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Hire for attitude, train for skills

People don't change much. Especially their attitudes. In spite of this, we take on challenges. We believe we can "love them" right out of being selfish, or egotistical, or sexist, or communist, or whatever. But it rarely works.

Fortunately however, people with the right attitude or personality can be taught just about any set of restaurant skills. That's why I am a firm believer in the "Hire For Attitude, Train For Skills" philosophy. Southwest Airlines is well known for this. Here's their philosophy: "We'll train you on whatever it is you have to do, but the one thing Southwest cannot change in people is inherent attitude."

Think about it...
Remember that server who was attentive to customers, knew the menu, and was an extremely hard worker... but was painfully shy? Probably the wrong temperament for that particular position. More likely, you have a long list of employees who could do their job adequately, but lacked the fire, the enthusiasm, the behavioral characteristics and the right attitude that typifies your company. No doubt these are former employees.

You have two choices:
Hire the next reasonably qualified person who walks through the door, or be proactive and hire only those qualified employees who are a fit with the personality and values of your organization. When you have people with the right attitude, training for skills is much easier.

Skilled employees with the right attitude = success
What should you look for in a job candidate? While there will be some overlap, each position in your operation will have some unique personality characteristics. For example, you'd want your servers to be extroverted, enthusiastic and energetic. Line cooks should be detail-oriented, team workers, and able to follow complicated procedures exactly. And management candidates should have most of these skills and be natural leaders, responsible, and highly organized.

There's a great tool called Predictive Index that identifies these types of personality characteristics and describes how an individual may fit into a particular workplace position. Predictive Index also helps you build the right personality profile for a position in your operation -- server, line cook, manager, etc. This is called a PRO. Job candidates can take a quick, easy and non-threatening survey that compares them to your PRO. You will be able to see whether an applicant's workplace personality traits are right for the job.

If you're looking to reduce turnover and labor costs, and build a strong team that works together successfully, take a closer look at Predictive Index. For additional information, contact PerformancePI, a provider of Predictive Index.

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