The Secret to Successfully Hiring for Attitude

(Editor’s Note: This is the next in a series of guest blog posts about contract staffing, courtesy of Top Echelon Contracting, the recruiter’s back-office solution.  Similar posts will appear in future issues of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.)

Debbie FledderjohannDo your clients know how to hire for attitude?

According to Mark Murphy, author of Hiring for Attitude, employers’ inability to successfully assess candidates’ attitudes during the hiring process is the reason why so many fail so quickly.

In a recent Forbes interview, Murphy said that of the 200,000 new hires his research company recently tracked, 46% failed within the first 18 months.  Attitudinal reasons, such as lack of coachability, low levels of emotional intelligence, motivation, and temperament, accounted for 89% of those bad hires.

Attitude is harder to assess than skills because candidates can easily be tested for skills.  But if a candidate doesn’t possess all the necessary skills, they may be able to gain them through training.  However, training can’t change a candidate’s attitude.

So how can employers find candidates with the right attitudes?  Murphy recommends asking better interview questions and getting referrals from their star employees.  But the only way to truly know if a candidate’s attitude meshes with the company culture is to see them in action.

Your clients can do that by initially bringing workers in on a contract-to-direct basis.  That way, they can assess a candidate’s attitude for a certain amount of time before making the risky, and often costly, direct-hire commitment.

There are some things that the traditional job interview just cannot tell an employer.  By allowing your clients to try-before-they-buy, you can help them reduce their bad hires and become their valued partner as a result.


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