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Skills profile vs function profile: a new paradigm for the recruiment of cabin crews

Paulo Alcobia, MD

The classic paradigm of recruitment has been focusing its dynamics on a logic based on the function profile of the candidates, that is to say, a logic based on identifying a set of tasks and centered on the technical expertise of those who perform them. The new paradigm for personnel selection conforms to a skills profile, one which includes not only the identification of the technical skills but also the psychosocial skills of the candidates.

The inclusion of the psychosocial skills in defining the key characteristics of the flight attendant to be, reinforces the effectiveness of the decision of the person responsible for the selection process, and has an influence on the career management programmes, by introducing a proactive attitude in what concerns personnel management, therefore best serving both the interests of airline companies and those of cabin crews, because it improves the staff satisfaction levels.

But those who end up by benefiting the most from this new approach are passengers themselves - not only due to the improvement of the technical capabilities of cabin crews in the field of safety, but also because an optimization of the cabin crews interrelational skills in the context of the general in-flight service is also observed.

By changing the paradigm of the personnel selection requirements, we are changing the people’s management and assessment process, but above all we are reinforcing the guarantee of a better overall performance of cabin crews.