How you could be accidentally sabotaging your hiring process

28 October 2021 People in Focus

Cowomen Zk Hksse8t Uu Unsplash

Is the right hire for your business who you think it is?

While you could be forgiven for thinking that “hiring for attitude and training for skills” is a passing trend, we’ve seen time and time again that it’s actually an incredibly fruitful way for employers to approach hiring decisions — especially in a talent shortage. 

Allow our Branch Manager, Renee Hooper, to explain…

It’s natural for employers to want to hire skilled workers. After all, it doesn’t make sense to hire an employee that isn’t capable of doing the work.

However, with more and more companies looking to both offshore administrative duties and combine roles, it has become harder for candidates to get a start in the freight forwarding and logistics industries. 

Couple this with the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has left candidates feeling far less inclined to change jobs due to a heightened need for financial security, and you’ll likely find that the pool of candidates showing interest in your job ad isn’t meeting your expectations.

The  benefits of hiring for attitude, not just skill

As a recruiter that specialises in the freight forwarding and logistics industries, I’ve reviewed hundreds of resumes and interviewed just as many candidates. At People In Focus, we’re trained to identify the many transferable skills that can be used across logistics and forwarding.

And on many occasions, I’ve come across an excellent candidate from the opposite side of the fence. These candidates always present with a hunger to learn and I can almost immediately see that  if the employer has the ability to put in some initial training, they’d be a great fit for their company. 

Some of the benefits of hiring this type of candidate,  is that these individuals are determined to both learn and succeed. They’re willing to work hard, do more than what’s asked of them and they can be easily moulded to suit your company’s culture and needs.

And, if a candidate can see you’re taking a chance and investing in them, they’re generally more likely to stay long term (ka-ching!). 

Hiring for attitude can often mean you’ll retain more staff and valuable on-the-job knowledge as employees are able to grow with your business.  

I’ve seen this approach work particularly well when the salary on offer is on the lower end of candidate expectations. For example, I can recall recruiting for an import air operations position and coming across the resume of a candidate with a ground handling background.

After an initial chat with the candidate, I quickly realised he had a lot of transferable skills that will enable him to succeed in this role. He knew what an AWB was, he knew all the relevant details required for system purposes, he knew customs processes, and how to handle bonded cargo from receiving in perspective. The only catch was: he hadn’t worked in an air operations role. 

But he was friendly and personable, so I knew he would make a great team player; and during our chat he came across as switched on, intelligent and logical. He had started from the ground up and worked hard to earn his current role. 

So, I submitted his details to the employer and followed up with a call to explain why I’d done this when he was clearly outside of the brief. It took a little persuading but eventually the employer decided to interview him. 

The candidate was offered the position within an hour of his interview. When we followed up after his first 6 months with the company, both candidate and client couldn’t have been happier. 

How to hire for attitude

The best way to hire for attitude is to trust your recruiter. At People In Focus, our team comes from a freight and logistics background, so we have an excellent understanding of what is really required to succeed in either industry.

We interview hundreds of candidates and can identify, like in the example above, when a particular candidate would be a good fit for a particular team or company, despite sitting outside the initial brief.

When you’re hiring, you have to put faith in your candidate's track record and prior roles, too. But, if you feel like you require more substantial proof, there’s always a variety of aptitude and skills testing that can be done. 

Are you an employer who needs a hand finding their ideal candidate? Our expert recruitment team is just a contact form away.