In our last blog we defined job-fit and described its importance to employers and employees. In today’s post, we’ll highlight best practices that will help you effectively screen for job-fit, improving the accuracy and efficiency of the hiring process.
While there are many management systems and practices you can implement to boost engagement and retention (e.g., improve organizational culture, leadership, and work climate), there is no replacement for first getting the right people “on the bus.” To ensure you have the right “fit,” here are 7 best practices to consider including in your hiring process:
1. Create a detailed job profile: Start by compiling a detailed profile of the job (the requirements for success) and explicitly communicate the challenges employees may find difficult to tolerate. This realistic profile can help candidates self-select out of the hiring process if they feel the job is not right for them – a win-win for both the employer and potential candidates.
2. Assess work preferences: Assess candidates on the degree to which they are willing to manage and tolerate job challenges and the type of work they prefer doing (e.g., performing mostly physical work vs. performing mostly mental work).
3. Examine candidate biodata: Examine people’s experience, values and attitudes about work (biodata) that are important for the target job. Do they have a history of dealing with the job challenges in question? Are they willing to be flexible with their schedules? Can they travel? Do they have a history of leaving jobs? Are they likely to be punctual and follow rules and procedures?
4. Assess personal characteristics: Use a personality measure that has been validated for talent decisions. Every job requires some predisposed personal characteristics that are hard to train. For example, “Front of the house” hospitality employees have to constantly anticipate customer needs and resolve their issues. Research indicates that these types of jobs are best suited for employees who are high on the “agreeableness” personality construct – they are friendly, trusting, cooperative, and altruistic. People who are predisposed to being “agreeable” will likely find it easier to care for customers, even when they are difficult.
5. Measure KSAs: Ensure people have the right knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs). Can they actually do the job? While it’s important to have the right attitude, values, and personality, there are many jobs (for example, software programmer and financial advisor) where the KSAs are hard to learn. Having the right skills, education, and experience are critical. Job simulations, work samples and knowledge tests are the best predictors of this kind of “fit”.
6. Use multiple tools: As is evident by the previous bullets, job-fit is multi-dimensional. That’s why many organizations take an integrated approach, leveraging a job-fit index to measure willingness to do the job and a job simulation or knowledge test to assess ability to do the job.
7. Streamline the hiring process: Finally, automate your selection process and use a “funnel” approach to increase efficiency and cost effectiveness. Best-in-class companies use valid, easy to implement online tools to screen for “fit” at the very beginning of their process (top of the funnel). This methodology is especially effective when hiring in high volume, high turnover environments to ensure that only the best candidates get to the interviewing stage (bottom of the funnel). As a result, hiring managers are only spending their valuable time with people who have a high potential for “fit,” which is a huge savings in time and money for the organization.