organization fit improvise adapt overcomeWhen does organization fit become a barrier to progress?  A red flag that ultimately prevents growth. Are you building the organization to improvise, adapt and overcome?

It seems like fit has become a default term that instantly paralyzes application of good judgment. Hiring managers have stopped recognizing transferable skills, and exceptional adaptability while pursuing the perfect candidate.

The truth is organizations need a good mix and differences.  Diversity is what generates new ideas, product and service innovation and new business.  If everyone is the perfect “fit,” the organization stagnates.

Too Much Striving

Hiring managers strive for organization fit in considering candidates.  Leaders strive to define organization fit consistently. HR strives to have organization fit applied consistently from division to division, group to group, and team to team. However, hiring managers mostly wield organization fit like a knife cutting candidates from consideration.

Hiring the candidate with transferable skills and adaptability gets the job done – NOW.

Recently, Fast Company colloquially listed the “AEI Qs” as the “Future of Work.” (Most important metric first.)

  • Adaptability quotient (AQ)
  • Emotional quotient (EQ)
  • Intellectual quotient (IQ)

If everyone strives to be the same organization fit, the natural tension that generates propensity to grow will not occur.  Remember going to the gym and stressing your muscles generates growth and moves your health in a positive direction.  It’s the same with organizations.  Smart managers seek out transferable skills and leverage adaptability to nurture and accelerate growth.

Organization Fit As A Barrier

At the very beginning, organization fit can be a barrier to hiring. Too much focus on organization fit can turn into a crutch. Decision makers can abdicate responsibility to apply good judgment. After all, they are responsible for hiring on time to get work done. Emphasizing organization fit over getting the job done can delay or prevent hiring. This ultimately becomes a barrier to long-term success. Ask these simple questions:

  1. Is organization fit defined in simple terms?
  2. Are people trained to recognize organization fit?
  3. Do managers and coworkers live and evangelize organization fit and actively develop it?

Signs Of Getting Stuck

Is there data backing organization fit as the reason not to hire a good candidate? Can the data generate alternative insight? Are conclusions generated based on good judgment? Is organization fit the reason hiring progress stops, yet no one really knows why? “Gut feel” is valuable to drive ones pursuit of data, but alone, is a sign of getting stuck.

Get Creative And Get Unstuck

Recall the 1986 movie “Heartbreak Ridge,” starring Clint Eastwood and Marsha Mason. Gunny Highway, the character played by Eastwood, uses unconventional methods during military practice maneuvers to win over the elite chosen squad in a field exercise. When challenged by the elite squad commander, he defends his success by stating his men won fair and square.  He taught them to apply common marine wisdom to “improvise, adapt and overcome.”  This is a great example. The elite squad was a group of soldiers with perfect “organization fit.” Eastwood led soldiers that could improvise, adapt and overcome.

Which team do you want to build? The talent shortage may be driving you there anyway. HR can wave the red flag.  Firms also need a great recruiter that can identify adaptability and transferable skills!

With the employment rate being at an all-time high, talent is harder and harder to find. Companies benefit with teams that improvise, adapt and overcome. Building job descriptions that define a very narrow candidate is going to make it difficult. Be creative and less rigid when writing job descriptions.

Describe job requirements in terms of transferable skills.
List qualifications in terms of candidate adaptability.

Human Resources can take the lead and re-align organization fit with creative ways to recognize talent that will build and strengthen the organization. Train hiring managers and interview teams to first look for reasons to hire. Teach teams to critically analyze reasons not to hire. Ask what else does the candidate bring to the table?  Is this unique contribution something that will help the organization grow?

Give this analysis as feedback to your recruiter to process and identify the next candidate with the kind of transferable skills and adaptability that are going to make your organization great!  Improvise, adapt and overcome!

Employment is changing fast. Call Barton Professional Placement for more hiring insight. We can help your organization break through paralysis preventing you from the strategic success you are responsible for this year.

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