Job Fit = Job Success

“Employees who are well matched to their jobs are 2.5 times more productive.”

These are the findings of a Harvard Business Review study that followed 360 000 people through their careers over a 20-year period. The study identified “job fit” as the #1 predictor of job success. They also found that the “job fit” approach more accurately predicts job success than any commonly accepted factors such as education, experience and job training.

So, what is “job fit” and why should you care?

Our work environment and hiring practices have changed drastically over the past six months and organizations have been forced to pivot and adapt the way they do business. This new remote world has brought with it a corresponding set of hiring challenges. It is more important than ever for organizations to ensure they select employees that fit and have the capabilities and potential to be successful and meet the objectives of their position.

Traditional hiring practices relying on resumes, interviews and intuition have achieved modest success in determining potential job fit and long-term success. By adding pre-hire testing, organizations improve their hiring success with the addition of consistent, in-depth and objective data about the candidate’s fit based on their thinking styles, behaviors and interests. 

Each of us is motivated and driven by different influences. “Job fit” outlines the unique job-related qualities that makes each employee productive.

Assessing for job fit based on innate personality traits, abilities, and behaviors allows us to determine:
1. If a person CAN do the job
2. How they WILL do the job
3. Whether they will ENJOY the job
4. Areas of STRENGTH and CHALLENGE (development opportunities)

In other words, is there strong alignment between the candidate’s characteristics and cognitive aptitudes and those required by the job and your work environment?

“Job fit” measurement helps you place candidates in positions where they are likely to perform at their full potential and be successful. Studies show that proper job fit improves engagement and job satisfaction, resulting in increased productivity. While issues resulting from poor fit like low morale, disengagement and increased turnover, reduce productivity. 

Gallup research has shown that companies with a ratio of 9.3 “engaged” employees (emotionally connected with their jobs) for every “disengaged” employee, saw 147 percent higher earnings per share on average, when compared with their competitors.

The challenge: How to simply and accurately measure for “fit”.

Humans are like icebergs in that, only a small percentage of our capabilities and potential can be observed on the surface. Resumes, interviews, and recommendations provide a good starting point for gaining a basic sense of who a person is. The rest, like thinking style, behavioral traits and interests take some digging; that’s where pre-hire assessments fit in.

Some organizations try to assess for fit based on carefully crafted interview questions that look at things like values, beliefs, outlook and needs. Others might use tiered interviews where the candidate meets with different cross functional teams. The challenge always comes back to the iceberg analogy and getting to know what truly lies below the surface.

A proven approach which many successful organizations are now incorporating into their standard hiring processes is to use a pre-hire employee assessment like PXT Select or Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator. These types of assessments help to fill the gap between the resume and interview with actionable data on the candidate’s fit based on factors like thinking style, behavioral traits and interests. They help organizations make smarter hiring decisions based on data, not impressions.

There are many types of pre-hire assessments to choose from, the most effective assessments use “job fit” measures as a tool to increase reliability by comparing candidate assessment data against a benchmark (success model), which matches candidates to a specific job and organization.

Lucy Arkell, General Manager
LePhair Associates Ltd.

LePhair Associates provides employee assessments, training and consulting services to businesses that appreciate their people are essential to their success. With more than 60 years of combined P&C industry experience, we have a track record of helping businesses achieve breakthrough results in company performance. Our advanced assessment information combined with customized sales, service and leadership development training programs, helps companies get the right person in the right job, develop processes to coach, train, manage and motivate them to greater success.