6 Reasons to Hire on Attitude Not Skill

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It was Zig Ziglar who said, “It is your attitude, more than your aptitude, that will determine your altitude.”   

Many people at the time saw this as just another catchy phrase used by a motivational speaker, but is it much more than that?  

His basic premise was that, to be successful in business (and indeed, in life) the ability to gain a skill is not as critical as having the right mindset, or attitude  so approaching any task with determination, tenacity and lots of enthusiasm will enable you to reach your ultimate goal (the altitude).  

There’s evidence to back this theory up. Dr Martin Seligman, in his book, Learned Optimism found that attitude is a considerably more significant predictor of success than IQ, grade average or almost any other factor investigated.  

So maybe you should be looking at an individual’s attitude more than their current skillset when hiring for a job role? 

Let’s look at some of the advantages that hiring for attitude brings to the finance workplace.  


1. Positivity 

Take a quick look around the office at your colleagues. What is their general outlook on life and work? Are they positive or negative? Whose energy is more appealing and engaging? 

Spending time with people who are positive rubs off on you. It makes you too feel energised and fired up to tackle whatever task comes to hand. Conversely, working with negative individuals tends to sap your own enthusiasm and motivation. 

Engaged and inspired, or negative and weary: which is going to have a better outcome on drive and productivity for your finance team? 


2. Communication 

Individuals with a positive attitude tend to be better communicators.  

Ability to interpret and react to occurrences positively means that those with the right attitude are more able to communicate successfully with others than those who have merely gone through the motions of being assertive when communicating to a team. 

Imagine, for example, that Bill, your Head of Finance, is a confident and assertive public speaker who is self-assured in his communications with his team. He is unhappy with one of the accountants, Bob, whose accuracy has recently slipped.  

Now, Bill is quite happy to tell Bob that his performance isn’t up to scratch, but because Bill hasn’t given any thought to the reasons behind this (does Bob have problems outside of the workplace?) he doesn’t give Bob the opportunity to explain himself 

One unhappy employee; one unaware manager.  

If Bill had a more aware, empathetic mindset, he might have taken the time to put himself in Bobs shoes; to see if there was an underlying problem that would explain the recent poor performance, and he could have supported Bob to help him improve.  

Having a positive outlook and more self-awareness might also have allowed Bill to engage active listening and understanding, rather than just ‘hearing’. 

Individuals who may have all the right skills but are lacking in the right mindset don’t have the empathy to engage with others, which can result in teams falling apart. Its therefore crucial when you are hiring for your finance team to consider if a person shows emotional intelligence. Which leads us on to… 


3. Emotional Intelligence 

This is one of the big bonuses that those with a positive attitude tend to have in spades.  

Emotional intelligence (EI) was ranked sixth in the World Economic Forum’s list of the top 10 skills that employees will need to possess to thrive in the workplace of the future. 

Self-awareaccountable for their own work and attitude, employees with good EI can see things from their teams perspective, empathy to be a successful leader, and the courage and self-knowledge to deal with unexpected or stressful situations 

All these traits help form great emotional intelligence and make an individual with a great attitude the ideal hire to build success for your finance business. 


4. Less Likely to Suffer Burnout 

Those with a positive attitude are also generally able to deal well with adversity as they have a higher tolerance for stress. 

When things don’t go their way – for example, you lose an important client or experience cashflow difficulties within your finance company, they are able to accept the situation, learn from mistakes made and move on.  

Consequently, they are less likely to suffer from anxiety and stress, which can lead to burnout if not addressed. Their positive outlook keeps them buoyant in difficult times and has the added benefit of helping the team through the difficult patches that every business faces occasionally. 


5. More Engaged 

When employees have a positive attitude, they are also more engaged.  

Engaged employees feel invested in your business, and they are more likely to work harder to achieve individual, and company, goals 

Converselyemployees with a negative outlook can be dangerous for your team. A study found that disengaged employees have a $550 billion impact on the economy.  


6. More Likely to Achieve Success 

Seeing negative incidents as a learning curve, remaining positive in their work, communicating well and having the ability to show empathy all enable an individual with the right attitude to achieve success in their working (and private) lives.  

Having the ability to manage your thoughts and focus on your self-awareness will enable your new hires to be more efficient and productive, motivated to do well in your business and to see your team excel.  

Like attracts like, and believing in the power of positivity will enable the authentic individual to thrive in their career, whether they have great academic ability or not.  

Remember, attitude is self-chosen, and savvy finance managers will look for individuals who display a positive attitude as well as the aptitude to help them create a successful finance team. 





Contact Rebus Financial Recruitment or call us on 01282 930930 and let’s have a conversation to explore your options. With our help, you can achieve great things. 


About Rebus Financial Recruitment 


Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from a wide variety of organisations including SME’s to large PLCs. 


We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs; and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930. 

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