Long gone are the days when an employer used to evaluate potential candidates for a new job or the workers in the company solely on their aptitudes levels, transferable skills, knowledge and achieved results. Employees’ attitudes and behaviors, while more discreet and hard to see with a free eye, are equally essential to an organization being strong and going in the right direction. Employee attitude assessment is not a new trend, as organizational psychology is a subject that has been interesting psychologists and managers alike for a long time, whereas at the workers’ level, this ever growing interest is easy to see through the training programs companies are willing to invest in and promote among the employees, the team-buildings they are involved in, the regular behavioral and attitudinal testing that take place inside the company, the satisfaction questionnaires employees fill in once in a while, and so on.
Tools for employee attitude assessment
For instance, standardized behavioral assessment tests for employees, such as the American Predictive Index analyzes and interprets a wide range of workers behaviors and attitudes, from their motivational level to their capacity of adjusting to new and unpredicted situations, emotional intelligence, tolerance, reactions to external stimuli and so on.
But assessing the workers’ attitudes and behaviors does not only take place inside a company only to have a better vision on the human resources, develop better training strategies for the employees, invest in thematic team buildings to solve some organizational issues or design a professional development plan for each company member, so that he or she stay motivated and give its best for the greater good of the organization. It also represents a subtle but efficient way of selecting new employees.
A person looking for a job already knows the tips and tricks that recruiters and managers will have in mind when searching for a new employee: the CV must be striking and flawless, the letter of intent should be convincing, the answers for the face-to-face interview should be rehearsed in advance. But given the current global economy, given the employment problems that characterize all companies, managers won’t settle only with capable employees with perfect records of experience and results
In the words of Mark Murphy (the author of Hiring for Attitude,) for a Forbes Magazine interview last year, employee attitude assessment tests are becoming increasingly prominent. Murphy explains that “technical proficiency, once a guarantee of lifetime employment, is a commodity in today’s job market. Attitude is what today’s companies are hiring for. And not just any attitude; companies want attitudes that perfectly match their unique culture. Google and Apple are both great companies, but their cultures are as different as night and day.”
The 10 attitudes employers look for
So given the current employment trends, let’s take a closer look upon what employers need attitude- and behavior-wise from their new employees. According to the specialists, there are at least five key attitudes that employers will look for in a standardized employee attitude assessment scenario:
- Honesty: Tell me about a time when it was necessary to admit to others that you had made a mistake. How did you handle that?
- Humility: Can you describe a past situation at work that led you to grow as a person?
- Perseverance: Can you tell me about a time when you were faced with a major obstacle (work or otherwise) and how you overcame it?
- Initiative: Can you tell me about a time when you came up with a new idea, a new project or implemented a new working strategy to improve results?
- Determination: Drawing on your work experience, can you give me an example of a time when you wanted to give up, and chose not to?
To these, employers will also look for:
- Loyalty: What kept you loyal to your former company and why did you eventually leave?
- Proactive attitude: Give some examples of situations when you came up with new solutions to solve some problems or suggested new courses of actions or changes in order to overcome some company’s obstacles. Were your suggestions taken into consideration, did they work?
- Positive attitude: Give me an example of a past working situation when things looked bad for your company and yet you managed to overcome the problems and achieve your professional goals.
- Trustworthiness: Tell me about a situation when you had the opportunity to cheat without being caught. Did you cheat or not? What determined you to let the occasion slip?
As a new employee on the market, what you should know is that all specialists agree: “attitude is the best predictor of new hire success, above both technical skills and experience”, so the new job seekers will need not only to work better on their professional skills, but also on their behaviors and attitudes towards life, workplace, obtaining results, cooperation, communication and making mistakes.