Hiring the Perfect Fit

Now this one is for the big daddy and mummy of HR as the role they play in hiring/selection is what we are going to talk about, today the article is all about some wrong things we do while hiring and the solutions should come from all of you this time as I’m just presenting some case scenarios here and looking eagerly for answers from you all.

Oh! common, do not get that anxious, We are not planning to conduct any examination nor we will have a quiz program, but here is a question which has haunted me for quite a long time now. Though I tried to solve the problems we will talk about but still there is something which was amiss and I’m sure all you experienced people out there can resolve it for the benefit of the HR fraternity.

We started hiring for a Director Operations post and this vacancy arose in the middle of the year, after much discussion and argument as the Manpower planning for the entire year was done appropriately, but the demands and workload suddenly increased so we all thought of appointing a new Director Operations to handle some burden of  the VP operations.

The JD was ready, the sources determined, everything else was worked out as per the requirement and the Recruitment Manager was asked to resource good candidates. The HR department passed on 5 candidates in a months’ time to the VP operations and after the interview it was told that none of them fit the role. Nevertheless, some more candidates were sourced in next 3 months and refused by the VP as he was looking for someone who could fit the position perfectly and need not undergo any kind of training.

We sourced some of the best candidates from the Top BPOs yet all of them met the same fate – rejection.

So in order to get that perfect person the whole business of the department suffered tremendously. The clients’ complaints, attrition, new clients and projects, meetings, trainings, new products and then again the problem of the perfect person for the role of Director Operations.

After three months the Management started asking questions about the recruitment of this particular position and when we (the VP operations and Director HR) were summoned to the MDs office the whole buck was passed on to the HR department as if we were the ones sourcing the right or so called perfect candidate. Anyway, thankfully the MD wanted to see all the Curriculum Vitae of all the profiles selected by the HR department but not considered appropriate.

Luckily, the ball was in our court and the MD liked almost all the profiles barring one or two, so it was decided to call all these people for a final round of interview which would be taken by all of us together.

After numerous calls to each one of them, we could just line up 3 of them out of a total of 9 as some of them had already been placed in good organizations.

Now coming to the point, this is just one example I could quote here, but I have seen many more where we keep waiting for that perfect person to fill up the position and in the mean time we actually end up leaving our workforce grueling. Later, we realize that it was not worth all this as there is nothing called a perfect fit for a perfect job, which is why we always negotiate on some traits of people.

Have all of you gone through similar incidences in your work life, where you kept waiting for the Perfect Candidate and ended up loosing all the other good ones too?

So what should be our course of action to prevent such mishap (if only you consider them as a mishap)?

Do other departments do that often? Or it is HR department which creates a problem by not sourcing the right candidate that too on time?

What happens when time, money and good candidate all of it goes astray?

Think about it and do share your valuable insights on this, as I believe there is nothing called a perfect person/ candidate for any job. We have to let go of one or two things initially to get the best fit.

Keep pouring your ideas and views. Look forward to that.

  • Shaikh Hrd

    Dear Archana,
    What you mention is right but there are some instances when other department want to show that HR is not doing their job properly.
    In our company department give the manpower list and will ask we need it now in a week. That is the biggest challenge we face. One good thing HR have the power to reject the candidate till the end.

  • Priya Murad

    Hello Ms Khurana ,
    Greetings for the day !!

    It is qunitessential for me to state that you have came up with a very valid point…..
    it was been said very aptly by as a famous quote that let your absence be felt by others but don’t let it be too long that people get learn to live without you……sometimes we wait for the right situation for too long that we ultimately land up with the empty hands & lost time.

    let us not forget that every human has got the infinite potential & also have their respective Pros n Cons too. the doubts we have on ourselvers are nothing more than the lies our peers try to sell us.Rightly said by Henry Ford that “If you say YOU CAN & if YOU SAY YOU CAN’T….BOTH THE WAYS YOU ARE CORRECT” .It only needs the grooming environment & proper support for a candidate to work as per JD.

    In work , love & life …let us “PLAY HARD & PLAY FAIR”.

    Nevertheless would like to share this article …

    “Sir, what is the secret of your success?” a reporter asked a bank president.
    “Two words”
    “And, sir, what are they?”
    “Right decisions.”
    “And how do you make right decisions?”
    “One word.”
    “And, sir, what is that?”
    “And how do you get experience?”
    “Two words”
    “And, sir, what are they?”
    “Wrong decisions”
    “Don’t be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false
    leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.”

  • S C Narang

    dear archana
    maybe u dont get perfect fit for most of the jobs. what we can do is to assess potential of a candidate who after a training can foot the bill. the hiring agency has to spell out competence red and competencies of prospective candidates the try to impart a suitable training in house or by a professional training agency.Developing people for your jobs is one option. Of course u should have good assessment agency to identify potential talent. scnarang@hotmail.com S C NARANG Chairman centre for talent management..DRDO , Delhi

  • Ameen

    There is nothing called a perfect fit. Each Organization has its own processes and ways of handling the operations, what we need to look in our hire is the adaptability, sacalability and ofcourse the subject knowledge. Am of the opinion that such incidence occur where the leader does not have any apetitie for risk or not too serious of filling this position and HR is made an scapegoat by passing on the blame.

