How That “Just Right Fit” Creates BIG WINs for Employees and Employers!
Finding that “Just Right” JOB, or that “Just Right” EMPLOYEE Always Makes a Difference!
In fact, finding that “just right fit” between a job and a job candidate is our favorite thing to do. Maybe because it’s “not easy” and we like a challenge. Maybe its because we get to see first hand how much of a difference it makes to BOTH employees and employers. Whatever the reason, we work very hard at “fit finding”.
If you’re an EMPLOYER, hiring employees who are the “just right fit” almost always translates into more productivity. Studies show that employees who are that “just right fit” will outperform their less well matched colleagues as much as two to one. “Right fit” employees stay on the job longer, work harder, and can have a big impact on a team’s morale. Because they love what they do, the “right fit” employees have a positive impact on everyone around them.
If you’re an EMPLOYEE, taking the time to find a job that is that “just right fit” for you means you’ll actually look forward to Mondays (instead of Fridays). Not only will you love what you do, but you’ll be very good at it with increases in pay and job responsibilities going hand in hand. You’ll tend to be one of those “long termers” – avoiding the hassle of looking for “something better” every one or two years. You know that “something better” is your current job!
Our “fit finder” process tackles 4 components of “fit”….
JOB CONTENT. The “fit” between what an employee loves doing, what they are good at, and what their job allows them to do on a daily basis is probably the most important component of “fit”. Finding “job content fit” is all about understanding what skills, knowledge or experience it takes to do the job well, and matching those key requirements up with what the candidate loves doing, and does well.
BELIEFS. VALUES. and MISSION. The “fit” between what an employee values most about what they do at work (or how they want to contribute to the world) and what their employer does for a living – the products or services they make or deliver – can be a deal breaker when it comes to “fit.” When what an employee sees as important or valuable lines up with what a company produces or how it behaves, there is a “fit.”
CULTURE / TEAMWORK. The “fit” between how an employee prefers to get work done and how their team get work done together, is a significant component of our fit finding. Culture “fit” boils down to how the employee and the team define and do “teamwork”.
MOTIVATION – is the “fit” between what an employee hopes to gain from going to work each day, and what the job, the company, or their team has to offer. When what a job delivers to an employee (more pay, better benefits, recognition, challenge, etc.) aligns with what an employee wants/needs from their job, you have “motivational fit.”
Head swirling yet?
Don’t stress. The PACE team has spent over 40 years perfecting our “fit finder” processes, but we still find there’s more to learn, processes to improve. And there’s lots at stake….
Done right, that “just right fit” can make a huge difference for both the employer and their new employee! Done wrong, it can create a lot of issues – increased hiring costs, unexpected turnovers, and, if left unchecked, serious performance slumps.
“Fit Finding” Requires Several Layers of Homework
#1 We always start with “job fit” – identifying the skills, knowledge and experience it takes to do the job, and finding candidates who CAN and WANT to do the work that is the job!
“Job fit” is the first step in “fit finding”. It’s like putting the right key in the door, the right piece into a puzzle. When a hiring manager finds a candidate who has the right skills and loves using them, is well on their way to finding that “just right fit.”
For employers, fit finding is about getting clear about what skills, knowledge or experience is actually linked to successful on the job performance. Once they’ve defined success behaviorally – what must the employee do, produce or create to be considered a successful hire – they are well on their way to fit finding.
Hiring managers often adjust their hiring criteria as they gain more information about what it takes to do the job well – in most cases influenced by a job market where setting hiring criteria too high means you run short of qualified candidates or they cost more than what you can afford.
One of our contributions to the fit finding process is to help hiring managers get clear on what knowledge, skills or experience they actually need and can afford. To do that we always ask about the knowledge, skills or experience of successful hires in the past.
For candidates, finding “job content fit” requires a focused inquiry into those parts of the candidate’s previous work history – what components of previous jobs did they they like and perform well? What components of previous jobs did they dislike or never quite mastered.
- Do they lean toward that is analytical and detailed, or do they prefer work content where there is less focus on precision?
- Do they work best in environments were the work is repetitious, and outcomes objectively measured, or have they done better in environments where the work content was more varied, with more subjective methods of evaluation?
- How have they performed when working in jobs governed by tight deadlines as compared to jobs where they employee set their own pace?
- Have they preferred jobs where supervisors are readily available, or do they thrive in jobs where they are more self managed?
Job content “fit” happens when the actual work content requires an employee to use the same set of skills and personal qualities they have used and enjoyed in the past, and minimizes the need to do things they haven’t liked or haven’t done well in the past.
#2 Explore whether or not the company’s mission, beliefs and values align with what’s important to the employee.
When looking for “fit” at the beliefs and values level, the fit finding process tends to have a bit more wiggle room. There are candidates who have very strong personal values and will not consider a company who isn’t the “right fit”. Others have less tightly defined values, and can work for a broad range of employers, even those whose values differ from their own.
