We’ve all been there. After an extensive and thorough search for a line manager, one candidate stands out. This candidate has the right experience, solid qualifications, and a relevant work history, and she gave an impressive performance during the interview process. She said the right things, put forward some great ideas, and generally presented very well. So, you hired her. Three months later, you begin to question your decision. After investigating further and speaking with a few key team members, you realise there’s a disconnect—a mismatch. While she looked impressive on paper and presented well during one-on-one interviews, your new hire’s style, approach, and behaviour on the job are simply inconsistent with the values and expectations of your organisation. Her modus operandi is foreign to her colleagues. Your new hire is not a good fit, and you’re wondering what you did wrong. Here are five things to look for when hiring new candidates:

1. Adequate Capability
Capability refers to the combination of skills, tools, and experience that a person needs in order to successfully perform her job. When any of these factors are missing, there is an increased chance that the employee will underperform. It isn’t uncommon for hiring professionals to overlook these basic factors, especially if a candidate has solid academic credentials and comes across as intelligent and confident in a job interview. Furthermore, it’s no secret that most candidates exaggerate their abilities on their resumes and job applications.

2. Skills
Do you know what skills are needed to perform the job, and whether the employee possesses those skills? If she doesn’t possess the necessary skills, how will you help her acquire them, and how long do you expect that process to take? Skills training takes time and money, and results are never guaranteed unless there is adequate commitment from both the manager and the employee. It’s in everyone’s best interests for the manager to set appropriate expectations for the employee from the beginning. This is especially true if the job requires special technical capabilities.

3. Tools
Even if an individual has the skills and experience to do the job, does she have the tools to deliver peak performance? For example, a highly skilled and experienced web designer can’t build a website without adequate computer hardware and software. The tools don’t have to be the most up-to-date, but a system that crashes frequently can be incredibly frustrating and unproductive, even to the best performer.

4. Experience
Just because an employee has the skills to do a job doesn’t mean that she has the experience to apply those skills in her specific position. This is especially true for recent graduates, outside hires from other industries, and internal hires from different departments. While the required skills may be similar from one job to the next, differing applications and terminology may require that the new hire take time to learn the nuances of her new position.

5. Poor Job Fit
“Fit” reflects the behaviours and interests needed to succeed in a job. Many people fall into the trap of choosing a profession or job that is a bad fit.  You probably know a medical doctor who trained at a prestigious school and worked for several years at a modern hospital. Despite adequate skills, tools, and experience, he is aloof, insensitive, and has a terrible bedside manner, and you only see him if no one else is available. In short, he really doesn’t possess the innate compassion that would make him a great doctor.  He is a poor fit for his job.

Skills can be taught, but behaviours are much more difficult to change. A doctor can improve his bedside manner through training and mentoring, but it takes tremendous effort and motivation to change natural behaviour. If an individual isn’t motivated to change, then he probably won’t. It is important to understand a person’s innate behaviours and interests when trying to match him with the right job. Know the job, know what type of person is successful in that job, and then hire others who have the behavioural traits that fit that job. This is easier said than done, because it is difficult to gauge behaviours in an interview, but behavioural assessments can be extremely helpful.

The ProfileXT® assessment is used primarily as a job-matching tool to provide managers with interview tips and help select people with the highest probability of success in the job. It measures the individual against the specific qualities needed to perform the job by providing objective insight into the individual’s thinking and reasoning style, relevant behavioural traits, and occupational interests.

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