Hiring Right Fit (assessing for job fit)

Posted On: June 5th, 2015 By Tania Howard No Comments »


Whenever businesses tell me they haven’t hired the right person, it often seems to come down to the person’s behaviours or fit, it is rarely their skills at fault. Many businesses, really struggle to assess ‘fit’ or behaviour and lack the techniques and tools to do so. They continue to focus on ‘skills’ and keep on making the same hiring mistakes. I often see a string of bad hires and yet no change in the process, naturally the same action delivers the same result.

‘Right fit’ just refers to whether the candidate has the motivation, attitude and behaviours that will allow them to enjoy the position. It is a broad term that covers:
• Job fit
• Company fit
• Values fit

Collectively these highlight someone’s willingness to do the job (will-do factor) while focusing on candidates’ skills only reveals someone’s ability to carry out the job (the can-do factor). Each deserves a special mention, here I will focus on why ‘right-fit’ is important, and provide hints to specifically identify job fit.

In essence if people are the wrong fit they can be destructive in a role or have short tenure. Those with ‘right fit’ have stronger motivation and positive attitude towards their role so they are productive, effective and stay longer. People are happier in roles where they can demonstrate their skills or where they can learn. Yet if the learning curve is huge and they feel overwhelmed and can see no end to that, they won’t stay. The bottom line is ‘job fit’ has massive impact on staff turnover.

‘Job fit’ is around identifying whether what the job offers is congruent with what the person is seeking in a role. Also known as job congruency or motivational fit, with the right questions, this is simple to assess. If there is a mismatch in the candidates expectations and what the job offers eventually frustrations will emerge. Sooner if there is a large gap.

To fully assess job fit you need to know the answers to the below:

• Does the candidate’s salary expectations match how much the role offers?
• Is the ease, time and distance to commute manageable compared to what they are used to?
• How much personal impact does the role have on home and family? Is the person prepared to do long hours or are they seeking work-life balance? This also includes time away from home travelling, how much time is required away from home compared to how much someone wishes to travel?
• Does the role match the candidates’ abilities for the role now and for growth?
• How much of the content of the role is doing things the candidate enjoys? We all have things in our roles that we enjoy less but does the role provide sufficient gratification?
• Do they need variety or have a preference for routine work? Overall does it provide interesting and challenging work if that is what they are seeking?
• Is making a contribution to society high on their wish list? If making a difference is important to them does the role allow for that?
• What is the motivation for this role? Are they just wanting a job, any job, therefore will they be off as soon as they find another better suited?
• Are there opportunities for advancement equal to their desire for progression and personal ambition?

Many of these you can just ask outright, others the candidate could possibly tell you what they believe you want to hear. Also you can’t specifically ask questions that relate to their personal life as this can provide information that can be discriminatory. So there are a few techniques around gathering this information. Tailored recruitment documentation and processes, such as Talent Seed provides, can help you uncover whether applicants are fit for the role.

As you can see the reasons why a candidate might want a role are vitally important to their focus, performance and tenure once in the role. When we purely assess skills we forget the human element and fail to uncover all the reasons why someone would want the role. It isn’t entirely your decision after all. Attention to this now will save you time in performance management or unnecessary rehiring.

If you need assistance with tools or training to reveal job fit, contact Talent Seed.


Tania Howard is the director of Talent Seed a recruitment advisory company that supports, advises and trains business owners in effective recruitment. She has recruited or led recruitment teams in nine countries. At previous roles she reduced frontline recruitment expenditure by a third and earlier as International Recruitment Manager set up a team and processes to hire 800 people within 4 months. She specialises in reducing bad hires, decreasing legal risk when recruiting and assisting businesses to compete for talent. Tania can be contacted via




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