Mark Murphy in his book “Hiring for Attitude,” he says that 46% of newly hired employees will fail within 18 months, attributed mainly to non-technical or non-skill related items. Research shows that most employees are fired for non-skill related items. The truth of the matter is that we often hire for skill, and most often fire for attitude.
Attitude is to do with the way you think about something and therefore affects your behaviour, how you approach challenges, decision making etc. From research and observation, talent plays a much smaller role in the success someone has compared to their attitude.
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; noting on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”— W. W. Ziege
This does not prove that attitude is more important than skill or other Candidate Metrics; rather, that attitude should be looked at as equal to the rest of the candidate’s attributes and even higher as we go up the hierarchy.
Most recruiters focus on a candidate’s experience – skills. Most recruiting processes drive transactional behavior – “Let me know what you think of this resume” and they do not focus on a complete understanding of an individual’s multiple dimensions.
The 4 Dimensions to be assessed :
Skills/Experience – Does the candidate have the training/education to do the job?
Competency – Does the candidate have the ability/behaviors to do the job?
Attitude – Has the candidate shown they want to do the job?
Culture Fit – Does the candidate do the job the way the company does or wants to?
Skill & Competency MUST be matched with Attitude & Culture.
Skill determines fit for the function, Competency determines fit for the job, Attitude determines fit for the career, Culture determines fit for the company.
In another study it was found that when a person suceeds in a high profile job, 85% of the times it is because of his attitude and only 15% of the times because of smartness or knowledge of facts and figures. Surprisingly, almost 100% of our education expenses and time go to learn facts and figures which account only for 15% in success at work and life.
Truly, attitude defines the altitude and attitude makes all the difference in pursuit of excellence.
I have seen many Hiring Managers and Leaders falling a prey to this Talent Mania only to realise their folly very soon. I have always felt that Talent/Skills/Competency can be acquired overtime and even in a very short period but Attitude / Culture is something which is hard to acquire. Attitude is something that is nurtured over the years and takes enormous effort and time to change over time. There fore it is better to hire someone who is high on attitude & even a bit less on Talent, rather than hiring someone high on Talent but low on attitude.
Everybody looks at sportstars, musicians, artists etc and say – Wow! what an amazing talent, I wish i could possess that kind of talent. People often confuse themselves with the thought that excellence is all about talent. However, excellence is not about talent alone. In fact a major portion of excellence has nothing to do with talent. Beyond a certain point, talent or ability is the most useless virtue to possess. It is what you do with that talent that counts. Beyond a point, it is attitude that counts way more than talent.
It has been observed that even the most talented people in this world have not been able to achieve what they were supposed to achieve. This is because the moment they faced a road block, did not know what to do. Earlier it was talent that solved problems for them. But beyond a certain point when you reach a certain level, it is your attitude that counts. Once an individual is in the top league, the importance of talent fades away. This is because, others present in the top league also possess the same talent. So whats the difference? The difference here is Attitude. An individual succeeds when he/she has the right attitude, the right work ethic and of course the passion to perform. Talent might open the first door, might open the second door, but will not open all subsequent doors. So to achieve anything in life, it is very important to have the right attitude and passion to do well.
Here is a very thought provoking speech by renowned Sports Commentator – Harsha Bogle speaking on Talent while addressing the students of IIM-Ahmedabad.
The best part about the video is when Harsha was successfully able to explain the importance of failure in life. It’s not a bad thing to fail in life, but the most important thing is: one bounces back from the failure and achieves the height of success again.
The right attitude often results in employees proactively developing the skills they need for their particular role and mastering them.
As per study of William James at Harvard University, “The greatest discovery of this generation is: human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude.”
(ITB Global Supply Chain) – 6500 employees – Nov 2008 – Jun 2011
Was promoted as the Global HR Director for the ITB Global Supply Chain organisation. Was the Global HRBP for the SVP-ITB GSCM.
Responsible for providing HR support & Leading HR for the world wide ITB GSCM organisations in US, Europe, China, Phillipines, Asia, India.
