You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.  – Simon Sinek

As a hiring manager, take these words of wisdom by Simon Sinek to heart. Every few years, the specific job skills that are in vogue keeps evolving. What is constant is the core competencies – attitude being one of them – that remain the foundation of who we are.

Simon Sinek - Hire for attitudeToday, in corporations the emphasis is matching the skills to a “T” and finding the elusive perfect candidate.  What recruiters and hiring managers to forget is the “hot in-demand” skill may become a part of a software platform or something new will come along to replace the skill of the quarter.  So, what happens then when the skill that was the focus becomes obsolete? If the person you hired just for a specific skill does not have the attitude and aptitude for learning the next thing, you are stuck.

Sometimes, this penchant of recruiters and hiring managers for perfection and expectations of exactitude go beyond reason.

Hire for Attitude:

On the other hand, let’s imagine if you hired a person for their competencies – ability to listen, lead a team, aptitude for learning new things, et al.  These competencies are timeless and are the foundation of learning and growth.

Can a developer who has in the past been through 6 different programming languages learn one more? Can a successful project manager who knows how to coordinate, corral, and close a project not to learn another methodology?  Of course, every few years we all find a specific functional skill that is heralded as the next best thing since sliced bread. And after a few years, something else comes along.

A question to ask ourselves is who will make a successful employee? Given so many skills are moving targets what are the essential characteristics that will stand the test of time?

So, please remember that focusing on foundational attributes and core competencies is the critical success in successful recruiting.

The words are worth repeating: Hire for attitude, skills can be taught. 

Related Items:

Please read Simon Sinek’s Top Quotes.

Please review other Wisdom Stories.

Books by Simon Sinek:


5 1 vote
Article Rating