Hire for Attitude, Train for Skills


To be a successful business or human resources leader, you need to learn the basics of thanking your employees for doing a good job and recognizing them for their job well done. You can thank them in whatever way is financially feasible – from a thank you pin, a sticker, an hour off early to enjoy the sunshine, to a cash bonus. Why? It’s just the right thing to do and smart business.

We all hear the refrain – Hire for Attitude, Train for Skills. I don’t believe there ever was a war for talent. I believe bad companies can’t find the talent they need because of their reputation and how they treat their employees. In today’s world of social media, your reputation is out there whether you want it to be or not. As the economy recovers, many companies will be in a position to find this out for themselves. Bad companies don’t know how to develop and motivate their employees which leads to high turnover.

Know your profile first – know what you want to hire. Once you know what you are looking for then the pool of candidates changes in your mind. I believe most people can be trained to do what you need them to do – only if they have the right attitude upon hire. You hire for attitude and train for skills. Once you know the profile you know how to identify the personality. It’s three steps – hire the right people, train them later, and instill a culture of recognition. Your retention rate will drop tremendously. I once heard a great quote from Arte Nathan – “You can’t teach employees to smile – they have to smile before you hire them.”

Employees don’t quit their companies – they quit their managers. Managers have to be trained to believe that they need to be the source of information and assistance for their employees. Managers need to instill the belief that the first stop for employees with issues is them – the managers and not human resources. You’ll solve most of the problems directly, open dialogue, and set up a culture of respect. If you take chances, hire the right people, recognize your people and learn how to strategically develop and maintain that talent then you will be on your way to business success.

About Debaawy
Mohamed AL Debaawy is a Kuwait-based Egyptian national, with a wide exposure to Arabic and Non-Arabic cultures. He speaks Arabic and English – fluently. Result oriented with an influential approach to Learning & Development function. Have a clear contribution into HR & Service Line strategic plans by linking its strategic goals and objectives with the overall HR & Business Strategy which develop a competent and talented workforce; available at all times to feed into the existing operational and growing needs of the business.

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