Assessments, testing and evaluation activities are predominantly viewed strategic tools to the sole advantage of companies and employers in making the correct hiring decisions when in fact there is a two-way value stream to the benefit of both company and candidate.

Securing an ‘optimal fit’ by following appropriate assessment strategies will ensure increased candidate retention, improved productivity and high employee engagement levels for companies, but also offer employees career progression, job satisfaction and workplace enjoyment. A win-win for both parties in the company ecosystem.

On the other hand, when a candidate is mismatched to a role, manager, team dynamics or company culture they are as badly off as the company who hired them in the first place.

The Miseries of Mismatching

Missing the hiring mark leads to all sorts of problems for companies and managers:

  • One bad apple: If you want a corporate culture apocalypse, hire a cultural outlier, leave to simmer and watch the fireworks preferably from a distance. The casualties of WAR (workplace aggression recipients ) will line up for exit interviews quicker than you can say mismatch, if the ‘bad apple’ you hired, happens to be in an authoritative role.
  • Reduced productivity or service quality: Regardless of your product or service offering, employee output (performance) is the spill of the profitability wheel. Lack in either experience, competence or just plain willingness results in productivity losses at both micro (operational) and macro (strategic) levels within the organisation.
  • Limiting growth potential: Employees who are not fit for the roles they find themselves in, contribute to organisational dysfunction causing managers to be stranded working IN the business instead of ON the business due to the high maintenance these ‘unfit’ workers require and their financial cost to the company.

The perils of mismatching from an employee perspective include:

  • Burnout: In the book, The Truth About Burnout, Christina Maslach and Michael P. Leiter explain that the underlying causes of burnout lie more in the job environment than within the individual themselves due to a significant disconnect between job demands and the employee’s core value system.
  • Career regression or stagnation: Poor performance is a primary outcome of candidate mismatching usually resulting in missed promotional opportunities or even disciplinary action for the employee, which in turn has a detrimental impact on their career growth and sustainability.
  • Ostracising: One of the most evidential reasons why people fail in a new role can be linked to a misalignment with corporate culture. Employees who do not conform to ‘the way we do things around here’ are often subjected to discrimination, bullying, intimidation or just plainly excluded from the social dynamics within the group
  • Scapegoating: When something goes wrong, the blame is pinned on Nelly the new employee regardless of whether there is merit in the accusation or not. Even so, research has shown that a bad employee is often just stuck in the wrong role because their skills, experience and personality are not in line with the purpose of the position.

Assessments for Mismatching Avoidance

Incorporating assessments in hiring, promotion or redeployment decisions are instrumental in reducing and possibly even avoiding the mishaps of a mismatch:

  • Job fit and culture fit can be assessed before the interviewing stages.
  • Hiring bias is eliminated to a significant extent.
  • Talent attraction and retention tactics will run more parallel with overall business needs and company direction.
  • Core functional skills are measured based on evidence and results (not the duties listed on a CV).
  • Areas of development are clearly identified which aids in improved learning and training strategies going forward.

Data-driven talent assessment strategies will indirectly improve top-line performance and reduce bottom line costs.

 Vince Lombardi once said: “The achievements of an organisation are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”
Our roles as talent professionals and hiring managers are to ensure that every ‘’human asset’’ we employ end up being an almost perfect match.