Difference between aptitude and attitude

" One can possess several degrees, have a lot of work-experience and also the skillset required to deliver on a job." Shikha Chowdhary, Segment Director – Media, Telecom and BFSI, Corporate Services, Sodexo


Is there a huge skill gap that the industry has been facing today that there is no job-ready talent available? In that case, how can a recruiter help in improving work efficiency of a new hire on the very first day?
Yes, a vast gap exists between talent available and talent required. While, the numbers for educated unemployed are rising at an alarming rate, Corporate India is grappling with its never-ending hunt for the “right person for the right job”. It is important to understand that being qualified and ‘job-ready’ are two very different things. The traditional education system and lack of STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics) skills contribute to this problem. As per IBM Institute of Business Value, 61% of the educators believe that the traditional system of education is unable to respond to the changing business needs.

The answer to this challenge lies in vocational training and skill development programs. Both industry and academia need to come together to bridge the gap. For example, Sodexo in partnership with Diversey, through their Garima project is identifying urban, unemployed youth from the catchment areas and is imparting certificate-based training in housekeeping with a small stipend. This ensures that the attendance is not impacted. Upon completion of the training, Sodexo deploys these trained housekeeping professionals across multiple various sites.

There is a whole talk about the changing employer-employee relationship. While employers are trying their level best to keep employees motivated and engaged. Throw some light on the best practices to leverage for that?
The new and current generation of employees want to be heard, and employers should be willing to listen. To enhance employee engagement, more focus needs to be placed on building trust, providing positive feedback/appreciation, and involving employees in the evolution process of the organization. It is observed that organisations improve employee engagement at a much faster rate when they take onboard feedback urging improvement rather than feedback gathered for evaluation.

Sodexo’s Workplace Trends Report 2018 touches upon one such deeper engagement trend. According to the survey, increased employee involvement enables the integration of corporate responsibility throughout the entire organisation. It states that millennials consider this as an important workplace evaluation point. Gen Zers also want a fast-paced lifestyle, but they know that their quality of life and long-term career success depend on staying healthy. They look for employers to offer on-site amenities and workplace wellness programs. Sodexo, with its world-class food services and facilities management services, helps organisations enhance consumer experiences at the workplace and beyond, thus improving their productivity and efficiency.

Is AI usage in hiring an alternative to the best hiring practices in HR? Can we trust a machine with no human interface to make such important human decision?
Technology is now part of life. While we may not realise, there is some bit of AI involvement in our day-to-day lives. AI can be included in many forms, ranging from Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri to the movie recommendations we see on Netflix based on users’ previous preferences. How does this happen? Whatever activity you perform, you are leaving behind data for companies/organizations to evaluate at the backend, understand you/your spending pattern, your shopping, eating trends and behaviour and make future recommendations. It is bringing in ease and convenience to our lives. Translating this into the workplace, AI is revolutionising how businesses conduct themselves, entering the recruitment space. Finding the right talent is critical to business success, but it’s challenging to say the least, and hiring the wrong person can turn out to be more expensive.

While AI can help reduce human biases, save time, money and increase efficiency, it is confronted with the limitation of accuracy and reliability. Though AI is still far from being able to autonomously decide who the best person is for the job, the technology is making strides and definitely gaining its momentum. It is the future.

How difficult is it to manage up the expectations of the growing millennial workforce?
The millennials have a very different approach towards work than the generation before them and they are often criticized for this. Millennials are known for living fast-paced lives and prefer quick results for everything. This generation expects a lot from themselves, prefers to work in groups and seeks immediate outcome for the efforts made. They are cost-conscious, fearless, bold in their decision making and also experimental in nature.

Workplace is one area where generational differences collide. Often older employees view younger colleagues as being less committed, lacking focus and short-term oriented. While in some cases this may be true, conflicts often arise from different expectations that need an alignment. Change management, if effectively implemented will enable generations to understand the benefits of working with new colleagues, and employers can reap the rewards of a committed workforce.

What is more important for a recruiter these days’ skills or degree?
For a recruiter, the skills the candidate brings forth should be the deciding factor. But, I think there is one more element that is equally important – Attitude. One can possess several degrees, have a lot of work-experience and also the skillset required to deliver on a job. But, if you do not have the right attitude towards work, your colleagues, you (your organization) cannot be successful in the long-run. Remember, there is a difference between aptitude and attitude. Skills can be acquired but attitudinal change is difficult to achieve.

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