The problem of hiring right the first time has not yet been solved. Most companies still use a hiring process based on high-volume attraction and a quasi-scientific process for weeding out the weak, with the hope that a few good people remain at the end. Reliance on the interview, education, and past experience still remain the most common factors used to predict job fit and future employee success. While job fit is important, it’s not the only thing that managers must consider when hiring employees who can hit the ground running and have good prospects for sticking around.

Good job fit. A good person put in the wrong job is a big cause of poor performance and hiring mistakes. Yet in most companies’ job fit assessment is not as robust as it should be. To measure job fit requires an assessment of past performance which correlates with some predefined future performance. Given the complexity of new jobs compared to the industrial based jobs of just a few years ago, the interview and resume just aren’t reliable enough. Many companies slosh their way through the job fit part of the assessment by over-relying on interviews, generic competency models, poorly constructed assessments, and an over-emphasis on skills. A direct assessment of job fit, including the ability and motivation to perform the work at peak levels, is an important subset of pre-hire assessment. Two systems that do an excellent job of evaluating job fit are PeopleClues and ASSESS. PeopleClues links 6 key job related personality traits to over 110 job fit benchmarks and ASSESS compares candidates and employees to 9 different competency models.

But hiring the right person with the right skills is not always a guarantee for top performance.

Good managerial fit. A good person doing the right job for the wrong manager is a primary cause of dissatisfaction and under-performance. Bad managers demotivate their teams, not inspire them. One way to measure managerial fit as part of pre-hire process is to compare the new hire’s developmental and motivational needs to how the hiring manager manages and motivates his/her team. The CriteriaOne DISC tool is often used to compare these styles and assess manager-employee compatibility.

Right company culture. Given a good person, appropriate job, and the right manager, a mismatch at the company cultural level could still undermine performance. During the assessment some measure needs to be made regarding these environmental issues, including pace, intensity, level of sophistication, complexity, how decisions are made, resource availability, and company politics. While most companies recognize the importance of this, few organizations give this important factor enough attention. The Business Values and Motivators assessment assesses 6 key values shared by individuals. By assessing management and employees, a company can visualize the values shared by participants in the organization that shape the attitudes and views of the company.