What Do We Mean By “Fit”?

Slide1 RevisedJob-fit evaluates the relative match between a person and a position, as follows:

We look at the person through the lens of their giftedness—the inborn core strengths and natural motivation they instinctively use to do things that they find satisfying and productive. To the extent a person is using their giftedness, they are doing what they love to do, and in fact are born to do.

We also look at the position through the same lens of motivation. We ask: what natural strengths and motivational factors would be essential for a person to have in order to fully satisfy the employer’s expectations for this position?

Hiring is all about expectations. For example, when a board needs to hire a CEO, they have expectations as to what “success” means in the CEO’s role. Whatever it takes to satisfy those expectations are the real motivational requirements of the bottom box.

Slide2 RevisedThe greater the overlap between the two boxes, the better the fit:

What makes the fit good is that the position is making good use of the person’s strengths and motivation. When the person expends energy to do the job, they get a net gain of energy back, because they love doing that part of the job (note the arrows).


 Of course, there can never be a perfect overlap between person and position. There will always be a degree of mis-fit, as indicated by the parts of the two boxes that don’t overlap. In the bottom box, that mis-fit is the part of the job that doesn’t match the person. It’s not something they “love” to do. But they are required to do it nonetheless. So to handle that part of the job, they expend what we call “Can Do” energy:Slide3 Revised

The person can do those parts of the job, but they will not be motivated to do them. That can lead to a host of problems, so the objective is to minimize Can Do—that is, minimize mis-fit. Again, it’s impossible to totally eliminate it.

Given this framework, JobFitMatters® helps boards and other decision-makers make great hires, first by clearly defining what their expectations are for the position, and then by evaluating the giftedness of prospective candidates against those requirements to ensure good job-fit (as well as to know ahead of time what parts don’t match, and figure out what to do about that).