Top 10 Attitudes Employers Should Look For

Dear, Anita,

I’m currently looking for a key staff member. I have several résumés that are pretty equal as far as skill sets are concerned. How do I decide among a handful of qualified candidates?

Dear, Analysis Paralysis,

More and more employers are realizing that you should “hire for attitude, then train for skill.” The maxim is credited to Herb Kelleher, former CEO of Southwest Airlines. When Kelleher became chairman in 1978, he placed humor at the top of his hiring criteria, and more than 30 years later, you can see that prized attitude in this Southwest steward:

According to my friends at the Power Training Institute, here are the 10 attitudes employers should look for in a star performer:

1. Find a learner who consistently wants to improve and grow.

2. Hire a listener who will talk only after they’ve listened first.

3. Employ a solver who does not just see problems, but finds solutions.

4. Discover an appreciator who will thank and encourage others.

5. Find a communicator who will speak effectively, not just someone who likes to talk.

6. Appoint a thinker who always searches for better, more efficient ways to do things.

7. Hire a planner who can set and meet deadlines.

Team Player

8. Select a motivator who has enthusiasm that will influence others.

9. Employ a team player who can work well with others.

10. Find an acceptor who takes responsibility for their own results.

Nordstrom’s is another company that hires for character. “We can hire nice people and teach them to sell,” Bruce Nordstrom says, “but we can’t hire salespeople and teach them to be nice.” While you should not throw out the skill requirements when hiring for every position (brain surgery comes to mind), you can hire better employees when you take their mental outlook into account.

Managers: Would you rather have a more skilled employee or one with a can-do attitude?

Need some job advice? Anita Clew is happy to help. Click here to Ask Anita.

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Disclaimer

Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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