When filling an open role within an organization, it is crucial to find the right person. In a highly competitive job market, finding that person is easier said than done. Various factors contribute to whether or not a candidate chooses to accept an offer, some entirely out of a company’s control. However, properly vetting and interviewing candidates is within their control to ensure that candidates are qualified and aligned with the job position requirements and company culture. Human resources and hiring managers must prioritize strong recruiting and hiring practices to attract top talent and convince them to join the team.
What is candidate job fit? Our definition:
Candidate job fit refers to how aligned candidates are to role expectations and company culture. To determine their job fit, hiring managers will evaluate applicants’ hard and soft skills, along with their experience and background. This concept combines a candidates’ abilities with their potential, amongst other factors related to the position, to assess how aligned they are with both job and organization.
In some cases, although a candidate may possess the background and experience required for a role, they lack in other just-as-important areas that may negatively impact how they can perform. Because of this gap, it is imperative for hiring managers to consider all of the various aspects of job fit when making their hiring decisions.
Why is candidate job fit important?
When the right people are placed in the right roles, an entire organization can flourish. Conversely, if the wrong person is hired, an organization may suffer in many areas. Hiring appropriately will ensure that employees are high-performing and productive in their roles while contributing to organizational growth and success. Here are some of the reasons why candidate job fit is so important:
Constantly having to replace employees is very expensive--both in time and money. A high turnover rate causes companies to spend time sourcing, reviewing resumes, interviewing, and training new hires instead of working toward larger team goals. To reduce higher turnover, take extra care during the interview process to ask the right questions and learn about a candidates' soft skills and alignment with your current work culture. If you hire the right person in the first place, you can avoid potential turnover altogether.
When you hire candidates aligned with the role and the company culture and values, they are more likely to be happy and engaged in their roles. If a candidate has a solid job fit, it’s safe to assume that their newfound duties and responsibilities energize them and challenge them positively. Because of this alignment, they are excited to come to work, execute their duties, and contribute to the organization. If candidates have a poor job fit, they may find those same tasks draining or have difficulties acclimating to the work environment.
Candidate job fit directly impacts productivity, not only for the new candidate but also for the team. When candidates have a strong job fit and are more engaged in their roles, they will be more motivated and committed to the organization and their position. This productivity influences other team members-- either inspiring them to work harder or negatively affecting their morale and productivity as a result.
Better quality of hire
Quality of hire is an essential yet mysterious metric that companies must measure to understand whether their current hiring practices need improvement or adjustments. This metric is difficult to measure because it includes data that isn’t measured numerically, such as performance, cultural fit, and productivity. Because a candidate with a strong job fit should excel in many areas measured, prioritizing candidate job fit can lead to a better quality of hire across the board.
4 Ways to measure job fit
Properly evaluating candidates is a critical part of the hiring process. While a candidate may look good on paper, there is always a risk that the skills and abilities listed on a resume are inaccurate. On the contrary, an applicant may doubt their abilities, undersell themselves, or underperform in interviews. Hard skills, soft skills, and cultural fit are the three keys to assessing a hire and are essential for determining whether they will fit the role and organization. There are various ways to measure whether a candidate is a strong match:
Hard skills assessments
Hard skills are measurable, often technical, and learned abilities gained or refined through lots of practice, dedication, and education. You can assess a candidate's hard skills by reviewing a candidate's resume or online presence (such as a candidate's public LinkedIn profile) to determine whether or not they possess the skills for your role.
As they relate to experience, competencies, and strengths associated with an open job, these skills suggest that a candidate has the core capabilities to execute the tasks within a role. When assessing a candidate's job fit based on hard skills, be on the lookout for specific keywords, tools, and industry knowledge necessary to the role you are offering. Another way to measure a candidate’s hard skills is by administering an assessment that requires them to demonstrate their abilities pertaining to the position in question.
Once you have narrowed down your pool to the candidates that meet your skills requirements, it is time to assess whether they are a good fit culturally. Workplace culture is built upon shared values, expectations, operations, and goals; finding candidates who fit into your current culture is vital for maintaining a solid and efficient workforce.
Before assessing a candidate’s cultural fit, you must first identify your company’s culture. A work culture manifests itself daily and can be seen in employee interactions, company priorities, daily practices, and more. To determine what makes up your company’s culture, you must first analyze your team’s behavior and leadership. Maybe collaboration plays a huge part in your culture, everyone interacts casually, and your team values integrity and honesty. Or, perhaps your team is highly competitive, works independently, and values achievement and preciseness. Regardless of your company’s culture, it is critical to find an employee who seamlessly integrates into it and becomes a productive team member.
