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Skills vs. Attitude: Which is More Important to Hire for?

August 14th, 2018

When it comes to the hiring process, you know you need to evaluate for both skills and attitude. But is one more important than the other? If, for instance, you have two strong candidates – one with a better attitude and potential and the other with a stronger skill set – which should you choose?

It can definitely be tough to tell and with so much on the line, you don’t want to make a mistake. Murray Resources, leading Houston headhunters, has the answers you need. Here are some tips to help you during the decision-making process:

Consider the job.

For some jobs, it makes sense to focus more on attitude; for others, technical skills are of prime importance. That’s why you should first and foremost consider the job you’re hiring for.

If, for instance, you need a highly analytical accountant, then the best attitude in the world won’t matter much if their mathematical skills aren’t up to par. That’s not to say you’d hire someone with a poor attitude; it just might not take center stage during the hiring process.

If, however, you need a customer service representative who can handle problem situations with tact and empathy, then attitude is going to outweigh technical skills that can be taught.

Consider your company and its culture.

You might get resumes from candidates with tons of experience and plenty of enthusiasm. However, once on the job, you could find out they’re a complete dud. What gives? After all, they seemed to have both the right technical skills and a good attitude.

As Houston headhunters, we know it often comes down to poor fit. For example, if your culture is fast-paced and collaborative, and your new hire is more the laid back, lone wolf type, then they’re not going to thrive, even with the right skills and a positive attitude. So cultural fit is critically important to assess, as well, beyond skills and attitude.

Consider the candidate.

When you’re trying to decide between a candidate with a better attitude and one with more skill consider the strengths and weaknesses of each. Does one candidate seem more focused on learning and skill development than another? Is there a clear winner when it comes to communication skills? How do they work best and which is a better fit for your particular company and culture? In the end, your goal is to ensure whomever you do hire will be with you for the long-term.

Need help hiring candidates with the right skills and a great attitude?

Call in the the experienced Houston headhunters at Murray Resources. For over 30 years, we’ve been providing world-class recruiting services to leading companies in and around Houston. Contact us today to learn more or get started with our firm.

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