How to Win in Business – Hire Attitude, Not ‘Skills’

I despise the over-rated formal document known as a CV, or a resume as they call it in the US. The procedure of having to note down skills, what your are good at, what your hobbies are, what you can bring to the business blah blah blah.

However, there seems to be a lop-sided focus on one’s skills. A typical CV/resume will list several skills such as:

Multitasking (The anti-productivity trait)
Confidence (In what context?)
Leadership qualities (What kind of leadership?)
Very Driven to Succeed (At what expense?)

These skills mean absolutely nothing in the context of your business. When this person, who has listed impressive skills, is put into your business (because you think you may be on to a winner), it will not be their skills that define their effectiveness in the company. It will be their internal drive. It will be their passion. It will be their energy.

This is a message to all employers, business leaders, managers or even if you are considering starting your own business: Hire attitude, not skills.

If you find someone with a good attitude, i.e. A willingness to learn, An energy about life, A passion, A belief in your business, An interesting character – you cannot not go far wrong. Even if this person has no skills, they can be learned in your business. Moreover, these employees will learn ALOT faster than employees you may have hired purely because of their skill level. If it doenst work out, this person is far les likely to stitch you up either by walking out, or by doing lazy work.

If you hire on the basis of skill over attitude. You are treading a fine line that is sure to snap. For example, say you are head of a computer management company and you hire a member of staff (lets call him Dave) because he has extremely good coding skills. You don’t pay much attention to his attitude, as he knows what you need him to know. 1 year down the line, a new computer language has taken over, and it is your responsibility as a leader, to make sure your staff learn it and they do so fast. Otherwise your company will be left behind. Now, you turn to Dave, your top coder, and insist that he learn this new language. However, he has other ideas. He does not believe that this new language is important. Maybe he thinks that he does not need to learn it because he is so good. Maybe he is a slow learner because his attitude stinks. Whatever it is, if he hasn’t got a good attitude, he may not comply. Now, if you’ve hired your whole team purely based on their skill level, you are in deep trouble, and as a leader face a task that is now 2x as hard as before. So, if you are a leader, manager or business owner, make your job a lot easier and create a winning team by hiring the right people. The right people have the right attitude.

This simple tactic can be applied to all professions, from hairdressing, to the restaurant industry. From writers to teachers. From coders to cofounders.

Hiring an attitude is far far superior to looking at a CV and dissecting a candidates skills. I say to you, ditch the CV, or at least de-emphasize its importance. Instead, focus on a conversation with potential employees, talk to them about their passions, their interests, what they like to do with their spare time. Get to know them as people. They are going to be working for you or with you, so this little investment from your behalf will do miracles for the morale of your team, the efficiency, and ultimately, your progress as a business.

Focusing on the person instead of their CV also benefits the candidate themselves. Maybe they see that if fact this job is not for them. Once you build a slight rapport with them, they are much more likely to tell you of their doubts, and this input alone is absolute gold.

So I’ll say it again for it is so important. If you want to have a winning business,

Hire attitude, not skills

For more reading on how to create an amzing business, check out my other articles:

How to Start a Business – Be Your Own First Customer
How to Win in Business – Put equal emphasis on profit AND people
How to Win in Business – Learn from the best…
‘Dont Run After The Train’

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