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A Strategy for Hiring the Perfect Person for Your Company

Updated on July 27, 2008

Looking to the "Forest" and not the "Trees" when Hiring

Have you ever experienced finding and hiring the "perfect" person to fill a position? The person not only has all the requirements you're looking for but they bring additional skills and experience as a bonus, plus they get along great with everyone. This person will not only meet your current needs but also future ones as well. The person is a perfect fit for the organization! Perfect fits bring higher growth and profit for the organization and perfect fits tend to stick around longer too. Wish you could identify and hire perfect fits easier? There is a way.

Typically, when there is a position to fill we look for a person that has the experience and skills to perform the job. Sometimes we find the right person, sometimes we don't, and sometimes we think we've hired the right person then after a short time on the job we find out they weren't the right fit. What goes wrong during the hiring process is best described by the expression, "Can't see the forest for the trees."

The trees represent the job or position to be filled, while the forest represents the organization. Traditional hiring strategies match a candidate to the job - the job description and requirements. However, to find the perfect candidate, we need to look beyond the trees and see the forest- the organization.

Hiring to the organization

Hiring to the organization means focusing on how well the individual fits your culture or values and has the capacity to work well with other company employees. It means you have a strategic plan for your organization. You know the goals you want to accomplish in the short and long term and how the person you hire will contribute in the accomplishment of those goals.

Strategically, you know where your organization is heading. Does the organization's culture need to be maintained or is new blood needed to make changes? Do you want someone who is innovative and bring new ideas that will be seriously considered? Do you have a succession plan in place? Will the individual's personality promote the organizations values?

Hiring to the organization means going beyond filling a job and looking at the ripple effect this job has throughout the organization's processes, systems, departments and teams. The additional effort put into hiring to the organization delivers positive results.

The benefits of hiring to the organization

Based on the research in the report, Human Resource Management Practices and Firm Performance in Small Businesses prepared by the Cornell Research Team in May 2006:

"Employee selection strategies based on person-organization fit...and retention strategies based on creating a family-like community and environment showed 7.5% higher sales growth, 6.1% higher profit growth, and 17.1% lower employee turnover than did companies...based on person-job fit."

That's right, hiring to the organization (versus the job) results in higher sales growth and profit and they're going to stick around longer! Isn't that why we're in business?

The results are even higher when the hiring to the organization strategy is combined with "employee management practices focusing on self-management, and employee motivation and retention strategies." The report indicates a whopping 22% higher sales growth, 23% higher profit growth and 67% lower employee turnover. The results are well worth the effort.

Believe it or not there is an additional benefit worth considering and that is becoming the employer of choice.

Becoming the employer of choice means you've established a reputation for being an organization people want to work for. It means you will attract more qualified candidates when you do happen to have an open position to fill. You'll have a happier staff and a happier staff translates to a higher-performing organization.


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    • INFJay profile image

      Jay Manriquez 8 years ago from Santa Rosa, California

      Thanks for commenting. You are correct about "potential employees being very skilled at selling themselves," especially with all the resources available on-line. To get through the "sell" I utilize extensive behavorial and experiential type questions. Then ask clarifying questions based on their reponse. References and background checks to provide important information but they tend to be one-sided and limited, thus more clarifying questions would help.

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      Erick Smart 8 years ago

      Finding just the right person is a very tough task. Many potential employees are very skilled at selling themselves and this can cloud your judgement on their abilities. I have found the key is to get as much info on the applicant as possible. Find out all you can from their references, them, as well as other things that can come in an employment background check.