One Bad Apple Spoils The Bunch

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Mark Murphy in his interview with Dan Schawbel, contributing writing for Forbes, said that “When our research tracked 20,000 new hires, 46% of them failed within 18 months.  But even more surprising than the failure rate, was that when new hires failed, 89% of the time was for attitudinal reasons and only 11% of the time for a lack of skill.    The attitudinal deficits that doomed these failed hires included a lack of coachability, low levels of emotional intelligence, motivation and temperament.”  The reality is people make or break your organization.  Jim Collins reminds us that “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”

Employees who effortlessly provide superior customer experiences are usually people with a natural inclination to serve others.  They are individuals with the right attitude and strong people skills who know how to feel the heart of others.  They have great relationship building skills and understand how to make others feel appreciated.   They communicate well; they listen and pay attention to others.  They are inquisitive in nature and ask the right questions.  They are intuitive.  They motivate others and offer hope and inspiration in difficult circumstances.   They don’t just focus on the problem, they find solutions and they adapt well to changing environments.  They lift your organization and help to achieve organizational goals.  The right fit will effortlessly make your organization look good.

The right fit will need to have “skills” and “wills” not just skills.  Personally, I prefer to hire the person with the right attitude and the will to learn over someone who is skilled but lack the right attitude. Screen test your applicants and use multiple selection methods.  Don’t be desperate to fill the role and make the costly mistake of employing someone who may be able to get the work done but who will be the spoiled apple among the good apples.  We all know what happens when one bad apple gets into the batch.

I close with the words of Renee West, “You can have the best strategy and the best building in the world, but if you don’t have the hearts and minds of the people who work with you, none of it comes to life.

For more on hiring for attitudes versus skills, check out the article entitled Hire for Attitude by Dan Schawbel.  It can be found at http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2012/01/23/89-of-new-hires-fail-because-of-their-attitude/#774a39106742.

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