it is a continuous job to educate ourselves towards the right attitude, even in bad days. Avoiding negativisms and concentrating for a solution shows respect and a positive attitude, along with the fact that you can be a reliable team member and teamwork is one of the values that most companies hold dear.

Honesty is also part of an attitude that can make anyone a great member of the team. If we cannot recognize our own mistakes, our evolution becomes questionable. So, prove your integrity and you will see the benefits for yourself.

Last, but not least, put passion in what you do. As Steve Jobs says “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Successful companies will mostly look for people that manifest a positive attitude, respect, honesty, proactivity and involvement.
The medium and the team that we work in are very important for all of us. Best fit, is granted only by our willingness and continuously adjust of our attitude, along with great technical skills.
And yes, this could be the key for our personal and professional success.

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