Don’t Ignore “Fit Flags”

“Fit Flags” are the flags that start waving when you’re interviewing a candidate who has all of the technical credentials you need for a position but lacks personality/attitude traits you’re looking for.

Yes, I’m aware of the fact that by bringing up hiring based on personality I’ve just royally pissed off a good portion of the HR/legal world but that’s nothing new. Years ago I got into a heated debate with our corporate lawyers because I was leading an interview training session where I was teaching hiring managers to hire for fit. To them, “fit” implies discrimination but that’s not what I’m talking about.

Fit is about finding people who have both the technical expertise needed to get the job done and the same passion, drive, motivation, values, and vision that your company has. Fit is about finding people who drink your corporate kool-aid and who believe in the mission, core values, and purpose of your organization. People who don’t “fit” are going to be disengaged, distracted, and unhappy in the long run.

We’ve all run into those employees. It’s not that they’re bad people. It’s just that they weren’t the right fit for that particular organization and the big problem is that getting rid of them once they’re in a seat can be really challenging.

We’re most likely to ignore the Fit Flags when we’re looking to hire someone for a position that’s particularly difficult to fill. It’s at those times that we’re more willing to settle because we feel like the person in front of us might be the best option we have. But I’m urging you to take a step back and think about how much better it would be if you held out for someone who not only has the technical skills but also the fit you’re looking for.

Editors Note: When it comes to her professional life, Marisa Keegan is passionate about three things; employee engagement, leadership development, and corporate culture. She has helped lead the culture and engagement initiatives at two nationally recognized great places to work; Rackspace as Culture Maven and Modea as Talent Manger. Today Marisa consults and leads seminars for organizations looking to increase productivity by focusing on management training and employee engagement.

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About Marisa

Marisa Keegan is a leadership coach, trainer, and HR consultant for quickly growing organizations who are passionate about strengthening their employees, their brand, and their culture. She has helped lead the HR, culture, and engagement initiatives at two nationally recognized great places to work; Rackspace as Culture Maven and Modea as Talent Manger. She is an author at Fistful of Talent and Culture Fanatics. Marisa has her Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology and currently lives with her husband and twin boys in Richmond, Virginia.
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