Skills or attitude – which do you want?

Posted by : Cara Armstrong on June 11, 2018 9:12 pm

What makes a good employee? For many organisations, the answer to this question used to be ‘someone who can do the job’. A bonus was if that someone could do the job well.

Today, however, it’s a slightly different story. No longer is a particular skillset enough. Instead, organisations are looking for employees to fit their company culture. So why has the need to fit an organisation’s internal environment become just as important, if not more, than an employee’s skills and experience?

The value of an organisation

Work/life balance – it’s a term that has been bandied around for the last decade, but organisations are now taking it seriously. Why? Because they have to. An over-saturated job market has made it increasingly difficult for organisations to find employees. Jobs are a dime a dozen and many jobs are similar in style and nature.

So, what’s the differentiating factor?

A company’s culture.

Take for example, an employee who is choosing between two jobs. Chances are the jobs are very similar. They will most likely be doing the same job, or close to it, but either in a different organisation or a different industry. So, if the daily job is going to be the same, and the salary is comparable, what’s going to make them choose one job over another?

The environment they will be working in each day.

Creating your company culture

It makes sense, therefore, to focus on creating an internal culture that will appeal to like-minded people. After all, attitudes can very rarely be altered but skills can certainly be taught.

Dale Carnegie touched on this more than 50 years ago in his book, How to win friends and influence people. He talked about the 85/15 ratio. The smaller percentage relates to one’s technical ability to do the job, or in Carnegie’s terms, financial success. The greater number relates to personality and the ability to lead people.

Such a disparity can only be expected to become more apparent as greater development in technology eliminates the required skillset of certain jobs. Technology may be able to replace human skill but it won’t be able to replace human attitude, or the value a positive attitude can bring to a workplace.

Finding the balance

So how can businesses and organisations work with recruitment agencies to ensure successful candidates have the right balance between skill and attitude?

Such success starts with the working relationship between the business and the agency. Recruitment agencies who provide an employment service will likely focus on the skills of potential hires; in turn, recruitment agencies who operate in partnership with their clients will be more focused on finding potential hires that fit the culture of the organisation.

5 top tips for finding the right candidate

Your ideal candidate will no doubt have the right mix of skills and attitude for the job and your company culture. So how do you find them?

  • Invite your recruitment agency to visit your business and give them an insight into how you operate. Give them the chance to gain a real understanding of what drives your organisation and the underpinning values.
  • Clearly state the importance of a potential employee having the right attitude and fit to culture in your job advert and position description. Provide information about your organisation so applicants are informed from the start about your approach.
  • Work in partnership with your recruitment agency to refine the position description and the search for candidates if those coming through sit in the ‘almost, but not quite’ basket.
  • Portray your company culture on all marketing and promotional activity, including your website, social media channels, advertising and events. This will help to give applicants a feel for your business and to know from the outset if your organisation is a place they would like to work.
  • Work with your recruitment agency to prepare some questions they can ask applicants during the screening process, which will give you insight into their work attitude and personal values, not just their skillset and experience.

The most successful placements come from partnerships between recruitment agencies and clients.
Look to establish a working relationship with your recruitment agency, rather than viewing them as a service provider. The value they can provide you as a partner is so much more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *