The right choice

Selecting the right person for the job is important. For if you make a mistake in hiring, the cost of replacing that employee is two and one-half times the person’s annual salary, say human resources experts.

Selecting the right person for the job is important. For if you make a mistake in hiring, the cost of replacing that employee is two and one-half times the person’s annual salary, say human resources experts

You’ve probably heard the term right person right job or job fit before. But what does it mean and how does one accomplish it? According to the experts, job fit refers to “the degree to which a person’s cognitive abilities, interests and personality dynamics fit those required by the job.”

Job fit is where the passions and talents of the individual match those required by the work and where the values of the individual are in sync with the values of the organisation. You’re doing what you do best and what you like doing with people who share your core values.

If you have job fit, you’ll have a sense of everything clicking, you’re at your best, and you’re on. Concentration is so intense that there is no attention left over to think about anything irrelevant, or to worry about problems. Self-consciousness disappears and the sense of time becomes distorted. An activity that produces such experiences is so gratifying that people are willing to do it for its own sake, with little concern for what they will get out of it, even when it is difficult or dangerous.

So job fit is great for employees, but why should employers care about it?

It has been proven, many times over, that job fit positively effects performance, eliminates costly mistakes in hiring, lessons turnover, and can even be used to attract talent. Job fit has a positive impact on the bottom line or a negative impact if you don’t have it.

A number of studies that have been conducted suggest that one of the main reasons for turnover is lack of job fit. Poor job fit has been associated with job dissatisfaction, higher levels of job-related stress, and intentions to leave the organisation. Where there is job fit, satisfaction increases, and turnover is reduced and people are more productive. Research shows that new hires whose values fit well with the values of the organisation and culture, tend to adjust more quickly, feel more satisfied, and remain with the organisation longer. Experts say that turnover can be reduced by 50-60 per cent through job fit. What is also important is to find out what is most frustrating about the job and hire people who have the temperament and emotional competencies to best deal with it.

A key component of job fit is to understand and leverage emotional competencies like self-discipline, interpersonal skills, empathy, and motivation. Companies, which determine the emotional competencies that are most important for success in a job, and then purposely seek out people who have those qualities, find a significant return on investment.

  • At a global consumer beverage firm, 50 per cent of division managers were leaving within two years resulting in a huge search cost. When the firm started to evaluate for competencies such as initiative, self-confidence, leadership, and the like, the retention rate was much greater – only six percent of new hires left within two years.
  • At a cosmetics giant, sales agents who were selected for their strengths in emotional competence had 63 percent less turnover during their first year than did those whose selection disregarded their competence profile.
  • Among newly hired sales reps at a start-up computer company, those hired for emotional competence were 90 percent more likely to finish their training than those hired on other criteria.
  • How job fit addresses key problem areas

    Retention & turnover: People happy with their work are less likely to be lured away. Studies show that retention rates are higher where job fit is employed in both the initial selection process and in continuing career development.

    Brain drain: Job fit helps blue the “brain drain” by helping you determine who else in the organisation has traits similar to those in key positions.

    Attracting talent: Being an organisation committed to people and providing meaningful work will help you attract star talent.

    Recruiting & staffing: Job fit assessments help you filter out applicants that aren’t good matches so that you can focus on those that are. Providing job fit information to potential candidates helps discourage poor fits early in process.

    Performance: When people are matched with work that makes the most of their natural talents, productivity increases.

    Doing more with less: Employees may take on additional work provided they get to do something which in tune with their natural talent.

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