Candidates’ attitude more important than skills, execs say

If you interviewed two job candidates – one with the right technical skills for the job, and another with the ideal personality for your company and department – which would you choose?

Most top-level managers would pick the later, according to a recent survey.

Around 96% of employers would hire an applicant with an incomplete skill set but the right attitude over someone with perfect skills who lacked the ideal mindset, according to a survey of 1,000 business owners by British recruiting firm Reed.

In addition, two-thirds said if they had to downsize, they’d rather dismiss the folks without the right attitudes first.

What do business owners mean by the “right attitude?” Survey respondents ranked the six most important qualities as commitment, honesty, trustworthiness, adaptability, accountability and loyalty.

The thinking goes that you can train people to help them develop their skills, but attitude tends to be more set in stone. That may be especially true for IT, where folks must constant learn new skills, anyway.