When it comes time to hire, you know that a candidate’s skills are important. But what about their attitude? In other words, when you’re hiring, do you focus on a candidate’s attitude at all?
As a recruiting agency with 25 years of experience, Peoplelink knows that if you don’t, you could be making a big mistake. Why? Because when you hire a candidate with an attitude that aligns with your culture, then they’re more likely to remain productive, engaged, and happy. And in fact, some of the country’s most successful companies hire for attitude and train for skills.
So how can you follow their lead without having to run every candidate through a series of rigorous – not to mention expensive – personality tests? Here are a few practical tips to help you:
1. Define Important Soft Skills.
What kinds of personality traits are important to be successful at your company? For instance, is being a “people person” a must? Is being highly organized and detail oriented, to the point of a being a bit anal, important? Or is the ability to adapt quickly to an ever-changing workplace critical?
2. Promote Soft Skills in Your Job Postings.
For instance, if being a “people person” is important for success at your company, then promote that fact loud and clear in your job postings. When you do, many candidates who are on the shyer side won’t even bother applying, making the process of screening applicants easier.
3. Read Between the Lines.
You can get a better sense of a candidate’s attitude through their resume, if you know where to look. For instance, using the “people person” example from above, if a candidate is a member of many different associations and has a variety of community involvement activities listed on their resume, then they’re likely more of an extrovert.
4. Ask the Right Questions.
During the interview process, ask questions that force candidates to give specific examples of their behavior. For example, if you need to hire someone with exceptional customer service skills, then ask each candidate about their most frustrating customer experience. The smart candidate will not only tell you about the experience, but also how they effectively diffused the situation.
5. Watch Them When They Think Nobody’s Looking.
Candidates will be on their best behaviors when they’re with you in the interview room…which may not necessarily reflect their true selves. But what about when they’re in the lobby? How did they treat the receptionist? Did they make small talk with other people waiting? These are the kinds of behaviors you or your receptionist can watch for to assess a candidate’s true colors.
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