When determining a candidate's job fit and soft skills, it can be helpful to discover their unique personality type through personality frameworks such as DISC. In doing so, you will gain valuable insights into a candidate's behaviors, motivations, and predispositions. Personality insights also can help predict whether a candidate has certain soft skills. Soft skills are any collection of non-technical abilities or characteristics that may enhance productivity and performance, improve workplace relationships, and complement hard skills. Examples may include strong social skills, independent work ethic, detail-oriented, highly collaborative, and much more.
The DISC personality model is one of the most effective and widely used personality frameworks. "DISC" represents four primary behavioral styles: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. As unique individuals, we are all a combination of these styles. Through these combinations, 16 possible subgroups are formed. These subgroups produce more accurate descriptions and predictions of our behavioral patterns, characteristics, and motivations. Looking beyond experience, and utilizing tools such as the DISC model to view a person's personality, will help you better determine whether a potential candidate is a good fit for your organization. Get started by integrating DISC into your recruiting and hiring practices today.
Ask the right questions
To prevent making the wrong hiring decision, be sure to ask candidates questions that give you a good idea of who they are and what they will accomplish. During the interview, ask creative questions that will allow them to demonstrate their work ethic and style and address relevant conflicts or speed bumps they might have had in the past.
The questions you ask should also provide candidates with a chance to demonstrate their strengths and express their motivations. However, the questions should also confront a candidate's natural blindspots so you're able to understand how they'd handle situations that challenge them. Doing so will let you better understand how they work and how they may fit your current team.
Personality-based interview strategies
Candidates with a D-type personality are often independent, confident, and assertive by nature and thrive in positions of authority where they have the freedom to set and achieve big goals with tangible results. They may have difficulties accepting supporting roles or roles that require heavy collaboration. When assessing a D-type candidate, try to ask questions that give them a chance to demonstrate their self-sufficiency and discuss their career experience and goals while also challenging them to show self-awareness or growth.
Candidates with an I-type personality are often creative, charismatic, and enthusiastic by nature and thrive in positions where they can collaborate with and inspire others. They may have difficulties in roles that require them to work independently or in roles where they must regularly analyze small details. When assessing an I-type personality, ask questions that encourage them to discuss their unique way of thinking and motivate them to share openly while challenging them to discuss their analytical thinking experience.
Candidates with an S-type personality are often supportive, empathetic, and patient by nature. They tend to thrive in supporting roles where they can frequently connect with or help others. They may have difficulties in positions of authority or when having to address conflict with others. When assessing an S-type personality, try to ask questions that allow them to demonstrate their patience and express how they feel appreciated. Challenge them to address a time where they faced conflict.
Candidates with a C-type personality are often meticulous, detail-oriented, and reserved by nature. They tend to thrive in positions where they can solve complex problems or use data to make informed decisions. They may have difficulties facing change or working in large groups of people. When assessing a C-type personality, ask questions that allow them to demonstrate their logical thinking and share how they like to use their time while challenging them to share how they adapt to change.
What role does personality play in candidate job fit?
Personality plays a significant role in candidate job fit because it determines how individuals work and communicate and their behaviors and preferences. Knowing these tendencies and character predictions can ensure an individual is a good cultural fit to an organization--which is an important factor of candidate job fit. Understanding a candidate’s personality will allow you to determine best whether the role expectations and duties will be energizing or draining tasks; these insights can help you pick the best person and avoid low productivity and burnout due to hiring the wrong person. Utilizing personality frameworks such as DISC in your recruiting and hiring processes can be an excellent way to supplement other practices, better understand candidates, and aid in the overall success of hiring decisions.
Candidate job fit: Our key takeaways
Employees are the foundation of an organization; a company is only as good as its employees. Therefore, special care must be taken when adding members to a team to ensure that they can make positive contributions and work effectively in their roles. When the candidates with a poor job fit are hired, there is an increased likelihood of faulty performance, lack of engagement and productivity, and overall poor work culture.
Taking steps to be extra thorough throughout the recruiting and hiring process is an investment in both the employee’s and company’s future. When assessing a candidate, do not underestimate the importance of considering all the different factors as equally valuable indicators of job fit. Understanding a candidate’s personality and how it may serve as an asset or obstacle within your team is crucial in assessing job fit. Get started integrating DISC in your hiring process here, or discover your own personality type by taking a free personality test!