Tips for finding the best candidate for the job
In hr circles, it’s common to hear about the elusive and undefined characteristic dubbed ‘the fit.’ It’s best described as the mutually beneficial marriage between candidate and employer aligned on multiple fronts, including culturally, emotionally and professionally.
But, fit is often more random than calculated. Even with the advent of behavioural tools and innovative interview questions — which can still be too general — the concept is hard to define and even more difficult to make part of an organization’s hiring checklist.
To make it easier, emphasize mutual alignment, since fit happens when a business and a candidate possess similar goals and needs, such as fostering talent or strong mentoring that can be satisfied in a mutually beneficial way. The best way to illustrate this symbiotic relationship is to compare it to a bee’s interaction with a flower — a relationship that benefits everyone involved.
To get a better picture of the perfect fit, employers should consider the following steps, which explain how to connect businesses to candidates with similar goals and ideals:
- Look beyond the résumé. Ensure that, regardless of experience, you are hiring the person whose personality and core beliefs fit within the company. The business should possess the same culture and fostering capabilities a candidate is seeking for professional development, such as a desire to give back to the community. In fact, hiring a person who is not the best qualified, but is the best suited, can sometimes be the right course of action.
- Assess a candidate’s personality. Interview questions are often based on specific technical aspects of the job, but employers should spend the same time assessing soft skills. For example, the recruiter could determine the management and communication style a candidate needs for the role and how it aligns with team, culture and company goals.
- Switch roles. Rarely do candidates do a good job interviewing the company; instead they typically spend too much time worrying about the answers they provide and speculating about how they are perceived. In most cases, a good candidate should be assertive and focus on asking probing questions to assess compatibility.
- Know what you want. Candidates and employers alike should spend time identifying the type of person they want to hire and the core values needed, understanding that someone who possesses the right personality and beliefs could develop a longer and more beneficial working relationship.
- Share company culture. Interviewers should communicate company culture during the interview stages, and candidates should show they understand, perhaps even explaining how it’s important to them. Ultimately, clearly communicating and articulating company culture during the interview process can lead to candidates elaborating on their cultural interests and further determining if that crucial fit exists for both parties.
Niall Mellors is the president of Mellors, a Toronto-based hospitality and recruitment services company. For more information, you can reach him at