Assess Job Fit When You Select Your Employees

Use these ideas to select employees who will fit well in your workplace

Employers need to determine if their candidate is a good fit for their job.
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Looking for information about job fit? It's a significant factor in whether employees thrive in their jobs. Without the right job fit, an employee will never experience as much happiness and success as he deserves at work.

He'll never achieve his true potential. Employers need to be as concerned about job fit as cultural fit. Otherwise, you will never utilize the potential contributions of your current and future employees. Here's more about why.

Job fit is a concept that explains whether the intersection between an employee's strengths, needs and experience, and the requirements of a particular job and work environment—match—or not. When the two interests match, an employee and your organization experience a good job fit.

Employers pay attention to the skills and experience that a potential employee brings to the interview table. Fewer employers actively assess whether the candidate will fit well into the culture of the organization. Even fewer look at the total picture and assess the candidate's job fit.

How to Think about Job Fit

These are some of the factors that need consideration when an employer assess a candidate's potential job fit.

  • Cultural fit: Will the applicant work well in the organization's culture. Does the organization's culture match what the individual needs to be successful in a particular work environment?
  • Experience: Does the candidate have the work and life experience necessary to excel in the job?
  • Values, beliefs, outlook: To succeed in a job, an individual must share the prevailing values, of his colleagues and customers. Employees who fail to fit within the environment generally leave to find a work environment or culture which is more congruent with their own values and beliefs.
  • Needs the employee fulfills by working: Every person has reasons for working that include the desire for a paycheck, but each individual has other needs that work satisfies—or should. These include such factors as notoriety, recognition, leadership, collegiality, and challenge. For significant job fit, the job must fulfill a significant number of the employee's needs.
  • Job content: The work that the employee does every day is also a significant factor in job fit. Does the employee get to do the things that she loves to do? Does the job utilize her strengths? Does the work fulfill her needs and allow her to live a job that is congruent with her values? Job content is important in identifying job fit.
  • Education and Training: Does your candidate have the right education and training for the job? Or, can you provide it? or can she obtain it in a timely manner? Dedicating a full-time resource to training a new employee is rarely a practical alternative if you can locate a qualified employee with the appropriate training.

There are other components that indicate job fit, but these cover most bases.

Job Fit in Employee Selection

In a masterful work, "First, Break All The Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently," authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman recommend that in hiring, employers should hire the best talent that they can find.

In an analogy used throughout the book, they recommend that, when you have the right people on the bus, you can then begin to worry about what seat to put them in (job fit).

You can also use job fit assessments and testing, behavioral interviews, and significant, thorough background checking to determine beforehand if the applicant you like will fit the current job you have available. This should not deter you from hiring the best talent that you can find because you have additional options for potential star employees: you can create a different job, for example.

These interview questions and this advice about how to interpret interview question answers should assist you to identify people who fit the job.

Employees who experience job fit are productive, happy, contributing employees. If you have an employee who is job searching or expressing unhappiness in his current role, starts by examining job fit. You may find you have a potential A-player assigned to the wrong seat on the bus.

Replacing that potential A-player takes a whole lot of time and money versus changing his seat on the bus—which you can readily do.