Part II – Job Fit and Talent Assessment from the Employee’s Point of View


One summer during college I needed a job to earn money for the next year. There was a recession, I couldn’t find a job and was getting desperate. Finally, I found a job as a busboy. I had never worked in a restaurant. I was hired on the spot and told to show up the next day. When I arrived, my boss took five minutes to explain what I had to do. After that, I rarely saw him. No worries, though. To my surprise, I soon found out I had multiple bosses — the servers, the hostesses, the cooks, the patrons. Busy and challenging is an understatement. Given the feedback from my many bosses, I was humbled, working an entire week and apparently never doing anything right.

Fortunately, a few weeks later, a frequent patron offered me a job in his manufacturing plant. It sounded great, and I jumped at the chance. Sure enough, it was better. The pay was higher, I had only one boss, and I wasn’t being asked to do all the tasks no one else wanted. I was happy and relieved, until . . . the end of my first week I learned that starting Monday, “Oh yeah, the plant always shuts down for 10 days every summer.”

That summer made a big impression on me.



Employers are always looking for good, reliable people who fit in with their culture and other employees. Some even take the necessary steps of talent assessment to define the key elements of job fit for their organization. But to what extent do employers seriously consider job fit from the applicant or employee’s point of view? In my opinion, this is the key to job fit success.

Defining the elements of job fit is important, to be sure. Yet job fit is not what messages we send about our culture and values, but what messages are heard. In other words, job fit revolves around the applicant or employee’s perspective:  how I feel, what I perceive, what I learn and understand, what I am told and not told.

I can laugh about my summer experience, but the lessons are etched into my memory. Even if the restaurant had listed “values employees” in their mission statement, that’s not what I experienced. And while the manufacturing plant did paint an accurate picture of the job, they left out a vital piece of information. Both mistakes led to disengagement.

Low job satisfaction and turnover are casualties of poor job fit.


Most of us appreciate the difference between providing information (one-way) and communicating (two-way).  You can be highly effective at the first, but completely miss the mark on the second. That’s why I advocate “checking in” with employees – which can be more important than the information itself. Checking in includes daily feedback, coaching, recognition, and being intentional about seeking employee input, reactions, and suggestions. Not only is this approach amazingly effective in solving work issues, but more importantly, it makes employees feel valued.


If management is engaged, then employees will likely be engaged, too. If not, we know the usual outcomes. As is often stated, employees don’t leave organizations, they leave poor managers.

Good managers, on the other hand, motivate and inspire. They communicate effectively and provide helpful, candid feedback. Good managers are keenly aware of job fit and make an effort to understand what employees need and value. As employees, we want to know our managers pay attention and care about us. Good managers ask the right questions and know how to listen.


Talent assessment and hiring is the beginning of the job fit process. The more effectively you create and communicate realistic expectations for prospective employees, the better the outcome for everyone. Today, this process is as much about helping applicants determine if the job is right for them, as it is about deciding if they are right for the job. To be specific, the better you are at engaging applicants early in the selection process and helping them answer the following questions, the more likely you are to achieve optimal job fit.

  • Why should I work at your company?
  • What does the job look like?
  • What will I be asked to do?
  • Is this the right career for me?

At Employment Technologies, our approach to a positive outcome is to leverage the power of simulation to help you share your story and create a clear picture of the job, culture and organization. With our immersive job previews and employment simulations, your candidates will not only learn about the job, they will experience it!


Do you know why I love my job now? Because I have the opportunity to help organizations and employees find a better job fit.  In fact, Employment Technologies was the first assessment company to seriously consider the applicant experience as an essential component of the talent assessment process. Our user-friendly simulations offer applicants an engaging test-drive, giving them a realistic preview of the job, and giving you a realistic preview of the applicant.