A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 06, 2019
“Hire for attitude, train for skills”

"Hire for attitude, train for skills” (or “Hire attitude, train skills") is a business saying that has been printed on many images. Authorship o the saying is unknown.

“Hire attitudes—train skills” was printed in a classified ad for Tran Star in The Times Recorder (Zanesville, OH) on September 2, 1990. “You have to hire an attitude and train a skill” was printed in the Honolulu (HI) Star-Bulletin on March 5, 1992. “Hire for attitude, train for skills” was printed in the Times-Colonist (Victoria, BC) on March 9, 1993.

“Hire Attitude - Train Skills” was printed in an article about Southwest Airlines in Nursing Economics for November/December 2008. Herb Kelleher (1931-2019), who co-founded Southwest Airlines, is often credited with the business adage, but it’s not certain when he first said it. “We don’t care that much about education and experience, because we can train people to do whatever they have to do. We hire attitudes,” Kelleher said in a profile in Fortune magazine in May 1994.

““Hire character. Train skill” is a similar saying.


2 September 1990, The Times Recorder (Zanesville, OH), pg. 3-D, col. 8 classified ad:
TRAN STAR Inc.
“Hire attitudes—train skills”

5 March 1992, Honolulu (HI) Star-Bulletin, “Executive Profile,” pg. C-1, col. 5:
(Mari Day, director of human resources, Aston Hotels & Resorts—ed.)
“You have to hire an attitude and train a skill,” she said.

9 March 1993, Times-Colonist (Victoria, BC), “Course offers unemployed opportunity to hone skills,” pg. B8, col. 3:
“We’re doing what we tell our employers—hire for attitude, train for skills.”
(Spoken by Jim Reger, a consultant.—ed.)

2 May 1994, Fortune (New York, NY), “Is Herb Kelleher America’s best CEO?” by Kenneth Labich, pg. 44:
“Then we are looking for people who have to excel to satisfy themselves and who work well in a collegial environment. We don’t care that much about education and experience, because we can train people to do whatever they have to do. We hire attitudes.”
(Spoken by Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines.—ed.)

13 May 1995, Calgary (Alberta) Herald, “No experience? Sell work ethic” by Ross Sherwood, pg. C1:
“Most companies would never hire her but the manager overrode the rules,” (William—ed.) Fromm wrote. “Most companies today hire for skills and try to train for attitude, when what you need is to hire for attitude and train for skills. You can teach ‘em your software system. You can’t teach them how to smile.”

Google Books
Human Resource Management News
1996
Pg. ?:
This contrast is brought to mind by an article in the latest issue (only the fourth) of Fast Company (written by Peter Carbonara—ed.), which advises, “Hire for Attitude, Train for Skills.”

November/December 2008, Nursing Economics, “Southwest Airlines: Lessons in Loyalty” by Patricia D’Aurizio, pp. 389-92:
Grubbs-West (2005), a former employee of Southwest Airlines, outlines nine loyalty lessons:

1. Hire Attitude - Train Skills
(...)
Hire attitudes - Train skills. Health care is very regulated in areas such as licensure and certifications; therefore, not everyone can be “trained” to do every job. It goes without saying you cannot train people to be “nice.” One of your hiring criteria should be a careful assessment of attitude and the ability to care. Using questions that can elicit human responses and reactions to situations, not just clinical answers, is one way to gauge how a person “cares” about others. Having them describe what is rewarding to them at the end of the day is another example. I worked with one nurse manager who asked every candidate she interviewed, “What grabs at your heart when you work with patients and families?” She wanted staff who felt something for both their patients and their families. She said to me, “I can show them how to read a monitor or fill out a form, but I can’t show them how to really care what happens to these patients and their families.” Using questions like this is one way to really get at hiring for attitude and not just skill.

Google Books
The Apple Experience:
Secrets to Building Insanely Great Customer Loyalty

By Carmine Gallo
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
2012
Pg. ?:
The best way to build a special workplace is to hire for attitude and train for skills, according to the Harvard Business Review.

16 June 2015, The Tennessean (Nashville, TN), “Hattie B’s Family Roots Run Deep” by Jim Myers, pg. 1A, col. 2:
FROM GENE BISHOP
ON PEOPLE
“Hire attitude. Train skills.”

Twitter
@Cr8DigitalAsset
• Hire for attitude
• Train for skill
• Fire for example
Herb Kelleher
@SouthwestAir ✈️
11:40 PM - 22 Apr 2017 from Tysons Corner, VA

Google Books
Competing for Kids:
21 Customer Service Concepts Public Schools Can Use to Retain and Attract Students

By Kelly E. Middleton
Tucson, AZ: Wheatmark
2018
Pg. 35:
At the beginning of this concept, I shared one of my favorite hiring quotes: “Hire attitude, train skills.” This philosophy, championed by Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines, embodies how some of the most successful companies view the hiring ..

Google Books
Startup, Scaleup, Screwup:
42 Tools to Accelerate Lean and Agile Business Growth

By Jurgen Appelo
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
2019
Pg. 133:
Another phrase often heard is “hire for attitude, train for skills.” It reflects the idea that people’s personality traits are almost impossible to change, while it is a lot easier and cheaper to teach them the skills they need to do their jobs.

Twitter
Kathleen Powell
@powellka
#NACE19 hire for attitude, train for skills, according to Thomas Mazloum, Sr VP, Walt Disney World.
9:01 AM - 4 Jun 2019 from Florida, USA

Forbes
Jun 6, 2019, 06:22pm
Growing Leaders At Graham Company
Kevin Kruse
(...)
The old adage “hire attitude, train skills” is merely lip-service in most organizations, but at Graham Company it’s the foundation of their success. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Thursday, June 06, 2019 • Permalink