I have had the pleasure of career counselling a number of professionals. Along the way we define what their viable career choices are and how they are going to get there, because “If you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there.”

I personally try to keep it fairly simple. My approach is for the job seeker to identify what a realistic, ideal job is, rate that 10 out of 10 and use that as a benchmark for other job prospects. If they rate a job prospect 7 out of 10 or higher, consider having a crack at it. Anything lower, they should probably give it a miss.

On the other side of the table, I like to put a good stake in the sand when it comes to recruiting job seekers. When I work with hiring leaders in the provision of recruitment support I am a big fan of really putting a lot of time and thought upfront in the job description and the selection criteria for the most appropriate type of employee.

As the recruitment process unfolds there is then usually a good comparative benchmark of what the ideal applicant may be. In other words, we would have formulated for the most part what a 10 out 10 applicant would look like. A 10 out 10 applicant would be the highly sought after individual that meets all the selection criteria and slots into salary expectations. But how often do we really find a 10 out of 10?

Those candidates that scored a 6 out of 10 would probably be dismissed. But what about those candidates that are a 7 or 8 out of 10? These candidates may have solid background, have gaps in the selection criteria, but have put themselves forward in such a professional way that you can’t help but wonder what else is under the bonnet.

Let’s say you meet one of these “not quite sure” candidates and you discover they have the absolute best attitude. Nothing is too difficult for them. They are focussed, committed, honest and motivated. How many points would that be? Would that 7 out of 10 applicant go to an 8 or 9 out of 10 applicant?

I think some jobs you can recruit purely on attitude. With those more technical or professional roles, in a tight applicant market it may be worth rating an applicant higher based on their attitude and try to close the gap with training and development.

The strength of their attitude will probably get them to where they need to be.