Staffing Resources


Should Enthusiasm be a Key Factor in Hiring Decisions?

December 23rd, 2013

Have you ever encountered a candidate who was super-enthusiastic about the idea of working for your company, but did not quite meet all the requirements for the job you were hiring for? This happens often in the hiring process and it can be a real challenge. On the one hand, the candidate has an amazing attitude that your team could use, but on the other hand you may have to spend extra time training this candidate. How can you walk away from someone like this when your heart literally goes out to them?

The truth is, recruitment is about taking chances. When a great candidate presents him or herself, most seasoned hiring managers will know this in their “gut”. Sometimes, it’s less a matter of if the candidate is fully qualified and more a matter of deciding if the person is worth investing a little extra time in, or not. Therefore, candidate enthusiasm can speak volumes at times and it should be a key factor when making hiring decisions.

What are the pros and cons of hiring a candidate who shows enthusiasm for the job and company?

There are several benefits and some disadvantages of deciding to hire a candidate who shows enthusiasm but may lack some credentials. Let’s take a look at a few.

Pros of Hiring for Attitude

The candidate who has a great attitude and powerful energy brings a lot to the workplace in terms of raising employee morale, boosting performance and creating a positive corporate culture. All of these aspects are something your company needs, and your business can afford to spend a little extra time working with a new hire like this.

  • Restores a positive work environment and gives teams an attitude adjustment.

  • Gives existing employees a chance to get back on track with their own view of work.

  • Enthusiasm is infectious, even giving clients something positive to look forward to.

Cons of Hiring for Attitude

The candidate is lacking some credentials such as work experience, education, and product knowledge that may call for extra learning support during the initial phases of employment. This can be a drain on existing human resource systems and could be a temporary setback for the company. The candidate may drop this level of enthusiasm after the “honeymoon” period and give up after a short period of time on the job.

  • The candidate’s attitude may or may not change when faced with the reality of the job itself.

  • Other employees may feel resentful that they have to work with a lesser qualified co-worker.

  • Lack of resources to properly train the employee can cause productivity issues.

Obviously, when it comes to hiring any candidate, a hiring manager must weigh all the pros and cons carefully before selecting someone to become part of the team. Any candidate poses a human capital risk, but it’s the candidates who show a great deal of enthusiasm and positive energy who are most likely to demonstrate loyalty to your organization.

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