According to a recent CareerBuilder study, 60 percent of recruiter time was being wasted on non-value-added activities, the majority of recruiters weren’t measuring ROI, and candidate tracking was often only 25 percent accurate due to ATS limitations. Executives were expecting HR to perform miracles through social media — and it wasn’t happening. (Source: CareerBuilder’s Talent Network)

I am so inspired by a brilliant HBR article Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill, that I had to take it further and add my thoughts on similar lines.

I completely agree with this hiring ‘attitude’ and is definitely true -that’s exactly where the recruiters of the future should focus their efforts.

The best combination for a perfect employee would be of course – someone with the ‘right’ attitude and matching skills for any position, but if one had to lean on a percentage, I would go for 70 percent attitude and 30 percent skills. As Ian rightly mention in a comment below s “If the individual is only missing skills, then I would agree that attitude is more important. However, individuals must have a certain level of knowledge to be successful in the position.” Thanks – true and practical.



What does attitude mean?

Attitude is: manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, esp. of the mind

Usually we talk about a positive or a negative attitude: this guy has a positive attitude towards work, this person is showing a negative attitude toward learning this new system and so on.

Though seems like a small word but has a world of meaning to it and says almost everything about your personality and thereby the behavioral interviews are on the rise where you are asked questions like:

  • Give me an example of how you had resolved a conflict?
  • How do you take failure, describe a situation when a failure had let you down?
  • Describe a situation where you had to take a decision which was following the company policies but you did not agree to them?
Answers to the questions above showcase your attitude.


Train on Job

Training is not that difficult if you have people who know how to train effectively and engagingly resulting in a positive learning experience. This may not be true for a completely ‘unskilled’ person but that scenario is somewhat unlikely that you’d pick up a handyman for your demanding tech position just because he had a positive attitude. But for a person who ranks high on fitting right with your culture but doesn’t have all those skills you require for that particular job, can be trained.

Overall it is mightily difficult to change anyone’s attitude and work ethics. You can’t change an employee’s attitude if he/she shows no motivation to learn, however consider an example of an an employee not up-to-the-mark on skills but who exhibits a great drive and enthusiasm to make the best of his life can be taught – and taught well.

Recruiters, hiring manager – keep that in mind when hiring your next superstar employee – hire him/her for his/her attitude and then when you spend the money on training it is so much worth it!


Move Beyond Resumes

And that take me to another thought train- should we now begin to see the beginning of the end of the resumes? I think we need to move on to something more substantial than the required two pages where you must add your skills and experience – shove them to the job boards and to the email attachments and hope for a call.

We certainly need to move beyond the recruiter’s scanner where your “almighty” keywords influence the first stage clearance! How can one hire for attitude when such is the current attitude in the hiring cycle?

However there are some stories in this Harvard Business Review article where the recruiters have either “untrained” and retrained or hiring ‘untraditionally’ that has worked for some organizations. It is after all developing and following some intense recruiting policies in your HR system that enforces innovation in hiring and let the attitudes lead the way.


Leverage Employee Referral Programs

Could employee referral programs be a solution to hiring good talent? I think somewhat if not entirely. There must be proper guidelines and procedures for the employee referral programs. Referring randomly or only to get the referral bounty must be screened at every step.

In an article in TechCrunch , the lucrative offer tends to accelerate the process toward referral hiring! How this for a cool incentive: Companies will pay you at least $10,000 if you refer a friend who they wind up hiring!

Time to get set on to some heavy purposeful networking!


How Recruiters can find the Right Candidate for the Job

Here are some brilliant insights from participants of #TChat (Talent chat on Twitter) on how recruiters can find the right candidate for the job:

Recruiters/employers that understand the company culture should be able to find suitable candidates with searches available. @Michael_Lytle

Culture is king. Current employees tell it how it is. empower them & let them help in retention & recruiting. @KevinEkmark

We should know how to screen candidates for the clients needs…Farmer and Computer programmer analogy. @thedanieljsmith

The chasm between expectations (recruiter) and knowledge of expectations (candidate) is wider than we can imagine. @YouTernMark


Some Innovative Examples

Some valuable insights from a WSJ article titled: No More Résumés:

A résumé doesn’t provide much depth about a candidate, says Christina Cacioppo, an associate at Union Square Ventures who blogs about the hiring process on the company’s website and was herself hired after she compiled a profile comprising her personal blog, Twitter feed, LinkedIn profile, and links to social-media sites Delicious and Dopplr, which showed places where she had traveled.

IGN Entertainment Inc., a gaming and media firm, launched a program dubbed Code Foo, in which it taught programming skills to passionate gamers with little experience, paying participants while they learned. Instead of asking for résumés, the firm posted a series of challenges on its website aimed at gauging candidates’ thought processes.


CareerBuilder’s Talent Network might be the right step in this direction of helping employers find the most suitable employees – their best asset they can’t afford to overlook! It is high time we made recruiting more efficient and it is time to move beyond the ATS.


Any other thoughts? Please share in comments here.