How to Choose the Right Person for the Right Job

Posted by Talent Intelligence on Mon, May 14, 2018 @ 16:05 PM

Promote and hire employees who are a good fit for a role — and say goodbye to bad hires — with these three tips

stock-photo-digital-composition-of-execu-2223170-147464-editedCompanies don’t mean to place employees in the wrong position … but it happens.

Rapid growth, sudden vacancies and other pressing demands can prompt employers to make rushed hiring decisions.

Workers are also sometimes promoted to incompatible roles because their employer has inaccurately assessed how their skills and goals align with the company’s overall plans.

Connecting workers with the ideal position can have a number of positive effects, including fueling engagement; studies have shown employees value being in a position they feel they can excel at that involves meaningful work.

Conversely, research also indicates choosing the wrong person for the job can produce a considerably negative outcome. A single good hire leaving the company because a position isn’t a good fit, for example, can cost the organization nearly $30,000, according to CareerBuilder data.

Putting the right person in the right job is important. To ensure your employee hiring and management efforts are successful, consider the following suggestions:

Screen candidates carefully

In some instances, new hires don't work out simply because they don't possess the skills needed to do the job. A mismatched skill set was the top factor CFOs said was most likely to lead to a bad hire in a Robert Half survey conducted in late 2016. With companies losing an average of nearly $15,000 on each one, according to CareerBuilder, bad hires can be an expensive mistake.


To avoid hiring the wrong person for the job, an accurate job description is key. An inaccurate one can draw unqualified candidates: The top reason (53 percent) jobseekers applied for their most recent role is because the description perfectly matched their skills and interest, according to a Hireology survey.

It’s important for hiring managers to be thorough, asking behavioral-based questions, checking references and following through on other important interview process steps to avoid bringing bad hires on board. In addition, using data analysis techniques to identify specific experience, skills and other traits that candidates who have been successful in a role have possessed in the past may indicate candidates who have similar qualities will excel if hired for the position.

To identify jobseekers who might be a good fit for a role, some companies are utilizing AI in HR, employing talent rediscovery solutions that essentially comb through previously reviewed candidate credentials to see if any individuals would be qualified for another position — or may have been inadvertently overlooked at first.

Help employees advance

A lack of career advancement opportunities is the second most frequent reason employees leave jobs, according to a study from WorldatWork. To determine the right person for the right job — and structure a career progression plan for that employee — managers need to understand workers’ goals;  and many aren’t effectively trying to.

Eighty-eight percent of employees feel it’s particularly important for supervisors to truly listen to workers; yet only 60 percent say their supervisor exhibits that behavior often, according to a study involving 13 countries conducted by Dale Carnegie Training.

A Towers Watson survey found employees feel only 33 percent of managers are effective at conducting career development discussions as part of the performance management process. Employers may be in the dark about the problem — because just 27 percent of organizations monitor their career management program’s effectiveness, a significant amount of companies may not be aware their efforts aren’t working.

ceosFocus on finding the right people for managerial roles, too

Results from a study published in 2016 suggests employees who are assigned to better managers are more likely to stay with an organization. Yet companies, according to Gallup research, fail to hire the right manager 82 percent of the time.

Investing in training can help. Although naturally great managers are rare — only one in 10 people possess the talent required to be one, according to Gallup — an additional two in 10 exhibit some characteristics of basic managerial talent and can, with coaching and developmental assistance, function at a high level as a supervisor.

Managers, it seems, overwhelmingly agree. Ninety-eight percent feel their company’s managers need more training to deal with professional development, conflict resolution, employee turnover, time and project management and other issues, according to a survey from Grovo.

Mid-level supervisors said more than two out of five of their company's managers, on average, were unprepared when they assumed their management role — and less than half of the managers in their organization could be considered to be highly effective.

If you’re not sure which elements can indicate an employee isn’t a good fit for a management role, our blog post on clues that suggest someone may be a bad manager highlights a few potential warning signs.

For more information on how to select the right person for the job, read our blog posts on secrets to finding the perfect candidate culture match, three innovative ways companies are using AI in recruitment, creating an ongoing talent pipelining program, HR’s biggest succession planning challenge — and why you need to focus on soft skills when assessing candidates and employees.

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Topics: General HR Issues, Recruitment

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