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Hiring For Fit In 3 Easy Steps

Hiring for fit in 3 easy steps

Mis-hires, unengaged employees and voluntary turnover are hard on everybody. Increasingly, organizations are working to improve hiring success by turning their attention to fit. That elusive measure of a candidate’s suitability for a certain position, manager or team. Getting the match right can make all the difference in productivity, job satisfaction, and retention.

Hiring for fit has always been hard.

It’s highly subjective, not found on a resume, and most of us aren’t trained to uncover it in an interview. It’s typically left to chance or a gut feeling.

Let’s presume you’re hiring for an open position and (if you’re lucky) have a stack of resumes to review. How do you spot a great fit?

Typically, one starts by reviewing resumes for required skills and experience. You might toss aside those with spelling or grammatical errors or a lousy cover letter. Once you have a short list of candidates that appear qualified, you’ll schedule short phone interviews. Those who check the boxes on the phone move to in-person interviews.

It’s not until you get to an interview that most people start to consider “fit” for the position. As mentioned earlier, it’s hard. Don’t despair, we’re going to help you with that!

We’re going to help you focus on what we call Work Style Fit™ to get the right person in the right job.

We’ve developed a more effective way to screen and hire that starts with fit. Did you know that only 11% of mis-hires are due to a skills gap? The remaining issues are all related to fit. Our goal is to get fit right from the start so more companies are putting the right people in the right jobs and everyone is happier.

First off, we’re not talking about shared values or personality. We’re talking about someone’s personal work style. Work style is how someone works best. Their natural strengths, talents and preferred on-the-job behaviors. We all have a preferred work style. And while there are no “wrong” work styles, a mismatch can lead to poor fit, which is a real drag on productivity, engagement and the bottom line. Not to mention happiness.

Mis-hires due to fit - Work Style Fit Hiring Resource

Can you remember a time when your supervisor had different expectations about how you’d do your job and how it made work and life feel challenging? Nobody wins in that situation.

Measuring work style fit can be done using the deltPRO Work Style Assessment™. This assessment helps hiring managers identify the ideal work style for an open position. Then every candidate that applies for the position also takes the assessment. An algorithm ranks candidates according to strength of match. It’s easy, objective, and fast.

How to Hire for Work Style Fit

Not ready to invest in a hiring tool? We’ve created a do-it-yourself version to get you started on your path to hiring for fit. Just follow the process below to start hiring more effectively for fit.

Our Work Style Fit™ Hiring Resource will help you assess work style fit in three easy steps:

1) Define the attributes of the candidate who will be successful in the open position.

2) Align your interview team to consistently look for these desired attributes.

3) Assess candidates and hire those with the best work style fit.

Step One: Define

Begin by defining the attributes of fit that you believe to be most important to success in the job. Be sure to consider the manager, the particular role and the team. For example:

Decision making

Will a candidate be more successful in your organization if they gather facts and data first, or brainstorm ideas and go with their gut feel?


Should they be concerned with developing consensus or will they need to drive the team towards results?

Corporate environment

Will the best candidate be flexible and comfortable with ambiguity or will they need to follow clearly established processes?

To help you complete this step, we’ve created a Work Style Fit™ Worksheet that will help you identify the key attributes that will be the keys to success in the role.

Step Two: Align

Now that you know what you’re looking for, it’s important to align with your team. Meet with the hiring team to gain buy-in and/or clarify the attributes you’re looking for and then complete the Interview Scorecard.

Step Three: Assess

Now you’re ready to assess your candidate pool. But first, you need to develop behavioral interview questions to help the team identify which candidates possess the desired attributes of fit.

The goal with behavioral interview questions is to get the candidate to describe talents, preferences, and situations that illustrate the attributes you’re looking for. Past behavior is an indicator of future behavior. We’re creatures of habit!

If you need help writing great behavioral interview questions, check out this article.

How to Hire for Work Style Fit

Have the team approach each attribute a little differently. You’re trying to get a full picture of fit. But consistency matters so use the Interview Scorecard to ensure each candidate is thoroughly evaluated.

Give this a try and you’re well on your way to hiring more objectively for work style fit!

Hiring people is an art, not a science and we’re all better off when a candidate’s work style fits with the role, manager, and team.

Nothing is more important to on-the-job success than work style fit. Fit is both the key to success and the most common point of failure in hiring.

Happy Hiring!

About the Author:

Kara Rios founded deltPRO to help organizations identify and place the right people in their open positions using a combination of psychology and technology (along with a large dose of common sense). In doing so, we help people be happier at work and happier in life.