In Search of the Perfect Hire


When it comes to finding the best worker for the job, not only do skills come into play, but also the overall fit of an employee in a given workplace. Aerotek recently conducted its Perfect Fit Survey to determine how likely it is to find that perfect hire, and the factors that play into the perfect match.

According to the survey, a shade under half of all hiring managers surveyed said they believe the perfect worker is out there waiting to be found. Despite the devastating effects of the recession, which delivered a major blow to employer confidence, 49 percent of all hiring managers still believe in a perfect hire. This comes alongside growing evidence that suggests the skills gap, which as of late has been said to be as devastating as the recession, may in fact not have much weight.

Interestingly, those who said they did not believe in a perfect match still valued the same qualities in a candidate as those who believed in the perfect hire, and also echoed similar concerns about the future. This divide, however, may be explained by simply acknowledging that HR personnel are human, and thus susceptible to either seeing the glass as half empty or half full.

Rhetoric about a serious skills gap has been flying lately, but Aerotek's survey suggests employers are, in fact, satisfied with their most recent hires. The survey found about 59 percent of employers do not expect the difficulty to rise in finding a candidate that meets the required skill level, experience and salary requirements they are looking for.

What's more, 56 percent of employers said that their last hire had skills that matched their expectations "extremely well," while only 1 percent said their last hire's skills fit "extremely poorly."

Talk of the skills gap has led many employers to blame education and training programs for not preparing a workforce with the necessary skills. This idea, however, is being challenged, according to Peter Capelli, professor of management at The Wharton School and director of Wharton's Center for Human Resources.

"The real problem, then, is more appropriately an inflexibility problem," he wrote in The Wall Street Journal. "Finding candidates to fit jobs is not like finding pistons to fit engines, where the requirements are precise and can't be varied. Jobs can be organized in many different ways so that candidates who have very different credentials can do them successfully."

The skills gap, Capelli adds, could be an illusion hurting employers in the long run.

Finding the right employee is further compounded by identifying a worker who meshes well with the company's core values and beliefs. According to a recent Deloitte survey, 94 percent of executives said a distinct workplace culture is crucial for success, which in turn drives a need for a worker who fits in well with a company's culture.