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Attitude is one of the three main qualities that our Behavioral Aptitude Assessment measures, and to some smaller degree, our People and Logic Competency Assessments measure as well. Attitude has nothing to do with people’s direct production abilities but how well they get along with their supervisor and fit in. It also has to do with how employees contribute to or take away from the well-being of the company. A high percentage of those who rated poorly on attitude assessment tests quit or get fired. The Wimbush-IC and SL Attitude Inventory Assessments measure how an employee’s attitude will be after the honeymoon period is over.

Why Does Attitude Matter?

According to LeadershipIQ, 5,247 hiring managers who’d hired 20,000 employees during a particular study observation period found that 46% of all new hires fail within the first 18 months. Collectively, 89% of those failed hires are due to attitude problems.

The study found that:

  • 26% of new hires failed because they struggled to accept feedback
  • 23% failed because of their inability to understand and manage emotions
  • 17% lacked the necessary motivation to excel
  • 15% had the wrong temperament for the job, and finally
  • only 11% failed because of a lack the necessary technical skills.

Finding skilled and talented employees isn’t a challenge that faces us as often as attitude issues, such as lack of motivation, miscommunication issues, and a lack of emotional intelligence. These pitfalls are what poison the well within your company. Even the most talented employees can secretly be toxic problem generators who will disrupt your team culture.

Have team members ever complained about talented terrors with these traits? Have you experienced issues with talented employees only to identify that they’re:

Signs you may have one of these personality misfits:

  • Combative
  • Dishonest
  • Blamer and lacks personal responsibility
  • Unsupportive of supervisors and team members
  • Half glass empty type
  • Negative
  • Mean or Rude
  • Greedy
  • Deceitful
  • Pushing their own agenda
  • Engaged in counterproductive office politics
  • Unreliable, shows up late or calls out often
  • Argumentative
  • Passive aggressive
  • Doesn’t complete assigned duties despite repeated accountability actions

Our Attitude and Integrity Section highlights key traits that will help you prevent hiring HR nightmares. See a sample report below and try a test out today!

Attitude is NOT: An angry, vicious personality but it could be.

During the interview stage, such aspects as hyper-critical, honesty, supportiveness, accountability and so on (attitude) are often overlooked. For example, an employer goes to great lengths to find out if an Administrative Assistant candidate will be able to do a good job. The boss later fires him for following his own personal agenda of prioritizing projects according to his own preferences, not what the company and customers need.

The assessment measures four of the most important elements of attitude:

  • Critical: Fault finding (especially management), gossiping, combative, criticizing others and thinking poorly of others.
  • Negative: These people see the glass as half empty even when it is more than half full.
  • Blame: Incorrectly assigning cause to others for the negative effects the person feels, even though the person may have created or caused the problem or could have averted it. Attendance problems may come under this heading as those who can’t show up are blaming everything and everyone for their failures to show up. Defensiveness or combativeness may also show up under this trait.
  • Unsupportive: Following priorities that are different from management, team leaders or customers. Working on personal agendas. Authority issues. It could also include lack of loyalty. Doing things that would look good on a resume rather than assisting the company’s stated priorities. Selfishness or independence. Attendance problems may come under this heading as those who can’t show up have little concern for supporting management.

Also see Honesty and Dishonesty.

Attitude scores

On the ability tests the number next to Attitude on Page 3 has a significance:

  • Anything less than 8 is on the negative side and anything above 10 is on the positive side.
  • A minus 40 or below is extremely poor and anything above 50 is extremely good.
  • When an aptitude test is done in combination with an ability test, these numbers influence the attitude results on the aptitude test. In this case, the attitude numbers on the ability tests account for about 30% of the attitude rating. For example, if the ability score is -10 the rating for attitude on the aptitude assessment may drop from a good 6.5 to a borderline 5.5.
  • On the Wimbush SL or Wimbush IC report the average score on the Attitude and Integrity Chart (the bar on the far right) is the most significant. If that number is below 30, then that is a positive and anything above 30 is a negative.

Attitude levels

In 2010 I did a research study based on client feedback for what is most likely to happen to an employee based on his or her attitude level. This number can be found on the Aptitude (Wimbush IC or Wimbush SL) report on the second line under Attitude. It will be a number by itself. For example, if the number is 5 then that indicated that an employee who rated 5 turned out to be in the following categories: 15% had very poor attitudes, 35% were poor, 30% were good and 20% were very good. So if you hire such a person you now know your approximate attitude risk with that person.

If you have done a combination of an Ability test and an Aptitude test then you have about 30% more attitude questions and these predictions improve. The percentages are often found on the description following the attitude level on page 1 of the report we send you and under attitude or on page 4 under the heading Integrity and Attitude.

Here are some samples of what the research showed only using an Aptitude Assessment for Job Applicants (For existing employees these %s will be different on the report):

  • Attitude level 2: 71% very poor, 29% poor.
  • Attitude level 3: 43% very poor, 7% poor, 21% borderline, 29% good.
  • Attitude level 4: 24% very poor, 6% poor, 38% borderline, 26% good.
  • Attitude level 6: 10% very poor, 15% poor, 38% good, 37% very good.
  • Attitude level 7.5: 4% poor, 64% good, 32% very good.

SAMPLE ATTITUDE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:

Note: Some questions are asked only to set up the following questions without the candidate knowing what you are looking for. Don’t attempt to ask these questions unless you are prepared to be persistent with these questions as interviewing for attitude is not easy.

  1. Tell about a time your supervisor confronted you over what he/she thought was a problem. How did you deal with it? What are your thoughts about that supervisor?
  2. Tell about another time your supervisor confronted you over what he/she thought was a problem. How did you deal with it?
  3. Tell about a time you had a conflict at work. How did you assess the situation? What were you thinking and feeling at the time? What did that mean to you then? How about now?
  4. Tell about a time when you felt something was unfair at work. What did you do? How did the other people involved react?
  5. Who are the key people in your organization? What is your relationship with each of them like? Why is it the way it is?
  6. Who is someone that is resistant to you and your efforts? How do you deal with that person? Why?
  7. What is the current culture like of your work place or your past work place? Describe it. Give some examples.
  8. How have you influenced the culture of your company or team? When was it good? When did it produce a negative result? What are your thoughts about that supervisor?
  9. Why did you leave (intending to leave) your last job? Could we use that supervisor as a reference? (Candidates must give written permission to allow you to call a supervisor they are still working for. You ask for references to keep them honest as they realize you may check what they say. Also, keep questioning the candidates’ answers until it makes complete sense why they are leaving)
  10. Why did you leave the job before that? Could we use that supervisor as a reference? (Get name and number)
  11. (Every supervisor they can’t give as a reference, even though they have lost track of them, is not a good sign.)
  12. (Keep questioning the candidates’ answers until it makes complete sense why they left.)
  13. Why did you leave the job before that? Could we use that supervisor as a reference? (Get name and number and keep questioning the candidates’ answers until it makes complete sense why they left.)
  14. Why did you leave the job before that? Could we use that supervisor as a reference? (Get name and number and keep questioning the candidates’ answers until it makes complete sense why they left.)

Tip: If candidates say they can’t think of an answer to a question, just tell the person you have plenty of time for them to think of one. As a last resort, come back to the question later especially if the person should suddenly think of an answer. It’s important to get those type of questions answered.

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Find (and keep) your next Million Dollar Hire!

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