Dr Busrai has had 46 plus years’ experience in Industry. He has worked in various HR roles with Unilever in Kenya and India and was Executive Director HR Motorola for Asia Pacific countries. He worked with Shell Malaysia as Director Human Resources, Shell Malaysia and Managing Director of Shell People Services Asia Sdn Bhd. His last corporate assignment was with IBM India Limited as Executive Director Human Resources. He is currently CEO of aquil busrai consulting.
Dr Busrai has been actively associated with Management movement in India having been the President of Delhi Management Association, Vice Chairman for All India Management Association’s Northern Region. He is on the National Council of CII, ASSOCHAM and SHRM and on Board of several education institutes and Corporates. Last year, he was adjudged amongst the “Most powerful HR Professional in India” at the Asia Pacific HRM Summit in Singapore. He was also bestowed “Lifetime Achievement Award” at Top Rankers Meet in Kuala Lumpur. At its National Convention in November 2012, National HRD Network honoured Dr Busrai with the “Life Time Achievement Award”. In March 2015 he was honoured with The Golden Globe Tigers Award in Kuala Lumpur for Leadership in HR. In November 2015, XLRI honoured him with “Distinguished Alumnus Life Time Achievement Award” Dr Busrai is a visiting faculty at Berkeley EMP and UCLA PGPX, besides Indian Institute of Management. He is a Fellow of All India Management Association and Past National President of National HRD Network.
Dr Aquil Busrai in this exclusive interview highlights the functionality of an individual which he explains as “what serves the purpose of the organization through the position” can affect the company as a whole. He also sheds light on how technology can only be a supporting factor in HR’s decision to hire someone but cannot be the reason as a whole. Read more about it in the interview below.
How important is it to identify and understand the behavioural skill of an individual to predict its fitment to the job role?
I believe and follow a simple principle of “Hire for attitude, train for skill”. Skills can keep on evolving as per the movements taking place in the market, technology , availability of jobs etc. hence it isn’t constant. Skills keep changing and can be learnt with time. What is important is the attitude that the person brings to the organization. Why we don’t look for a “fit” person to work with us, is because it would be like finding a clone. Having clones who do the same things can prove to be disastrous for the company. The hired person must have a functional attitude that matches the mindset of the organization. A candidate with a dysfunctional attitude is better not hired.
What difference does this bring to the organization both in short and the long term?
If the attitude is functional it will add value to the work at the organization. If the behavior is contrary to this, it can break the rhythm at the workplace for the worse. The fallacy is that sometimes a behaviour pattern can be looked upon as attitude. For example, it is believed that sales individuals must be extroverts and pushy. It does not mean that, however, that all extroverts or assertive people make for excellent salespeople.
In the long term, an individual with a functional attitude can make the organization achieve its own goals and make it a robust place of work. It is the organization that is the focal point and not the individual. Irrespective of the short or long terms effects, the mindset of a person takes time to change and set.
How can HR tech solutions available today help organizations to achieve their business objective?
Technology can help you get augmented information. It can provide cues and points that can show a trend in the thinking of the person which you may have missed out on your judgement. The primary thing to do is judge if the potential candidate has the mindset required by you. During the interview, you can get a fair understanding if a particular mindset required for the job is present or absent in the candidate. Whether, the candidate in front of you can be high in competence and score but low on the mindset criteria. Or whether the person has a functional or dysfunctional attitude. Technology empowered with AI can helps to make a better decision and support your understanding of the person by suggesting patterns in the behavior attitude in situation during assessments. Recruiters can always compare these behavioral pattern reports with their understanding of the candidate to see the variance. This variance can be a useful information to decide whether to hire or not.
How the candidate responds to a particular scenario cannot be defined entirely. The way they tackle challenges will shed light on the depth of their knowledge regarding the market and business or even technology. This itself can highlight if the person is suitable for the position being interviewed. For example, if you aim to grow your business in the next two years and the individual you are currently interviewing likes to play conservative and safe instead of having the willingness to take some risks, may not be able to help you achieve your goals in your decided period.
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