How Much Will a Candidate Flex to Meet Job Requirements?

Hiring someone the way they are and expecting them to change afterwards, is not only unfair to the Candidate, it’s unrealistic.

One of the more common questions I get when I’m talking to clients about someone’s “fit” is this:

“How can we help this person flex to fit the job?”

My response is always: “Are you prepared to have the job flex to fit the person?” That’s the reality – it’s what inevitably is going to happen.

People change the job to fit them. It’s the only way they know how to do it.

I’m surprised at how we believe we can truly change someone to be something they’re not. If they’re not high enough on Sociability for the role, simply putting them in more meetings doesn’t make them talk more. They aren’t as effective at thinking on their feet.  All that time in meetings just slows them down and increases their stress load.

People experience the world through filters we call “traits”, and those filters only respond to certain stimuli. It’s what makes us all unique.

When businesses or managers try to push more through those filters, people get “overstimulated”, then demotivated and potentially exhausted. Their work suffers.

Instead of talking about how to coach/train/motivate someone to fit the job, let’s start asking ourselves:

“Are we willing to let the job flex to fit the person?”

This perspective is more realistic and provides a much better lens to evaluate your candidates.

If you’ve experience the scenario above, it might be time to think about things a different way. Maybe your first question should be: “What’s the personality of the job?”

Mike Moreau