Hire when it fits

March 25, 2015

Hire when it fits

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen businesses make when they’re hiring is doing it like they’re buying a suit off the rack. They feel they need to walk away with something, even when the fit isn’t perfect.

But employees are not like suits. Suits don’t cause trouble in your company. Suits don’t resign and leave you in a tight spot. You have to approach hiring like you’re buying a tailored suit instead. Prioritize fit, because that’s what’s going to make the most difference – to both your new hire and your company.

Look for alignment

When hiring, look for the alignment between the candidate’s strengths, needs and wants in the job and your business environment. Job fit helps you gauge if:

  • The candidate CAN do the job
  • HOW they do the job
  • If they will ENJOY the job

Candidate who are well matched to the job are 2 ½ times more productive!

Have a job description

Have a solid job description. You will know exactly who to look for, and the candidate will know exactly what’s expected of them.

Let me share with you the benefits of a well-drafted job description:

  1. This will help you conduct interviews and provide a solid foundation for developing interview questions.
  2. A comprehensive job description will help assess how a particular individual will contribute to or detract from your company vision.
  3. If you create many great initiatives but hire leaders with no ability to motivate staff, then nobody can execute your plans. You will be wasting your money and time! 
  4. When used as means to communicate expectations, job descriptions can also be used as a basis for performance management. For the employee, having a clear job description allows them to understand the responsibilities and duties that are required and expected of them.

Ask the right questions

Don’t just ask what’s he’s done. Ask how de did it and why. Ask how it made him feel? Find out about his personality and figure out if this is the kind of person who would adjust well to how you’re already doing things.

Behavioral based questions help to evaluate the applicant’s past behavior, judgment, and initiative.

Here are some examples:

  • Describe a crisis your organization faced and how you managed it
  • Tell me about the time you reached out for additional responsibility
  • Tell me about the largest project you worked on
  • Tell me about the last time you broke the rules

If you hire based on fit over experience, you’ll be able to hire better employees more consistently and keep them much longer!

Image credit: conorwithonen, via flickr.com.


Aline Ayoub

Aline has made a lifetime career in HR and is the founder of Aline Ayoub HR Consulting; a bilingual company that is helping small businesses recruit and hire the right people through a unique hiring process she has developed. She is an award winning coach and is an active member of Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA). Visit Aline’s website or follow her on twitter and LinkedIn.