How to Actually Hire for the Right Fit

November 3, 2015 Sonia Varkey

How to actually hire for the right fit

You hear a lot these days about hiring for fit. But what exactly does that mean? And how do you know if someone is the right fit?

The hiring process of screening resumes, reviewing skills and experiences, as well as interviewing, was created years ago when culture fit wasn’t a part of that equation.

The world has changed a lot, and the traditional hiring process can hurt you: 80% of resumes contain misleading information and interviews don't account for bias - a person's enthusiasm and charisma is not a reflection of how well they will perform the job.

In learning how to hire the right person for the job, a business needs to know who someone really is and how they will actually behave on the job = how they will fit the needs of the role.

This is important because when it comes to predicting workplace performance, the proven predictors are cognitive ability and personality.

Cognitive ability is not necessarily IQ. Rather than actual knowledge, cognitive ability is the mechanism that decides how we learn, how we remember, how we problem solve and how we pay attention.

This can’t necessarily be extracted from resumes and interviews and, therefore, leads to inferences.

To find out who someone really is, you’ll need to use psychometric testing, also known as a personality test. A good test will assess someone for fit – culturally and related to the actual demands of the job.

Attitude is key for workplace fit.

A recent publication, Hiring for Attitude, calculated that 89% of turnover was due to attitude, not skill!

Using an assessment in your hiring process will help you find the right fit.

Here are five things to look for when choosing a personality/psychometric testing tool.

1. Validation

The test should take at least 25 minutes so that it confirms the personality of the individual.  Companies who administer the tests should also validate their data and results to confirm that the test is measuring personality well.

2. Big 5 Personality

Big 5 Personality is the most widely accepted theory on personality and is still used by leading industrial psychologists today. It’s considered the most modern and robust method to describe personality.

3. Anti-gaming

A good test gets into who someone is without asking questions that the user can fake. A forced choice methodology makes the test taker choose from a list of all good options or all negative to reveal their personal priorities.

Plus, this way they can’t answer what they think the employer is looking for because there is no right or wrong answer.

4. Proven predictors of workplace success

According to studies by Hunter and Hunter, cognitive ability and personality are the leading traits for job success, as opposed to skill. Tests that assess someone’s intelligence and personality preferences will help predict their future success while also revealing how they will act in the role.

5. Provided reports

The report should describe in more detail the types of behaviors you can expect to see the individual exhibit once in the job. The report should give you more insight into the candidate's strengths and weaknesses, which will help you know how to best manage them for optimal performance.

Finding the right fit becomes easier when you use objective data.

The best place to use the assessment tool is at the top of the funnel. This way all applicants can be assessed, and most of the time there are a few that stand out that may have otherwise been missed in the screening process.

From here, behaviorally structured interviews will allow you to confirm the types of actions and reactions you can expect to see out of someone once they are in the role.

 Get the entire story in our #smallbiz_expert Twitter interview w/ Plum!

This blog post is brought to you by Sonia Varkey, Marketing Director at Plum - the pre-employment assessment test that goes beyond the resume to help you find the right candidate. Get 10% of your annual subscription with Plum's exclusive offer for Wagepoint customers.

About the Author

Sonia Varkey

Sonia Varkey is the Director of Marketing at Plum.io, a startup that has been winning awards for their hiring tool that matches the right personality to the right roles. Before Plum.io, she was a marketer in consumer packaged goods and in the digital space. She possesses a blend of B2B and B2C marketing experience which she is sharing with the startup world.

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