At one of my first interviews I have been told “we hire people based on their skills and we fire them because of their attitude”. This stuck with me for years before I really could have a clear opinion on the matter.
The truth is that many companies do this and it’s understandable if you only consider some short term advantages. It’s more comfortable and cheaper to hire someone who already has the skills needed to perform the tasks that the position requires at that moment. While I don’t deny the importance skills have, a person possessing the right skills but with the wrong attitude will not have the desired results. It might even turn out to perform worst than a less skilled person but with the right attitude.
Most positions require constant improvement, learning new things, acquiring different skills and a lot of teamwork. I believe there’s no need for me to underline how important attitude is when we view this from a long term perspective.
No matter how technical good a person is, attitude will make the difference either on the short or long term. So it’s better to hire people based on their attitude and work from there.