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home : opinion : columnist December 15, 2018

11/30/2018 11:25:00 AM
Matching People To Jobs

Marty Reep, Author
Speaker, Forward-Thinker

Sooner or later, every leader faces a similar question: “Are all of your employees or volunteers in the best jobs that match their personalities?”  If so, fantastic!  You probably have a company or organization that is running smoothly and efficiently.  If not, you now know of something that could help improve things. 

Depending on the size of your company, you may not be able to match all of your people with positions that perfectly fit them, but if you’re aware of the concept, then you’ll have your eyes open for situations that could be fixed by a few internal job movements. 

Employers and employees both lose out from a skills mismatch.  On the other hand, everyone benefits from a good fit of needed job skills and personalities.  To improve skills-matching, we need to change how job recruitment is done. 

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Most of the time when people try to fill an open job position, they post the vacancy, collect resumes, look for applicant with the most experience, and hire that person.  But as I’ve seen and experienced over the years, just because you know how to do some type of work really well, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best fit for you. 

Some people are talented at quickly learning how to do something efficiently and effectively, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the best job for them to do their whole lives.  They may actually hate the work they know how to do so well, because they’re bored or because they’ve outgrown the job.  But, due to certain situations or life circumstances, they feel “stuck” in that work, and everyone silently suffers due to lack of potential excellence that could be expressed and shared elsewhere. 

So, what do you do?  First, look around and see if you notice anyone who fits that situation.  If so, find out what else they could do that would enable them to better fully utilize their abilities and/or natural talents.  Then, help them get there.  When you do, everyone benefits.

Second, be aware of natural changes that happen over time.  Your workforce's skills change, and so does your business. Getting the right people into the right jobs is key to your company's continuing success.  Not only is it critical for superior performance and retention, it’s difficult and aggravating to hire the wrong candidate.  A poor job fit results in lost time and materials on projects, while a good job fit brings successful completion of projects and goals.  And because success is positively contagious, one person’s winning attitude helps others get there, too! 

Managers often ask themselves, “How do you motivate people?”  One of the simplest ways to motivate them is to put them to work on things that are a natural fit for them and that they enjoy.  When people work on things that they like, they won’t need any goading to get the work done.  Instead, you’ll have to tell them to stop and go home!  Jobs that are a “good fit” are ones that match not only the individual’s talents and preferences with necessary skills, but also match the individual’s and organization’s values.

Also, if you’re good a writing computer programs, then opportunities abound in designing a program that can discover, pre-select, and connect people with the best job offers from a variety of sources.  Just like social networking sites use a mix of mathematical algorithms and common sense to bring lots of people from diverse backgrounds together in positive ways, the same design principals can be applied to enhancing the compatibility of workers and work.  

Teaming a smart, skills-based talent search engine with the keen perception of managers and/or business owners would allow people to explore meaningful work opportunities that would benefit everyone involved. 

So, to recap – matching people to the best jobs involves: 1) being aware of discrepancies; 2) figuring out what your people are good at; 3) connecting them with opportunities that benefit everyone; and 4) refining the process by using technological automation and human intuition. 

Do what’s best, and more people will be smiling.  Have a great week!

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