What is Job Fit?
It’s the degree of congruence between an individual’s strengths, needs, and wants in a particular job and work environment. When interests align, the employee and the organization experience a good job fit. Establishing job fit helps to identify and place top performers in suitable positions.
Based on identifying innate personality traits, abilities, and behaviors, assessing for job fit determines if a person CAN do a job, HOW they will do a job, and if they will ENJOY the position. Every human being is motivated and driven by different influences. Job fit outlines the unique job-related qualities that make a person productive.
Poor job fit is costly to organizations worldwide. So much so that some businesses (in recent years) even offered employees cash to quit their jobs, if they felt it was not the right fit. Companies like Amazon and Zappos offered employees thousands of dollars to leave in an attempt to weed out those who don’t value the organizational mission. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stated in his shareholder letter, “The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want. In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.”
Gallup research has shown that companies with a ratio of 9.3 “engaged” employees (those who are emotionally connected with their jobs) for every one “disengaged” employee, saw 147 percent higher earnings per share on average [in 2012], when compared with their competitors. Gallup estimated that “active disengagement” costs the United States $450 to $550 billion each year.
Establishing and hiring for job fit at the start of the employee lifecycle helps organizations ensure they don’t become just another business contributing to the above figures.
On an organizational level, it will become evident that employees with little or no job fit will eventually leave, or be asked to leave. Turnover hurts more than a company’s bank balance; it affects morale, the company reputation, and productivity levels.
What are the factors in determining job fit?
There are multiple parts to an effective hiring process, as well as establishing job fit:
- Assessments, behavioral interviewing, background checks
- Identifying the position and what is needed in the position
- Setting clear guidelines and expectations
- Creating a benchmark
What is benchmarking?
- The process of identifying the standard of top, middle, and bottom performers
- Identifying commonalities (indicators) between what differentiates top performers from bottom performers
- Looking at a company’s culture, as cultures differ across organizations
- Using company-specific information
How to spot a job fit problem.
We are always looking for the perfect fit. We try on clothes before we buy them because clothes that fit look better. We pay to get rings resized. We even look for fit in our relationships; most of us like to build relationships with people who are compatible with us in some way. Since we take such care to find the perfect fit in other parts of our lives, shouldn’t we take the same approach in hiring to make sure candidates fit open positions?
Job fit is about more than just finding someone who has the necessary technical skills to do the job. A lack of technical skills is rarely the primary reason someone fails at a job. Job fit encompasses skills as well as a person’s reasoning ability, behavioral traits, and interests. Even when you identify an employee that may seem suitable for a particular job, interests and reasoning skills can change over time. This means another available job at your company could be the right move for an employee who no longer fits his or her current position.
It is not easy to identify employees who are up for a job change. Managers oversee numerous employees, and are often consumed by making sure everything gets done. Employees themselves often do not realize the problem is probably job-fit related. Although it can be hard, there are a few indicators to help you identify when it is time for an employee to make a job move:
1. The employee’s performance quality has decreased drastically.
If you notice that a formally stellar employee has been producing less quality work, it may be a sign that he or she needs a change. It is clear that the employee has the ability to be a star performer. Identify a job that will challenge him or her. Hopefully, the change of pace will be exactly what the employee needs to return to their previous level of engagement and work quality.
2. The employee has an updated skill set.
Many employees go back to school, seek certifications to keep themselves marketable, or switch careers completely. Instead of losing your employees to other companies once they receive more education, identify open positions you have that will match their new skill sets.
3. The employee seems bored.