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Yorkshire recruitment agency reveals why attitude tops applicant rejection survey

Craig Burton

Bad attitude, time management and over confidence are amongst the most common reasons for an applicant to be rejected from a job according to a nationwide survey.

In recent research carried out by Yorkshire-based recruitment agency, The Works, more than two thirds of respondents say they would reject a candidate for bad attitude (67%) compared to just 35% who would turn an applicant down due to lack of experience.

The UK-wide survey revealed that the top five pet hates in a job interview are:

1. A bad attitude (67%)
2. Lack of experience (35%)
3. Late to the interview (32%)
4. Over confidence (24%)
5. The outfit they wore to the interview (20%)

Managing Director of The Works Recruitment, Craig Burton, said that while ‘big business’ is no stranger to offering employment based on attitude, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) still place qualifications and skills too high up on the recruitment scale.

“In almost 30 years of representing candidates and businesses in the manufacturing, engineering and technical sectors, we know that most placements don’t work out because of a person’s attitude.

“While our latest employment survey shows that most businesses are recruiting based on attitude, it’s interesting to see that a poor attitude is actually considered twice as bad as a lack of skills. Our experience tells us that SME owners still prioritise qualifications above personality so we want to use these figures to reinforce the benefits of recruiting for attitude.

Craig added: “Workplace culture and finding the right fit means staff are more motivated, more productive and ultimately a better, long term fit. Every candidate should be judged on their potential value within a business and we want Yorkshire’s employers to follow their instincts and recruit for attitude and train for skills.”

Further analysis of the survey results shows that although most businesses in the UK work towards having a diverse workforce, 5% of people would still discriminate against someone based on their ethnicity, 6% would reject a candidate based on their age and 4% would turn someone away based on gender.

Craig continued: “Age-based discrimination is still a problem in the workplace and our research shows that it’s the 25-34 year olds who are most likely to discriminate based on these grounds.

“Older workers bring value, knowledge and life experience that millennials may never have encountered and while millennials are the most judgemental of age, they are the very people that would benefit most from having an intergenerational workforce around them.”

The Works Recruitment champions the benefits of a diverse workforce and supports clients in decision making around selecting the right candidates.

Craig added: “In my opinion, a person’s attitude is more than 80% of their potential for doing a fantastic job. Personality testing is a really key part of the employment process for us because there is always that worry that a candidate is simply saying what you want to hear – and that’s why many businesses still put qualifications, experience and skills as their top priority. Personality testing gives valuable insights into workplace behaviour and can simultaneously address levels of competence.”

He added: “Skills can be taught but personality and attitude is very hard to change. When staff are your greatest asset, resources spent on thorough and careful recruitment is an investment in the long-term health of your business, your culture and your productivity.”