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Hey Priya…
    Thanks for actually completing this write up for me…Wonderful examples and valuable insights provided by you is highly commendable. After finishing this article I was thinking that something is left unfinished and here it is…Thank you so much for the inputs.
    “To get a right person you have to meet many wrong ones” this is how life is personal or professional, chances have to be taken to get success.

    Thanks Again

    Archna Khurana Sharma

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Thanks Ameen.
    But this is not just one example, i know of many such examples which happens in different companies. It can be leadership failure or lack of knowledge on hiring.
    These things happens when we wait for the best amongst the lot and do not realize that in search of best we will end up loosing good ones also, which is what happened here.
    Thank you for your time and efforts….:)

  • Arsofi

    Hi Archna Khurana Sharma

    The difference between having a career and just a job may lie in whether you are a match to that specific job.

    Herb Greenberg, an expert in job matching, believes that 60% to 80% of people working in their current jobs are not a match.

    Greenberg, president of Caliper, a leading human resources assessment and consulting firm, and author of How to Hire & Develop Your Next Top Performer, compared working in the wrong job to signing a signature with the wrong hand. It might be readable, but the quality of the signature is poor.

    “The blunt reality is that if you are not a match to your job, chances are you are not going to be happy in that job. And if you are not happy at work, you can’t do a truly good job,” says Greenberg.

    It’s like anything in life: the more pleasure you get doing something the more motivated you are to do it. And the more motivated you are to do something, the more likely you will do it well.

    “You can’t force your employees to do a good job — they have to be internally motivated to do it,” says Greenberg.

    This is why hiring for attitude and training for skill works best. An employee can be taught how to run the latest software on his computer, but it’s up to him to want to turn the computer on.

    No amount of training can teach people to be motivated; it’s something they are personally responsible for. And it can be a challenge to motivate yourself when you’re working in a job you’re not suited for — when all that job means to you is a paycheque.

    A discontent employee is not good for the employer or the employee. For the employer, work performance suffers and the unmotivated employee can have a negative effect on others.

    For the employee, well, they just suffer — it’s not gratifying spending the majority of your week doing something you don’t want to be doing.

    “People seem to feel they don’t have the right to have fun at work,” Greenberg says. “There is no need to go through life not liking where you spend eight to ten hours per day. When you hate going to work, it’s a sign that you are not suited to your work.”

    If you are one of those mismatched people and want to align yourself better to your work, Greenberg suggests the following tips:

    First you need to have the courage to think about a change and take a risk.
    Map out a campaign — determine what you want and how can you get it.
    Work out a sales plan — be able to clearly and confidently answer the question, “Why should this employer hire me?”
    Do some research — there’s nothing wrong with going to a company to find out what qualities and skills are needed to work there.

    Changing careers and stepping out into the unknown is not always easy. It’s also harder to change jobs mid-career, especially if you have family support responsibilities. That’s why having a plan in place before quitting a job is important.

    It’s necessary to be ready mentally as well. “You must be willing to take a beating and you need to enter into the search with a dose of reality,” Greenberg says.

    You might have to take a step back before you can take a step forward. And be prepared to handle the rejection — it might take some ‘nos’ before you get that ‘yes.’

    “But if you play to your strengths, eventually you will find a company that will work with you,” Greenberg says.

    It’s like any marriage — the better matched, and the more shared in common, the better the chances of a mutually satisfying long-term relationship.


  • Rkpandey29

    Like there is no perfect spouse so rightly said there is no perfect fit (100%) in a job. We must find the best fit as there are deadlines and costs involved in not finding a fit. This needs to be realised by all including HR.

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Thank you Mr. Pandey…..

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Thank you for such wonderful insights….and i agree to the core of what Mr. Greenberg has to say on this topic…
    But as it is said that even while getting married you look for perfection in another person you may end up being a single all your life, as no one is perfect everyone comes with their flaws and limitations, similar thing happens in companies…when we are selecting an appropriate candidate we have to make sure that he may not fit perfectly to the job, he may be the best but will always require some kind of fine tuning..be it regarding the culture, or product, or people management skills, or any such things…Getting a ready made package is not an easy task.

    ANd Yes, while doing so proper steps to be taken not to have a bad hire or mismatch.
    The Balance is required in order to meet the goals…



  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Dear Mr. Narang…
    I agree with your points..thank you for such contribution.

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Dear Shaikh Hrd,

    Yes, many a times it happens that the other department just wants to pass the buck on HR department, but if the process is followed properly…..the blame game can be put to a stop.

    Thank you for your valuable insights and suggestions.



  • Amit Jain

    Dear Archana,

    Excellent article. It just reiterates my belief that hiring is akin to sales and the HR professionals have to convince the line managers that the candidates who have been sourced have actually been shortlisted after much deliberation. Case in point is that 6 out of the 9 candidates got placed in good companies evethough they were found to be” not perfect”.

    Warm Regards


  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Thanks Amit for your time and efforts…:)
    After much persuasion from HR department sometimes the 6 out of 9 ratio is achieved and no doubt what all we hire we are not that lucky to get a PERFECT FIT…as i believe it just does not exist.