Hiring for Fit

The content this week contains thoughts on hiring for fit.

If you are reading this, the chances are high that you’ve been exposed to information on personality or leadership style (e.g., The Eight Dimensions of Leadership). So, you’re probably familiar with the notion of seeing people as extroverted or introverted and people-oriented or task-oriented.

The advice is to determine what the best fit is for a given role and the personality characteristics of the person being considered for the role. Too often, there is a mismatch between the demands of a role and the characteristics of the person in the role or being considered for the role.

This is frequently the case when a task-oriented person, whether introverted or extroverted, gets promoted to managing others (a role arguably best filled by people-oriented individuals). They may be exceptional at getting things done but unless the person learns to be more people-oriented (through coaching or self-awareness or both), he or she will inevitably start to “lose” some of the people who work with and for them. This, in turn, reduces productivity and engagement–a net loss.

Other common mismatches are introverted/task-oriented sales people, extroverted/people-oriented accounting specialists, and introverted marketing managers.

To combat mismatches, work to understand the personality characteristics needed for a given role and sort candidates based on introversion/extroversion, people/task-orientation. Look to those who have been successful in a given role in the past and understand their personality characteristics. Use assessments like the DiSC to guide you when judging fit.

There are always exceptions but it’s usually easier to have success when the fit is right from the start.

“Corporations no longer try to fit square pegs into round holes; they just fit them into square cubicles.” ~Robert Brault

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