Right fit means both
Every HR Manager wants to make sure that each recruitment is a success. You want quality at the gate, you want to make sure that the people joining the company have the right attitude and cultural fit.
“Hire for attitude and train for skill.” Herb Kelleher, the founder of Southwest Airlines, told us that way back in 1978. The idea is appealing.
But at a practical level, you might find it difficult to carry out. Chances are you are recruiting primarily for skills rather than attitude. It means that you look out for the skills, and if a candidate has them, then you will check out the attitude.
Job advertisements are the best proof for the tendency to focus on skills. Technical knowledge and skills are the first and second items in the list of requirements.
The first shortlist prepared after reviewing the applications confirms this. You have shortlisted the best candidates based on technical skills. The interview tools bear this fact. Most of the questions test technical skills.
Challenges with Hiring for Attitude
We can agree that the maxim of ‘Hire for Attitude and Train for Skills’ works for entry-level positions. It is tricky to apply it for recruiting senior managers.
When you are recruiting Senior Manager, you are not looking to train them. You need trained managers. So, you are looking for a candidate with the right skills and attitude who can get on with the tasks.
We know that it takes time and money to train someone.
Moreover, as Harvard Business Review shows, studies suggest that the best leaders know a lot about the domain in which they are leading. Part of what makes them successful in a management role is technical competence.
Search Harder, Find Candidates who have both!
So, the tendency to focus on skills is understandable. It does not but justify a lesser focus on attitude. The best approach is to find.
But the search for managers with the right skills and attitude is harder. At Future Options, we specialize in that. That is the reason we consider cultural fit and attitude. Besides, our competency-based interviews, we use modern psychometric testing to assess the right fit.