grumpy“Hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.”  Simon Sinek

Ever wonder why Zappos and Southwest hire their customer service superstars for attitude? The main reason is that they recognize that the attitudinal features of a candidate are as fixed as his shoe size. They’re not going to hire a misfit expecting to invest resources in ” …trying to fix him.”

So, when you’re considering candidates, if  you need someone who wears a 9 1/2, and you can see that this guy is otherwise great, but he wears  11’s. Move on to the next candidate.  Don’t make the mistake of expecting to make it all work by adapting him into your 9 1/2’s. If you do, you’ve set both him and yourself up for disappointment. By the end of his first day, he’ll have sore feet, be miserable and may not even be in the next day.

You see the analogy with his attitude, right? If you need a positive upbeat person and your candidate is an anal, serious minded, sort of guy who needs the job, he may make an effort to convince you that he can accommodate to your needs, but by the end of the day, he’ll be exhausted, miserable and may call in sick the next day.
So, before you offer a candidate the job, assure that his natural attitude and shoe size fit your expectations for the best person for the position. Remember, training will not change his inborn attitude or his shoe size, it’s how he’s built.

And yes,  you could  also flip this illustration around and make the mistake of hiring charming, “Ms. Bubbly” for your inspectors job, a position that requires an attitude of skepticism, accuracy and precision. You’d again discover that even though folks love her, for this job, she’s a misfit and you won’t change  her.

Hire for attitude. Train for skills.

“…managers will always struggle to change …prevailing attitudes.” Marcus Buckingham