Assess Your Way to Job Fit

Great article by columnist Dan Wiederer in the Star Tribune today (December 4).

Here’s what he said:
“The great Ponder paradox is that the Vikings drafted him believing his brain would accelerate his growth. Ponder is at once astute, driven and coachable. He can quickly grasp the big-picture concepts and minute details of the offense. Yet when it comes to applying the knowledge, Ponder continues to blunder far too often. …”

“So now,” Wiederer continued, “the Vikings have to take an honest look at the guy they’re endorsing as the quarterback of the future and determine how long they can sell that hope not just to an increasingly disgruntled fan base but to the other players.”

Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you think they will, do they? Or in this case, the way the Vikings thought they would. Or Vikings fans hoped they would.

At one time, Vikings and fans alike held high hopes for Ponder. But after the December 2 loss to Green Bay, 87 percent of 4,000 Star readers reportedly answered yes to the question: “Should the Vikings bench Christian Ponder?”

Coach Leslie Fraser, however, continues to stick with Ponder. And whether we agree with him or not, the situation brings one business truism to light: It’s better to take every step up front to make sure you have the right man in the job than to second guess yourself later when your new hire simply doesn’t perform up to the standards you have set for him.

Now I’m not saying the Vikings didn’t do due diligence in drafting Ponder. Not being in the football business, I don’t know how teams ensure that they have the right man for the job.

What I do know is this: In business bad hiring decisions cost money. Not only that, it means time wasted managing poor-performing employees.

A recent study by Robert Half International found that

  1. supervisors spend 17 percent of their time each week overseeing poor performers
  2. 60 percent of CFO’s believe bad hiring decisions somewhat affect team morale and one in three said it greatly affects team morale

Many managers like to blame chance for poor hiring decisions, but Max Messmer, Robert Half International CEO, said that the most common reason for bad hiring decisions is failing to give proper attention to the hiring process.

So here’s the question: How do you give proper attention to the hiring process? How can you make sure that your new hires are right for the job?

The answer: with assessments.

Assessments assure that you give the hiring process the time, objectivity and analysis it needs.

There are many different assessments, and when they are used in the right sequence, they will help you immeasurably with employee hiring.

Here are five ways assessments can help you avoid bad hiring decisions:

  1. Assessments help determine if a person fits a particular job. Managers often hire people because they are hard workers. That’s all well and good, but what if their aptitudes and interests do not match the requirements of a particular job? Job-fit assessments are typically based on performance indicators, behavioral traits, interests and aptitudes. Using them will help you focus on a job’s requirements before considering more general personality traits.
  2. Assessments help you remain objective while selecting employees. You’ve heard it said, “it’s not what you know but who you know.” This is a common mentality in today’s society when it comes to hiring. Yet, giving certain candidates priority due to their connections, can result in a poor hire. The desire to hire a friend or acquaintance is never an excuse to rush through the hiring process. Requiring a candidate to take an assessment will help your company avoid a potential bad hire. It also benefits the candidate by saving him from landing a job where he would not succeed.
  3. Assessments help align talent with business needs. When hiring you must know what particular skills contribute most to the success of your company. Innovative skills? Communication skills?  Assessments can help you eliminate candidates without the critical skills your company needs to move forward. It’s easy to fall into the trap of hiring an employee because of perceived potential even though she does not have a core skill. Potential is great but the skills your company needs for success are more important.
  4. Assessments can help you measure hard skills. Any candidate can list a skill on his resume — even without expertise. A skills assessment, however, can measure specific skill sets. If a candidate possesses none of the necessary skills to do a job, you will waste time and money measuring job fit and personality traits. So take a good look at making a skills assessment like Profiles’ Skills Test™ the meat of your hiring process.
  5. Assessments help you learn how to better manage your employees. Once you are certain you have hired employees with the necessary core skills, it’s time to develop them. Every employee has strengths and weaknesses. Personality assessments will help you identify them and understand how to motivate and manage your employees accordingly.
    Like it or not, bad hires happen all they time. But the good news is this: you can take steps to make them less likely in your company.

Take a good look at the skills your position requires. Then use assessments to ensure you have the right man (or woman) for the right job. That’s called job fit.

Tips: Five questions to ask yourself before hiring a new employee

I’ve been in the human resources field now for more years than I like to count, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that managers tend to think a person is a great candidate because of experience and background.

But you know what? More often than not, they’re wrong. In fact, the majority of the time, the person they select based on experience or background is not a fit at all.

Instead, they should consider environment and job fit.

Here’s the point. We all have different work environments that fit us best. When we interview candidates, therefore, we need to keep the environment and fit in mind so that we can select the best person for the job.

In other words, you must take the time to define your job-fit criteria. Without that, you will have no way of knowing how well each candidate matches the job you need to fill.

Here are five questions you can use to determine job-fit characteristics:

As a bonus, here are three questions to ask yourself when assessing a specific candidate’s potential job fit:


Your Solution Toolbox: Help to Place Employees in Jobs They Fit Best

I know, I’m repeating myself. But this point is so important I feel I should say it again: Employee success — not to mention your company’s success — begins with good job fit. 

And with Profiles International’s assessment tools — starting with the ProfileXT™ — you can ensure your people are working where they belong in your organization.

The ProfileXT™ assesses an employee’s behavioral traits, interests and thinking style.

When I tell people about it, I generally give them an analogy of a square peg in a round hole.

To make a square shape fit in a round slot, you must shave the corners. If the peg is more curved then square, you will need to shave off less to make it fit. And, if the peg is already round, it fits perfectly in the hole with no shaving or honing needed.

Managers using assessment tools correctly already know the shape of the holes they need to fill. They only need a peg to fit it well. ProfileXT™ helps them find the right peg.

Are you interested in learning more about the ProfileXT™ or any of the Profiles International assessment tools such as Profiles’ Skills Test™ or  Profiles’ Performance Indicator™? Call me today at
952-322-3330 or send an email to


HR Consulting
Call me, too, if you are looking for professional assistance with your personnel questions. We’ll help you learn how to:

 • Understand your workers’ strengths, weaknesses and interests
 • Match people to job demands
 • Increase employee performance throughout your organization


Let's Talk! We offer a no-obligation consultation to informally assess your current policies, procedures and practices. This may help determine what's missing in your current programs. Again, call 952-322-3330 or send an email to

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