Leading a HR team of 56 members
Helped in rebalancing of Production from Mature economies to New Economies
Involved in rationalisation of Plants in US, Europe and China and ramping up Operations in India & Phillipines
Coaching & Mentoring senior ITB GSCM leaders
Integration of HR policies, systems and tools with the SE organisation
Member of the Global ITB – HRCommittee
Member of the Global ITBGSCM Management Committee
Schneider Electric India – (since Dec 2005……)
Head HR India Subcontinent (APC India) – 3200 employees – Dec 2005 – Nov 2008
Joined as the Head of HR (India Subcontinent) with APC India. Was responsible for helping Business grow the organisation in India.
Helped Sales grow from 27m USD to 114 mUSD
Grew APC Manufacturing – 3 factories to 8 factories
Helped set up the IPO (captive IT organisation) in India
Grew India R&D from 10 employees to 50
Employee Strength grew from 1800 to 3200
Hired the entire leadership team across Sales, Manufacturing, R&D , IT and Support Functions
Harmonised HR Policies, Systems and tools across all Business / Functions
Thwarted attempts from external unions to gain entry into the organisation and fostered Employee Committees to gainfully engage them
Rationalised grades, titles and market driven compensation
Lead a HR Team of 24 members
Brought down attrition from around 24% to around 12%
Helped in seamless transition and integration with Schneider Electric after being acquired in 2007-2008
Caltex India Pvt. Ltd (2002 – 2005)
A leading Energy company globally (Sales, R&D, Manuf – 600 employees)
Was responsible for integrating the HR department of 3 organisations including an acquired company.
Standardisation of HR policies, Uniform Job Grading, Compensation & Benefits, Job Titles, Performance Management Process, Talent Management & Development, Competency framework, Organisation restructuring and redesign, set up in the India Leadership Council involving leadership of 3 companies and Acquisition & Integration of Chemoleums Lubricants
Was promoted as the GM-HR for India & Srilanka
Co Systems India Pvt Ltd (2001-2002), General Manager – HR
A pioneering Telecom Software Product development company with development centres in India and US (320 employees)
Involved in setting up the HR department.
Helped up ramp up employee strength to about 300 employees in a year.
HR Strategy for gaining entry & foothold in India
Engaged with Campus thro Campus Connect Programs and hired through Campus Placements
Praxair India Pvt Ltd, Bangalore (1997-2001), Senior Manager – HR
A global Leader in Industrial Gases (Sales, Manufacturing & IT – 600 employees)
Involved in setting up the Corporate HR. Helped up ramp up employee strength to about 300 employees in a year. HR Policies, C&B, Job Bands, Job Titles, Salary restructuring, HRIS, Performance Management Process, Competency Framework & Training & Development.
Was involved in acquisition and merger of Asiatic Industrial Gases, Asiaticl Oxygen, Carbon dioxide company.
Closure of manufacturing plants. Helped set up a small E-services company to provide internal IT support for Praxair globally.
Indian Herbs, Bangalore (1994-1997), Manager – HR
A leading Indian Natural Products Company (Sales, R&D, Manuf – 600 employees)
Was responsible for stabilising a HR department, Organisation design, Job Evaluation, Job Grading / Banding & Job Titles. Revamped HR policies, Performance Management Process & introduced a homegrown HRIS package.
Grew company to double its strength, helped set up the Extraction Unit, new R&D Centre and a Human Health Business Unit.
Stabilised IR situation and employee relations by engaging internal Leaders
India’s pioneering Telecom Company (Sales, R&D, Manuf – 32000 employees) Strong foundation set for a HR career
Started career at Corporate HR, worked in OD, Policy Making, HRIS, IR, Compensation & Benefits including Staff Officer to the Director-Personnel
Moved to ITI Model Plant (Sam Pitroda’s Rural Automatic Exchange project). Responsible for Employee Welfare, Training & Development. Became the Head of the Training Centre and was involved in helping ITI to get ISO Certification
Joined as Personnel Officer Trainee ended as Assistant Personnel Manager