Too Big, Too Small, Too Loose, Too Tight, Or Just Right?

Too Big, Too Small, Too Loose, Too Tight, Or Just Right?


How do you ensure a good fit between the right job, employee, and corporate culture?


By Executive Coach, Karen Nutter


I can’t tell you how many times I have spoken to HR Managers who are frustrated because the “Perfect employee” they hired six months ago isn’t living up to the expectations of the company. While most businesses realize that selecting the wrong person for the job can reduce productivity and increase costly employee turnover, many businesses are having trouble attracting, developing, and retaining great team members.

While many businesses still use the traditional process of: Advertise -> Read Resumes -> Interview, smart companies recognize that the key to finding the right candidate involves a more comprehensive, scientific, and individualized approach.


Beyond Skillsets
While it may be helpful to review a job candidate’s skills and past experience, especially for positions that require specific skillsets, it’s important to remember that just because someone can do the job, doesn’t mean they are the right fit for you.

Effective candidate recruiting involves job-matching that looks at:

  • Behavioral Traits
  • Intrinsic Motivators
  • Skill Competencies
  • Acumen Indicators

When you only look at skills and past experience, you are missing some of the most important factors of successful employee selection. Effective job-matching programs look at the traits required to get the job done, rather than just the skills. Behavioral traits are a good place to start. Now, I am not talking about whether they clean up after themselves, act immature, or have a nervous tick. Instead, it’s important to realize that everyone has a natural behavioral style which can help them excel in some positions, or challenge them in others.

A few of the common behavioral traits companies may consider, depending on ensuring a good match for the job, include:

  • Analysis of data
  • Competitiveness
  • Consistency
  • Follow-up/Follow-through
  • Following policy
  • Urgency

Think of a position you have tried to fill – does it require strong decision-making, or are strong analytical skills needed? Does the job require someone who is very consistent, or someone comfortable with frequent change? Recognizing that there are specific behavioral traits required of any job, you can search for candidates that possess these traits, to help ensure a good fit.


Value Motivators

“When a person clearly demonstrates passion for their work, it is because their motivators are well-matched to the job.”
~Target Training International


A person’s values are the motivators that drive their behavior. Employees who have jobs that match their values are more likely to be satisfied with their job and will therefore put more energy into it. Motivators include:

  • Utilitarian: A drive for a practical return on time or money spent to accumulate wealth and what is useful
  • Theoretical: A drive for knowledge, discover and continuous learning
  • Individualistic: A drive for personal power, influence and control over surroundings
  • Aesthetic: A drive for beauty, form and harmony in objects, nature or experience
  • Traditional: A drive for an orderly, well-established, unified structure for living
  • Social: A selfless drive to help others

If you are trying to motivate an employee by offering tuition reimbursement, (theoretical)  but they are motivated by cash and prizes (utilitarian), there will be a disconnect that could de-motivate an otherwise high-producing team member.


Competencies & Indicators
There are 25 professional competencies that are universally agreed to be necessary in the workplace in varying degrees according to the position. Included among these competencies are Conceptual Thinking, Creativity, Decision-making, Empathy, Persuasion, Self-management, and others. When you identify the importance of each skill for effective job performance, you can better select candidates to match. These skill competencies are very individualized for each industry and corporate culture. For example, the competencies required for a salesperson in a department store may be very different from those of a pharmaceutical sales rep.

Additionally, it’s important to understand how a person analyzes and interprets experiences as situations unfold. This provides insight into a person’s thought processes and the perspectives that affect performance. Acumen Indicators enhance the job-matching process by looking at both external and internal factors. External factors include: Understanding others, Practical thinking, and Systems Judgment. While Internal factors include: Sense of self, Role Awareness, and Self-direction.


Using Science For Effective Hiring
While resumes and interviews are still the most common hiring practice, and they DO offer some basic information that is helpful, today’s technology offers new insights and support for effective job-matching. I have worked with many companies that recognize the value of scientific assessments in their employee hiring and development practices.

Using various online assessments, we are now able to gain insight on employee behaviors and motivators, and review how those do or don’t fit the position or company culture before investing in a new-hire. Additionally, the use of EQ Assessments has provided many individuals and business teams with a better understanding of each person and how best to relate to one another.


Hiring For Success
With the current unemployment rate being about 4%, finding the right employee is harder than ever. As such, it’s more important than ever to ensure you are incorporating a job-matching process that will help you hire the right employee for the right position. Rather than simply reviewing a resume for job skills and experience, use a well-rounded approach that uses scientific assessments to provide detailed insight about your candidate, and match that information to what is needed for the job and your company culture.


“Putting a great employee in the wrong job is detrimental to them and you.” ~Karen D. Nutter


Source: TTI White Paper: Job Matching – The Key to Performance, March 2011

If you are an HR Professional, Recruiter, or Consultant interested in using scientific assessments for successful hiring, attend our Personnel Proficiency Boot Camp on October 17-18, 2018. Registration is currently open and space is limited.