Nearly 90% of the time, the reason people fail in their job has nothing to do with skills or experience, and everything to do with attitudes and fit.
We’ve all hired someone who looked great on paper and interviewed really well, even though something was ‘off’. It never really worked out, did it? If the fit’s not right, nothing else matters.
But how do you get your arms around something as intangible as fit?
Research has shown there are actually four critical aspects of fit that are important for you to check out:
The first and most critical is fit with manager. How much supervision do they need? What style of management do they respond well to, and what shuts them down? As they tell you about what management behaviors make them most and least productive… which will they get more of here?
The second is fit with the job. Beyond the basics of can they do the job, is how much of the job plays to what they naturally do best, and is likely to capture and hold their interest. Then, what are the candidate’s attitudes and standards in the areas that matter – be it quality, safety, customer service, attention to detail… whatever?
Third is fit with the people around them – Do they share the same standards, are they equally committed to the same things, and do they genuinely like and respect one another? A team where the social fabric is strong will out-produce one where it is weak day in and day out, regardless of what challenges and adversity are thrown at them.
Finally, fit with the company. Is this a place where they can put down roots, learn and grow? Is what you do important to them? Will they represent you in the way you want to be represented?
In the application process, give candidates the opportunity to introduce themselves online and answer a series of questions related to these four aspects of fit. Prioritize candidates on the basis of fit, then do a short phone screen to validate your impressions. If you are prepared to invest time in an interview, have the candidate complete a proper assessment beforehand, so you know exactly what questions you need to ask when you sit down with them.
There are some very good tools available to reliably predict ‘fit’… let science do the heavy lifting, then trust your gut with the short list. Not the other way around.