HR Help

Are you choosing the right candidate for the job? Time to find out

Lydia Watson

Every organisation – and each industry – handles the hiring process differently. From the intensive psychometric assessments and gamified group interviews in some legal fields to the casual chat-and-a-coffee with the early start-up founder, there’s no agreed ‘right’ method.

And that’s probably why so many people get it so wrong, hiring people for positions that aren’t suited to them – in terms of their skills, ambitions, or personal drivers of engagement. 

Role fit: what is it? 

Think about yourself. What technical skills and abilities do you have? What about your other strengths, like being organised or confident in front of a crowd? What’s your overarching ambition? What makes you feel fulfilled? 

‘Role fit’ is when all of those elements match up with the job you do. When your daily tasks excite you and keep you productive. And that’s what you want to see in your teams.

So what if your employees are in the wrong role?

First, the obvious: if someone’s in the wrong role, they’re not going to be producing the best work. Whether that’s because they don’t have the right technical skills, or aren’t motivated to perform, it’s going to damage the productivity of your team.

Then there’s general disengagement – which we know is bad for business – and higher turnover of staff, which is costly and disruptive. So it’s crucial you hire the right people for the right roles, and make sure their roles stay right as their career progresses. 

“You’re just the man for the job!” – don’t mistake ‘culture fit’ for ‘role fit’

We all like what we know. That’s why it’s tempting for managers to hire “someone they’d like to have a beer with”, above the more skilled but personality-clashing candidate. ‘Culture fit’ can hide a whole host of wrongs, and might not be the best thing for your organisation’s success – especially if it’s the main factor you consider.

That’s why your people processes – from hiring to career development – need to be multifaceted. Look at skills, look at strengths, look at individual drivers, look at culture – sure – but do it all with an understanding of what the role actually requires. 

Recommended survey: our Role Fit deep dive

Use our Role Fit Deep Dive to understand whether A) your hiring process is getting it right and, B) what you can do to adapt people’s roles to make them more productive. It’s not too late to fix things if you’re getting it wrong from the off, but the sooner you find out the better:

1. Expectations

These questions focus on the daily tasks and expectations of an employee’s role – assessing whether they’re true to their job description, if they know what role they play in the wider organisation, and if they’re clear about what they’re expected to achieve.

Our advice:

It all begins with your hiring process and making sure you’re considering every factor that makes up an employee – and comparing that to the role you need to fill. They could have skills on paper, but lack the leadership ability to run a team, or fit well into your ‘work hard, play hard’ culture but lack the experience they need to thrive.

2. Strengths

These questions look at an employee’s strengths, whether they can use them to full advantage in their role, and if they’re given the opportunity to develop them. It also looks at how much ownership they have over their current work. 

Our advice:

In one study, people who got to use their strengths 33% more often were the one that stayed in their current job. Everyone wants to feel rewarded for their natural abilities at work, so learning to spot that on an individual level can help you nourish employees into being happier, more engaged, and more productive.

3. Capability

These questions are all about your employees’ technical capabilities. They’re asked to understand if employees feel qualified for their job, if they can work independently, and if they have the opportunity for more learning and development.

Our advice:

Remember this goes both ways. Only 53% of overqualified employees felt satisfied in their role, compared to 74% of appropriately skilled people. 37% could do more, compared to 12% who say they don’t have the right skills, so consider that your employees could be given more opportunities. 

4. Support

These questions are focused on the support employees get from their managers, in terms of fulfilling their current responsibilities and knowing how to progress in their career. It’s asked to understand if there is anything stopping people from succeeding.

Our advice:

The #1 reason people leave their jobs is because they’re seeking career development. That’s been true for years, but organisations are losing good talent by not giving their people advancement opportunities. Even if it means crafting a new role, remember that everyone’s career is their main priority – no matter how much they believe in your organisation’s mission.

Qlearsite Foundation: find out where you’re going wrong

  • Ready-made question sets

  • 15-minute survey set-up

  • Instant insights after closing

  • Context from language analysis

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