Hiring is difficult, even for the most experienced recruiters. When it comes to recruiting for startups, finding the right talent to build up your team is made even more difficult by having fewer resources.
Bad hires are expensive, time-consuming, and take a considerable toll on team productivity and synergy. Additionally, losing an experienced team member can have even more significant adverse impacts, both in the short and long run.
This means that when looking for the best people to build up your team, it is vital to look for more than job capability. Hiring for person-organization fit helps to ensure factors like values alignment, job satisfaction, and high performance, to name just a few.
By hiring for person-organization fit, you can increase your chances of hiring the right person for your team.
What is the Person Organization fit?
Person organization fit, or P-O fit, is the compatibility of values, attitudes, and beliefs between a person and organization. Not only are employees often attracted to organizations with similar values and goals, but hiring for P-O fit creates positive workplace effects.
P-O fit can impact positively on employee attitudes and behaviours like organizational commitment, job satisfaction, job performance, and more.
Following is a comprehensive list of 8 reasons why it is so essential to incorporate P-O fit into your hiring strategy:
1. Organizational commitment
Organizational commitment is essential for startups to consider when hiring new team members. Concerning how an employee views their attachment with an organization, it impacts productivity, performance, satisfaction, and more.
Determining P-O fit in hiring can help indicate candidates' organizational commitment by highlighting where their motivations come from. For startups, these factors also contribute to developing corporate culture. Having committed employees allows an organization to work towards and achieve its goals. Organizational commitment can help determine if an employee will stay engaged and work for the organization over a long time.
Not all commitment is a good commitment. Where employees are staying for the wrong reasons, it can do more harm than good. Using P-O fit to align goals and values can reduce the risk of hiring candidates who have poor motive alignment and are incompatible. Following are the three main types of organizational commitment that employees feel:
- Affective commitment - Where affection is developed and emotional attachments are made.
- Continuance commitment - Where leaving is viewed as costly.
- Normative commitment - Where staying is considered to be an obligation and the right thing to do.
2. Job satisfaction
Job satisfaction is how an employee feels doing a job. It can be influenced by factors like organizational policies, supervision, and pay. However, the primary indicator of job satisfaction is what an employee expects from a role vs what they get out of it.
P-O fit can help determine job satisfaction as it concerns matching organizational goals and needs with a candidate's objectives and key competencies. As startups often have fewer employees, team members need to support one another. Employees need to be mission, value, and belief aligned so that work stays meaningful.
High job satisfaction relates to increased retention rates, lowered absenteeism, and increased productivity.
3. Job performance
Job performance is the effectiveness of an employee when it comes to achieving organizational goals. High job performance is related to workplace innovation, strong communication, and collaboration. As startup organizations require many goals to be met, often even to start being profitable, hiring top performers is ideal.
However, job performance can be influenced by factors like knowledge, abilities, values, and motivations. Variables that are hard to measure make it challenging to figure out who the top performers will be.
By hiring for person-organization fit, employers can make this process easier. Studies show that when responsibilities align with employee abilities, employee satisfaction will increase, and when this happens, high performance is created.
4. Organizational performance
Building on job performance, when organizations hire P-O fit employees, it helps to increase overall organizational performance.
Organizational performance is a measure of an organization's results against initial goals. That is, comparing actual output with the desired output after a certain period. These are incredibly important for startups as they highlight areas that are going well and those that aren't.
When organizations hire employees who believe in their mission, values, and goals, they increase employee satisfaction and consequently lift overall performance for the organization.
Organizational performance is measured in a variety of different areas depending on the organization. These measures are also a good indicator of which areas organizations may lack and need to hire for.
Workplace collaboration is another great reason to incorporate P-O fit into a hiring strategy. For startups, collaboration is necessary. With there often being heavy workloads, long hours, and less human resources available, working together and supporting each other is critical.
When employees feel like they fit or belong in an organization, it creates happy and engaged employees—leading to active communication, contributions, and overall collaboration.
6. Employee development
Employee development is where, over time, resources are given to employees to upskill and expand their knowledge base. As startups tend to have limited personnel, this is a frequently used way to build an organization's expertise.
P-O fit considers individual employees' career management and how it aligns with an organization's long-term goals when appropriately implemented. This helps to evaluate and maintain organizational commitment and retention rates, especially as unhealthy commitment styles can negatively impact an employee and organization, such as when employees reach a perceived career plateau.
In the long run, using a P-O fit to find employees who have aspirations that match an organization's goals can also create an opportunity for internal promotion, which is more economical and less time-consuming.
By hiring for P-O fit, innovative workplace behaviours are more likely to occur as employees are driven to work towards the organization's goals.
Innovation is creativity at work. In startups, innovative work behaviour can bring more efficient use of resources, more efficient processes, increased employee engagement, increased job satisfaction, and increased retention rates.
Motivation is the reason a person displays certain behaviours or acts in a certain way. In an organizational setting, this relates to the driving force behind why an employee chooses to do the work. Motives can come from both positive and negative places, and depending on their origins, they can positively or negatively impact the organization.
Hiring someone who has the right motivations and drive is one of the main objectives of P-O fit. Motivation alignment directly relates to organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and performance at an individual and organizational level.
For startups especially, ensuring a prospective employee's motives come from the right place is critical. If motives are wrong, it can result in a lack of morale, low performance and can become an economic burden.
While it may feel overwhelming, employees are organizations' biggest assets, so care needs to be put into the hiring process.
Before hiring for P-O fit, startups first need to have a comprehensive plan of expectations, needs, organizational goals, and more. This will help facilitate the process, feel less scary, and reduce bias and malpractice by having a structured approach.
A few examples of how to get organized include:
- Developing a strong understanding of the organizational culture.
- Understanding the critical alignments that prospective employees need to have with the organization.
- Creating a process that allows for P-O fit to be incorporated into hiring.
Planning this out should be the foremost priority when implementing P-O fit into your hiring process.