Source | LinkedIn : By Dhanushka De Silva
Hire for attitude and train for skill is a phrase modern HR professionals/ recruiters have probably preached and practiced regularly. Quite contrary to the past where most recruiters settled for experience and qualifications over attitude. Back then, it was the safer and more logical approach. In the event one of the new recruits were to perform badly, the recruiter could always counter-argue that the respective employee had all the necessary qualifications on paper and thus avoid the blame.
Today, most modern recruiters have now realized the importance of attitude over skills because skills can be taught while attitude is a lot more difficult to influence. Of course an ideal candidate would be someone who possesses a sound skill set as well a good attitude. However, an ideal candidate of this nature is hard to find, thus candidates who are less perfect should be weighed more on attitude than on their skills. Experienced recruiters recommend a 70-30 split.
Lets bring in a real life example where hiring staff for attitude had brought immense benefits to a company….
Mumbai Terrorist Attack in 2008
A lesser known story during the Mumbai Terrorist attacks is what occurred at The Taj Mahal Hotel. When the terrorists besieged the hotel, the hotel staff had every opportunity to flee from harms way. But they didn’t.. They stayed back, disregarding their own safety in order to save their clients. It is important to mention that they did so on their own accord without any instructions from their senior management. The staff bravely stayed back and escorted hotel guests out of the hotel whenever they could. A few weeks after the attack was over, the focus shifted to the amazing staff at The Taj Mahal Hotel and the instinctive decisions they had made. One of the main reasons for the way the staff behaved the way they did turned out to be because of the hotel’s recruitment method. Taj Mahal Hotel didn’t hire people from big cities but from smaller cities and towns. When the recruitment team visited the schools in these small cities, they didn’t ask the principals to point out who the brightest students were, but in fact they were interested in recruiting the most respectful and hard-working students. This is a clear example of going for attitude over skill.