The Importance of Hiring Employees with the Right Attitude

The Importance of Hiring Employees with the Right Attitude

The right attitude is one of the most important things to look for when hiring a new employee. Without it, the employee is on a path to failure and you don’t want to start off that way.

The right attitude is important in all employees and here is why.

Attitude vs. Skill

The phrase “hire for attitude, train for skill” simply isn’t true. You need to hire for both.

“When our research tracked 20,000 new hires, 46% of them failed within 18 months. But even more surprising than the failure rate, was that when new hires failed, 89% of the time it was for attitudinal reasons and only 11% of the time for a lack of skill.” – Forbes

Technical skills aren’t less important than attitude, they’re just easier to assess. Nearly every job has an easy way to test relevant skills. A lot of interview questions focus on aptitude, so you need to make sure you’re also asking questions about how they overcome challenges and how they deal with failure. Make sure their answers are very specific—a good attitude is easy to fake.


Employees with the right attitude are going to be a lot easier to coach than those without. Yes, you need to hire for skill, but even with all the right skills, new hires are still going to need to be open to improve and learn.

“About 26% of new hires fail because they’re unable to accept feedback and constructive criticism. This doesn’t just include interactions with superiors, but also co-workers and clients.” – Zimmer Communications

Employees need to have the right skills to adapt to a new workplace and learn from the people around them. To really excel at the job, they need to be open to feedback from all levels of the company. That’s why having the right attitude is vital.


The right attitude doesn’t just include how the new hire feels about the work, it includes how they feel about the people they work with.

“Focus on cultural compatibility. Get them to touch on workflow processes, attitudes toward delegating, heck, even things like lunch preferences.” – COO Alliance

Everyone doesn’t have to be best friends, but you want them to get along. Teamwork is vital in the workplace—it can fall apart when one person doesn’t have the compatibility with the rest of the team because they lack the right attitude.

Attitudes are Contagious

A great attitude is infectious—but so is a bad one.

“Negative people are less likely to care about the quality of their work. Also, a bad attitude can spread quickly and affect the rest of the team.” – COO Alliance

Just one person with a bad attitude can quickly spread doubt and impact performance. If you spend time searching for the right attitude when hiring, you can avoid consequences like that later on.

Overcoming Obstacles

Everyone is always eventually going to have challenges at work. You need employees that have the right attitude to face them and overcome them.

“We’re always going to face challenges, difficult times, and it’s in these moments that things like determination, tenacity and resilience come to the fore. Having the right skills but lacking the will to use them isn’t going to help us overcome the challenges and achieve success.” – Entrepreneur

The right employee will want to be challenged. With the right attitude, an obstacle can be seen as an opportunity to learn. You want employees that see that.

The right attitude is just as vital as the right skills. It is crucial that you understand the importance of attitude and its impact on your new and current employees.

If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!

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