For the same reasons, there are companies with a very strong set of values that aren’t easily compromised. They get reflected in their policies or behavioral norms so that as a place to work, the company is only attractive to the type of employee who has similar values. Other companies are much less value driven and can work with a wide of employees, despite how these employees might behave at work. (In case you’re wondering, values have little to no relationship with an employee’s race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual preference…but more on that later!)
Fit Finding is often about avoiding obvious mismatches.
What attracts an employee to a company is often about how a company treats its people. And the recruiting process is all about putting your best foot forward.
If the company wants its workplace to be about having fun at work, there is a ping pong table in the lunchroom that makes them look like a “good fit” for the right employees. If they place value on keeping their employees well paid and secure, the recruiting process showcases pay and benefit programs. If a company values individual achievement, they feature their incentive and recognition programs that are focused on the individual. If a company values learning, they’ll tell you all about their training or mentorship programs.
Discovering whether or not an employee’s personal values are in line with a company’s business or how they do their business requires you to understand how the organization actually behaves outside the recruiting process and match that up with how an employee wants to be treated – really.
#3 Find out how the candidate prefers to do their work compared to how the team they are joining gets work done.
The teamwork/cultural component of “fit” has become increasingly important in today’s work environment where the increase in work complexity requires people to work together in teams, rather than as individuals working alone.
How an employee typically behaves in a “team” environment and the behaviors the team expects from its team members , is a big component of “fit”.
And each team is different!
For example, employees who enjoy being individual contributors often find it challenging to “fit” into teams where team members do everything – make decisions, solve problems , etc. – collaboratively. If you are an employee who hates meetings and the team you are working on a team that is meeting rich, chances are this team is not the best “fit” for you. If you are someone who prefers to work alone and enjoys solving complex problems on your own, a team where individual efforts are not that noticed or recognized is likely not the best fit.
Unfortunately, not all hiring managers take the time to understand let alone describe the “culture’ of their team. In those cases the assessment of “fit” can happen casually – often during an interview with a future boss and/or co workers. This is a setting where its easy for “like” to morph into “fit.”
Employees who show up “likeable” in an interview setting, are not always the right fit when it comes to actually getting work done.
Selecting an employee who is the “right team or culture fit” requires the team to increase their awareness of how they actually get work done at work, different from what team members do on the weekend or after work.
Fit Finder homework for hiring managers? Ask yourself (and your team) a few questions…
- How does the team measure its success? How often? In what way?
- Does the team like to just meet its goals or is always striving to exceed them?
- What kind of rewards does the team enjoy? Are there opportunities for individual recognition, or is it always the team?
- How does the team solve problems? Do people work together to solve all issues together, or does the team expect individuals to solve their own problems?
- How does the team communicate with one another – formally or informally?
- How often and in what ways does the team meet together?
- How do decisions get made? Does everyone get a chance to weigh in, or does management just make decisions on the team’s behalf?
- How does an employee get and give feedback to one another?
#4 Find out if what the employee wants to “get” from their job is something the job, the company or the team has to offer.
After we’ve helped a hiring manager get clear on their “preferred candidate profile” we always ask them what they think would motivate that preferred candidate to “take this job”. What will this preferred candidate actually get from saying “I do” to an offer of employment?
You might be surprised to learn how few hiring managers have clear answers to that question. And they need to – particularly in today’s marketplace where the best talent has many choices as to where they will work. Finding motivational fit can’t be an after thought.
With candidates, fit finding is always about uncovering why they work – what they hope to get from their job and why they might select one job over another.
- Is it a chance to be recognized and promoted based on a highly visible form of personal contribution?
- Do they want to use their job as a way to expand their social circle, or counter balance loneliness?
- What are their aspirations for the team?
- What do they need to be paid in order to feel success?
- How important are benefits to the employee? Healthcare care coverage? PTO? HTO?
- How important is it for the employee to know their job is secure, not subject to lay off?
“Fit finding” also requires that we take a clos look at a candidate’s work history – finding out why they decided to take a job, why they later elected to leave it. The pattern this type of inquiry uncovers almost always reveals something important about the candidate’s motivational profile.
Our role in motivational “fit finding” is to make sure that what each candidate wants or needs from their job, and what each job is likely to offer.
Your Big Take Aways Re: FIT?
Fit finding is a component of the hiring process that has big returns for both employers and employees.
Candidates and hiring manager play a big role in fit finding. Everyone has some homework!
We’re here to help!
PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest employers find and hire employees based on the “right fit” for over 40 years.
A 5-time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation , PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.
PACE services include temporary and contract staffing, temp to hire auditions, direct hire professional recruiting services, Employer of Record (payroll) services, and a large menu of candidate assessment services our clients can purchase a la carte.
To learn more about our “fit finder” process and how it makes a difference, lets connect.
If you’re a candidate looking for that job that is the “just right fit”, contact us at 425-637-3311 or e mail us at candidate firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re a hiring manager looking for an employee who is that “just right fit”, contact us at 425-637-3312 or email us at email@example.com.