The Day I Declared the Old Adage “Hire for Attitude” – Officially Dead!

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On 6th November 2014, I declared the old adage “Hire for Attitude but not aptitude” OFFICIALLY DEAD!

I told a packed room of senior leadership and HR professionals that this old adage was no longer valid!

And not a single person in the room objected to what I said.


I spoke on the topic of Acquiring the Right Talent, while my other business partners shared their experiences on Retaining and Energising Your Workforce at the Marketing Institute of Singapore (MIS). Attendees of the event included senior management and HR professionals from MNCs such as IBM & KPMG to local SMEs.

I highlighted why it was important for organisations today to shift their mindsets from looking for the best talents to hiring The RIGHT People™, based on the CAAP® High Performance Model.

I did not mince my words when I said that the old adage “Hire for attitude but not aptitude” is no longer valid.


The reason is because for organisations to survive in today’s highly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world today, we need people who are able to adapt, adjust, and who are flexible in our organisations.

It is no longer sufficient just to hire those with good attitudes. We need people who possess BOTH great Attitude AND Aptitude.

Incidentally, Korn Ferry (a leading senior executive search firm) did a study and found that “companies that have highly agile executives and leadership have 25% higher profit margins”. Korn Ferry defines “highly agile” as the ability to learn, adapt and apply what they have learnt to their daily operations.

The other point I made that really caught everyone’s attention was when I talked about giving due consideration to the types of personalities you are hiring.

Here are the two pictures I flashed on the screen that day which got everyone laughing:

clean desk

Messy desk

Which of the above pictures can you relate to?

Do you prefer an organised work desk or is your work station less organised – just like the one in the second picture?

Whichever your preference may be, it is an indication of your personality type and how you prefer to make decisions and organise your life — both at home and at work.

Suffice to say that if you put two people of completely opposite personalities together in a team, working towards tight deadlines, sparks will almost certainly fly.

The event ended with a great Q&A session which saw many attendees asking really great questions.


Here’s some feedback from our participants:

    “I have indeed found the session presented to be immensely useful and enriching.” ~ Project Manager

    “It was a great presentation and the session was definitely informative and useful, I would try to put them into right use.” ~ Sales Manager


Will we be doing events like this again in the near future?

You bet!

So for those who have missed the event, fret not!

The next event will be on 16th January 2015.

The next hiring cycle is just round the corner. Come and find out what you need to do to get the right people for your organisation and to stay ahead of your competition!

To register for this event, click here.

See you there!

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December 27, 2014

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