I often advice my clients when hiring new employees, they should look out for attitude over skills. They often ask me this “Isn’t the skill set more important to fit the role I needed in the company?”

Hiring new employee is an inevitable and critical part of being in the business. Many employers struggle with the balance in meeting new candidates that they plan to hire. They really don’t go out there trying to find the perfect employee, because there isn’t one.

My mentor once told me this; if you are looking for a perfect employee, start with being a perfect employer.  Woops. Haha.

It may seem like the most important factor in whether a candidate is a good fit is the right skill set. The truth is, skills can be learned, but it is very difficult to change their personalities.

Let’s look at extremes:

Are you willing to put up with a superstar employee that gets great results, but has absolutely no regard for your policies, culture or respect in your organization?


Are you willing to put up with a low-performer, but has a great attitude and keeps learning, and does and say all the right stuff, and works the hardest…

Yes, it’s a balance we are looking for, but I’m highlighting the extremes so you can see which one you LEAST dislike.

So, tell me, which one is it?

As a good employer, candidates earn the interview by having the right skills for the job we want. That’s the match we have to do, as employers. Make sure there is a match in the scope we are hiring, with his/her skills and the vacancy. Then have the interview. So yes, skills are a must so that the job gets done.

At the interview, we are evaluating their attitude. Seeing if they prepared themselves and researched the company. Did they come on time? Are they friendly to your tea lady? How did they answer your questions? How did they fare on the interview tests?

If they fared well, and they came up a little short in the skills and expertise areas, remember: Skills can be trained. Attitude? Err, try going back 20 years ago. You may or may not be able to undo some of their poor beliefs already in there, which affects their attitude.

Hiring attitude skillI always assess team members from a standpoint of can-do and will-do, and can’t or won’t do attitude. One is about lack of competency, but willing. The other is about lack of co-operation, although capable. Be clear in telling the difference. Learn how to tell the difference and to understand them better.

It is about the priority of what you assess in hiring new employees. Of course, this becomes different in retaining employees, and so many factors come into play.

Remember: Great Business Great Life, because being in business is about having more life.

Maresa Ng Business Growth SpecialistAsia’s Top Business Growth Specialist – Maresa Ng

Maresa Ng is a Passionate Entrepreneur ​who helps business​ owner ​grow their business​ to a stage where it is commercial, profitable, ​and can continue to work without them. Maresa has worked with thousands of business owners and she has been turning around businesses since 2008. She was a corporate and investment banker, but now she is the leading Business Growth Specialist & Business Advisor in South East Asia. She always believes, as entrepreneurs, you can have Great Quality of Life through Great Business!

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