The problem of measuring job fit

One of the most heard frustrations in the HR office of today is the poor job loyalty of millenials. As they are often accused of ‘job hopping’ they claim they are unable to ‘identify with the organizational purpose’, or just plainly ‘don’t like the work’. But is this truly a ‘millennial’ thing? Or do we need to adapt our HR processes to the increased freedom and job safety of today’s job market?

In the book ‘Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World’ by David Epstein [1], he illustrates the beautiful case of the leaking Beast Brackets. Every year more pupils leave the extremely prestigious training program after the mandatory 5-years. As the organization invests heavily in their applicants, they aim to reduce the turnover. Epstein explains how they extensively test job candidates on grid, perseverance, resilience and other job-specific requirements. Yet, as they intensify their testing practices the retention results seem to decrease even more. Epstein gives a range of explanations, but the most striking one is that organizations tend to overemphasize the job fit (whether a candidate can handle the job), and not focus on the culture fit (whether a candidate fits the organization) and personal fit (whether a candidate likes the job). 

This is a broader bias in society. We tend to focus on skills, qualifications, and strengths in our hiring process. Yet we limit (if it is even considered) our efforts in measuring cultural fit to observing: ‘do we like the person’. This personal approach to ‘assessing’ cultural fit is the breeding pit for structural group think (as described by Adam Grant in Originals [2]) and leads to untransparant (and often unintenioned) discrimination. This also holds true for assessing the personal job fit. Most employers do not explore why the candidate solicits for the job. We often assume it’s for the pay, learning or career development but do we truly know? And yet to complicate matters, the applicant often doesn’t know it himself either. 

That’s why HR needs to start the conversation. Not about skills. Not about qualifications. Not about past experiences. And not even about strengths. But rather about the candidate’s interests, the way he works, what gives him energy, how he would fit in. Luckily, many HR managers are starting to realize this, and are now wondering how to get a good grasp of the candidate’s personality, interests, and cultural fit. These are ‘soft’ measures in comparison to the ‘hard’ qualifications, and yet these ‘soft’ measures hold so much more information. The question remains, how to read them 

That’s why we believe that data can help us. Data already knows us better than you yourself, or any other person does, and this will only increase. We aim to help both the applicant and the organization see if there is both a job-, cultural- and personal fit. By analysing the data with our advanced AI based model, we can carefully assess the match. This allows you to start a much more meaningful conversation in the hiring process, will significantly reduce your new hire turnover, and increase the employee job commitment and satisfaction.

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