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Many human resources professionals and hiring managers use job fit scores to screen candidates. However, such scores can be misused. Some managers rely on them too much and end up screening out candidates who would actually be a great fit for a position. 

On the other hand, sometimes a candidate looks like an excellent fit. Some candidates may score 90% or even more on the screening test, but in reality, they aren’t a good fit for the company. Here’s why human resources professionals should be wary of job fit scores and how to avoid major pitfalls when using them.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Job Fit Scores

One of the reasons many hiring managers use job fit scores is because they provide a quick and easy way to see whether a candidate might be a good fit. It boils the entire hiring process down to numbers, and the higher the number, the better fit a candidate could be. 

Hiring managers tend to be pressed for time because they have the extra responsibilities involved in finding a replacement for a position. They also may be in a hurry to fill the position, so using a score from an assessment may seem like a great idea. 

They believe scores offer scientific ways to see at a glance which candidate is the best fit for the job. However, it’s never that simple when it comes to finding new employees.

One of the problems with job fit scores is that the hiring process seems much simpler than it actually is. Hiring managers may think they have an excellent candidate with a 90% fit, but they don’t take the time to look at why the person is only a 90% fit. The 10% they are missing might be the most important 10% of the job. 

Some managers may find that the person who scored a 90% job fit score ends up being an utter failure at the position six months down the road. Thus, it’s important to take such scores as just part of the hiring process rather than the main focus of candidate selection. 

Why Seemingly Good Candidates Fail

In addition to reviewing the score, it’s also important for human resources professionals and hiring managers to look at a candidate’s assessment. A high score on a test doesn’t necessarily mean the candidate will be a good fit for the position or for the company. Thus, it’s important for hiring managers to interview multiple candidates rather than relying purely on job fit scores to choose the best person for a job. Job fit scores aren’t a substitute for due diligence when it comes to hiring employees. 

All hiring managers should be reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates face to face and having them fill out an assessment. Recruiters can also provide insight into whether someone would be a good fit for a job. If a candidate passes the interview, resume check and other aspects of the hiring process with flying colors, it does indicate that they might be a good fit. It’s not uncommon for candidates to have a score of 80% or higher. However, high scores provide no guarantee that they will be successful in the position. 

The key is to look at what caused the employee to miss the 10% or 20% of their test. Sometimes that 10% or 20% can cause an otherwise excellent candidate to be an utter failure in a position. For example, employees with disruptive personalities tend to be a terrible fit for most companies because they struggle in their interactions with coworkers. On paper, they may look like a great candidate, but the assessment will provide warning signs that indicate exactly why they almost fit the position. 

After all, job fit scores are merely a number that summarizes how likely the person will be to find success in the role. They don’t indicate what caused a candidate to almost but not quite fit. In some cases, the 10% or 20% they missed could be the most important 10% or 20% of the job. 

Scores may also fail to indicate personality problems that could cause a candidate to be a poor fit for a position. 

How to Use Job Fit Scores

Most assessments cover personality traits and behavior, so they take human resources professionals and hiring managers beyond each candidate’s basic skills and experience. They add to the resume collection and interview processes to help you understand whether each candidate’s personality would fit in well with the team you already have. 

Job fit scores typically provide insight into behavioral competencies and personality traits that have been proven to be indicators of success in the workplace. They usually assign a score to each candidate in several areas, and those scores are added up to offer an overall score. 

Many such assessments come not only with numeric scores but also with an executive summary to explain what the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses are. Thus, it is important to read the executive summary in addition to looking at the candidate’s numeric scores. The summary can reveal a lot about what drives a candidate and reveal potential warning signs regarding various personality traits.

Some platforms will allow you to compare multiple candidates on the same page, so you can easily see who scores higher in each area of the test. However, it will take a reading of the executive summary about each candidate to really reveal where each of them is lacking. 

Some candidates may lack in reasoning or cognitive abilities, while others may display disruptive personality traits. However, simply looking at the numeric scores won’t provide enough details about where they are lacking.

Conclusion

Job fit scores can be an important part of the hiring process, but you shouldn’t depend solely on such scores when it comes to choosing employees. They are a great tool, but they can be misused, so managers should keep this in mind whenever they are using them to identify employees who would be a good fit for a job.