Are you brimming with new ideas and top skills, and ready for a new role?  

You’ve been in the industry, and you’re already great at what you do. But there’s one more thing you need to have in the contemporary job market – a superb attitude.  

Find out more about how your personality, character, and adaptability in new environments and demands are a much more vital component in landing your dream job.  

Hiring For Attitude and How It Works

Your resume is key, but it’s just the beginning! Once you’re shortlisted and make it to the interview, hiring managers will assess other crucial factors about you.  

  • Are you coachable? 
  • Do you fit well into the culture?  
  • Do your values align with the company’s? 
  • Will you prosper within the organization? 

Depending on how well you communicate and express yourself, your interviewers will evaluate whether you’re suitable for the role. So, remember to showcase yourself – it’s your chance to make a great impression! Let your attitude shine and ensure that you’re not just perfect for the role but also right for the job.  

Attitude In Demand

Employers need to assess what kind of output a candidate will bring in for the company once employed. However, interviews only offer a glimpse of a candidate’s overall character, so it’s essential to demonstrate the right attitude right from the beginning.  

Employers also look for secure and balanced behavior among candidates. In addition to these attributes, employers also value these the most: 

  • Openness and communication 
  • Discipline and integrity 
  • Problem-solving and solutions-oriented mindset 
  • Self-awareness and humility 
  • Confidence and accountability 
  • Adaptability and resilience 

While it varies per organization and depends heavily on their core values, work culture, and practices, having these attitudes can significantly improve your application. Aside from that, it will also vary for each role. For example, a salesperson has to be persuasive and self-assured, while a technical support agent needs to be a good problem solver. 

So, hiring for attitude doesn’t always mean hiring someone based on their personality. It also refers to the requirements of the organization and the role.  

Debunking the Myth: Hiring for Attitude is Not New

Although skill and experience have been the cornerstones throughout hiring history, a focus on the behavioral traits of candidates has also held a key spot for trend-setting organizations. Hiring for attitude is at least a two-and-half-decade-old concept. It was first coined by Mark Murphy and has been a core element of the hiring practices of business leaders.¹ 

Hiring for attitude is a crucial aspect of a business. In fact, based on Leadership IQ’s study, 89% of candidates fail for not having the right soft skills, while only 11% fail due to technical competence and skills.² 

The Job Seeker’s Advantage

While technical skills remain crucial, they are relatively more straightforward to assess than attitudes. Employers increasingly realize that a candidate’s willingness to learn, innovate, accept feedback, collaborate, and adapt is paramount. 

For job seekers navigating this evolving landscape, attitude presents a distinct advantage. By showcasing your personality, character, and authenticity, you differentiate yourself in a competitive job market. You may have a chance at selection even if another candidate is better skilled and experienced. 

Employers prefer the combination of coachability, and a functional skill set over an excellent skillset of a candidate who demonstrates little or no compatibility with the company’s culture and objectives. However, it may vary for organizations with no time or capacity to develop their employees’ skills, which is why it’s important to be prepared, and develop both your field expertise and personal development.  

Tips for Job Seekers

Strategies such as effective networking, adding value to others, and cultural alignment empower job seekers to align themselves with organizations that prioritize attitude and character. 

1. Rethink Your Application 

Tailor your resume and cover letter to emphasize elements that exhibit your compatibility with the company and underscore your alignment with their vision and mission. Showcase problem-solving abilities, creative solutions, or contributions to reducing internal conflicts within teams or projects.  

Whenever possible, quantify your achievements to offer concrete evidence of your contributions. Additionally, if you are qualified, tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific job. This approach not only enhances the clarity of your application but also highlights your suitability for the role in a compelling manner, making you stand out from the other applicants. 

2. Networking 

Job seekers should be mindful of the “Underground Job Market” that exists in informal places beyond job boards and portals. To tap into the hidden opportunities, you should engage and cultivate connections in  

  • Professional platforms 
  • Networking events 
  • Alumni networks 
  • Industry events and conferences 
  • Industry forums and communities 

You can find various websites and connect with like-minded people, such as LinkedIn or Quora – even Reddit can provide valuable networks and opportunities. This allows you to expand your network and opens more possibilities should the need arise. Think of this as a reminder that a successful candidate goes beyond traditional methods, leverages professional relationships, and uses soft skills to leave a mark on potential colleagues. 

3. Cultural Alignment 

It’s vital to research anything related to the company’s culture. You can look at their website and see how they position themselves. Also, you can visit their social media accounts to see how active they are and what activities they are involved in. Furthermore, you can visit websites offering company reviews like Glassdoor to learn more about their employees’ perspectives.  

Once you understand that, assess the values and attitudes they may seek. If the company’s core values are centered around sustainability, they may be looking for individuals who understand and embody skills such as social awareness, individual responsibility, and self-sufficiency.  

You should demonstrate exceptional awareness of the social and corporate issues surrounding the business, express your take on them, and exude confidence while showing humility and kindness. Combining these traits will add to your charisma and enhance your application.  

4. The Overlooked Skill: Adaptability 

In today’s rapidly changing economic landscape, adaptability is paramount. As new technologies and methodologies emerge, industries evolve with it, driving individuals to adjust and learn new skills. Candidates must showcase their abilities to learn new systems, adapt to changing circumstances, and remain resilient in the growing demands of their field. 

If you want to stand out, highlight your ability to innovate and offer a solution-centric approach to work challenges during various stages of the recruitment process. This can be a great addition to your cover letter or even during interviews. If you can, share how you facilitated long-term success in your previous work amidst organizational transformations.  

By showcasing an open and resilient mindset, you position yourself as an invaluable asset that can bring value to the company and its culture.  

5. Stay True to Who You Are 

Embrace the power of a genuine, growth-oriented attitude, and let it be the deciding factor in the hiring decisions. 

However, there is one caveat: do not fake it. An effective hiring manager will pick up the inconsistencies, and your reputation might crumble either in the later stages of the recruitment process or once you start the role. 

Stay true to yourself, identify what parts of your personality will work for the company, and then highlight those during the interview. 

GET ACCESS TO ROLES WHERE YOUR ATTITUDE IS WELCOME

Being hired because you’re a cultural fit for an organization makes the recipe for long-term engagements. Join our network here at ACS Professional Staffing to find roles that perfectly match your personality and skill set.  

Contact us now and learn how we can help! 

References 

  1. Murphy, Mark. “Hiring for attitude.” LeadershipIQ, www.leadershipiq.com/book-hiring-for-attitude. 2011. 
  1. “Why New Hires Fail (Emotional Intelligence Vs. Skills.” LeadershipIQ, 2 Feb 2017, www.leadershipiq.com/why-new-hires-fail-emotional-intelligence-vs-skills.