Why Numeric Recruits for Attitude

little boy laughing with open book on park bench

Why Numeric Recruits for Attitude

It’s no secret that the global economy today is undergoing substantial changes in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

While businesses in the U.S. are faced with the “Great Resignation”, it was recently reported that here in Ireland, “the overall employment outlook is the strongest in Europe”. The recruitment group, ManPower, even projects that 42% of Irish firms will be looking to hire in the 3rd quarter of 2022. 

That’s a lot of candidates to assess, interview, and onboard. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the hiring process, perhaps it’s time to take a different hiring approach.

Recruit for Attitude


What do successful companies like Southwest, ING, and Google all have in common? They all recruit for attitude and then train their employees with the skills needed to be successful. 

While this concept isn’t brand new, it is often overlooked. 

The process for making a new hire hasn’t changed much and the tools hiring managers use to evaluate candidates are outdated. While you may understand the skill level of a prospective hire, understanding their attitude through this system may be difficult. 

Rakesh Sharma said it best in his article, Hire For Attitude, Train for Skills:

“Skills tell what a person can do but attitude determines what a person can and will do with those skills. Skills can be acquired but attitude is inherent. Most importantly attitude is needed to acquire any skill”.

Essentially, it is important for hiring managers to understand that the attitude of a new hire is going to impact every aspect of the organization from productivity to workplace culture and, even, the reputation of the firm. 

But if you hire people for who they are and how they feel and think, building your business can be just a bit easier.

So, given all these benefits, how can firms recruit for attitude? As you might imagine, it can be tricky. 

A good place to start is by closely listening to candidates during an interview. Don’t simply focus on the skills and experience they are discussing. Listen to how they speak and the language they use. 

Keep in mind that before interviewing any candidate, you and your hiring team should discuss what qualities, aside from skill, are important to the firm and its people. Think about the attitudes of your top-performing team members. Think back to recruiting those candidates – what did the hiring team do successfully to search for those attitudes in new employees?

Although it can be difficult to truly get to know a candidate when they are on their best interview behavior, it is still important to look out for any signs of a poor attitude before offering a candidate the job. 

Besides defining the values and attitudes that are important to a team, some firms take their recruiting one step further. 

Companies, such as Southwest and ING, oftentimes look for candidates outside their respective industries.

Arkadi Kuhlmann, Founder and CEO of ING Direct USA, explained this strategy

“If you want to renew and re-energize an industry, don’t hire people from that industry. You’ve got to untrain them and then retrain them. I’d rather hire a jazz musician, a dancer, or a captain in the Israeli army. They can learn about banking. It’s much harder for bankers to unlearn their bad habits.” 

In other words, hiring someone without the right skills is not nearly as detrimental to a workplace as hiring someone with all the right skills, but the wrong attitude. 

If you and your hiring team find that you are having trouble recruiting for attitude, another great place to start is by checking in with your current employees. Frequently, companies are finding their best people through employee referrals and networking.

Working at Numeric



At Numeric, we are proud to recruit accounting professionals not only for their financial acumen but also for their attitude. Our team prides itself on our passion for purpose and for offering flexible work arrangements. 

Get to know our team today! Learn more about our incredible team and the values we share.


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