“Recruit for attitude and train for skill” The first time I read that was in Good To Great (by Jim Collins) and I’ve read it many times since then. Many businesses though are still recruiting for skill (or technical competence) and hoping that the right attitude will follow. Technical competence indicates that the candidate should be able to do the job. Their attitude, on the other hand, indicates how well they will do the job. Recruiting for technical competence without having regard for the culture that prevails in your organisation is likely to put you into a position where the behaviours of your new employees are also the source of new problems.
When you next have a vacancy, take time to think about the job that you need to fill and the culture within your business. If teamwork, problem-solving and customer service are important, make sure that you ask some questions about these aspects to determine the candidates’ attitudes towards these issues. Attitude is the toolbox that the candidate brings with them to the job that will determine their ability to be successful regardless of the situation or circumstances. Also ask questions about the technical requirements of the job but bear in mind that any skills gaps you find here can be filled through formal or informal training.
Recruiting the right person for right job, for the right reason, for the right money and at the right time, has a direct positive influence on the profitability of your business. It is as strategically important as any other critical strategy in your business.
The cost of recruiting the wrong person is significant. Have you ever calculated how much it costs you to replace a person who leaves your business after one year? Most estimates pin that figure at around three to five times their annual salary. These costs are the directly measurable costs of recruiting and training, as well as the non-measurable costs of how many customers were made unhappy and decided to take their business elsewhere and the people in your business were negatively influenced by this person.
With unemployment on the rise, coupled with the scarcity of talent, it is becoming more and more difficult to sort through a mountain of applications to find candidates whose attitude compliments the culture of your business. Don’t lose sight of the strategic importance of a rigorous recruitment process, you simply can’t afford the cost of recruiting the wrong person.
If you need help in designing a recruitment strategy that will attract the right people, give us a call