When Hiring Employees, Will Attitude Ever Trump Intelligence?

In the past, I have worked with some pretty bright young people in my corporation. They are well educated and have the potential to do a good job. Sometimes, their work or how much effort they give is not always important to them. I’m generalizing but if you are aware, it’s visible. These bright folks have so much ability but they are not always motivated. On the other hand, I know other employees who may not be as bright but are dedicated and hard working. For what they lack in always understanding something immediately, they work hard and are committed to the organization.

Who would I rather hire? Someone who has average intelligence with a very good attitude or another employee who is certainly above average intelligence with a mediocre or carefree attitude? You need bright people in your organization but at what cost? If they are not committed, with a lackadaisical attitude and the potential to poison the company, do you want them around? In my opinion, you can usually teach technical or business skills to those who have an average intelligence or above but you cannot always teach attitude. Attitude can be one of those intangible things that are hard to change in employees. How do you change? How do you help sway those with a poor attitude to come on board and work together toward common goals?