Why Attitude Matters As Much (Or More) Than Skills!

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Author David Towler
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If you aren't testing your applicants, you're running the risk of hiring problems instead.

This week, a young woman was fired from a Mansfield Texas pizza restaurant before she even started her first day on the job.

She was foolish enough to post a photo of herself with a message to Twitter saying:

“Ew I start this f*** a** job tomorrow!”

The tweet was forwarded to her (soon-to-be-ex) boss by one of the other employees. His response was swift. He tweeted back:

“And...no you don't start that FA job today! I just fired you! Good luck with your no money, no job life!”

Unfortunately for Cella the story was picked up by news outlets around the world and went viral. People from as far away as Dubai, Poland, Spain and Brazil had seen the tweet and her picture. Several schools even used it as material in their media courses.

Her former employer’s words might turn out to be prophetic. Cella is now famous far beyond the borders of Texas. Many future employers now know who she is.

Cella may remain unemployed for some time to come – but she probably won’t. Someone else will probably hire her and they’ll probably live to regret it too. Cella has a lousy attitude and it shows. Unfortunately, she’s not unique. The internet is filled with angry stories about lousy customer service, delivered by employees like her.

Finding and hiring the best employees has always been an uphill battle for employers, and it hasn’t gotten any easier.

Cella’s former employer could have avoided wasting his time with her if he’d used any one of 100’s of pre-employment screening tools that are available. Who cares if an applicant can do math, run a register or serve customers if they’re only there for the paycheck and do it all with a surly tone or a ‘who cares’ attitude? Although tests can measure the basics like customer service, math ability, sales skills and honesty they can also help to assess hidden things like personality.

Tests like the Ethical Type Indicator, Applicant Potential Inventory, Counterproductive Behaviour Index, Employee Reliability Inventory and Workplace Personality Inventory can give employers insights into an applicant’s true attitudes before they’re hired.

Due to chronic under-employment, an entire generation of young workers have had the opportunity to practice their interview skills repeatedly but they haven’t had much opportunity to learn or practice any work ethics – Cella is a perfect example. They’re often able to pass themselves off quite well in interview situations and present the kind of image that they know that employers are looking for.

Many provide self-serving letters of reference that they themselves wrote and which were rubber-stamped by their former employer. They’re often worth less than the paper that they’re written on. Reference checks can be equally unenlightening due to employers’ reluctance to share negative information that might result in legal action. Employers are often left to use their own best judgment (which sometimes isn’t that good).

Using pre-screening tests can help separate the wheat from the chaff and help employers avoid someone else’s rejects. Employers who choose to rely on only resumes and gut-instincts leave themselves vulnerable to the Cella’s of the world, and all the problems that bad employees like Cella bring with them to the workplace.

Sometimes, not hiring the wrong person is even more important than hiring the right one!



David Towler is President of Creative Organizational Design, a firm offering 35 years of expertise specializing in employee assessments and which has over 2000 different product titles available. For more information, please contact us at info@creativeorgdesign.com or 519-745-0142.

Re-printable with permission.