November 4, 2020

Person-Job Fit

In our last article we discussed the theory of Person-Organization Fit as it applied to finding the ‘right’ candidate for your organization.  Person-Organization Fit explores the compatibility between an organization and potential candidates’ values, needs and demands.  However, Person-Job Fit focuses primarily on pairing the right talent with the right job through identification of competencies required for the position(1).   Essentially, does the candidate have the right skills to complete the tasks required of the position?

Person-Job Fit

The success of an organization and its employees relies on ensuring that the right people are in the right positions.  This simple statement bears repeating because companies know the pain of high turnover.  Hiring the right person for the job can save a company thousands of dollars per employee.

More importantly, Person-Job Fit is more than finding the right person for the organization.  It is also about making sure the organization understands the job for which they are hiring.  This can be achieved in the following ways:

  1. Job descriptions/requirements need to match daily responsibilities and daily tasks.
  2. Recruiters/Hiring managers need to understand job responsibilities and daily tasks.
  3. Structure interview questions to explore candidates’ abilities to handle job requirements.
  4. Use necessary/industry specific pre-employment assessments

Organizations who do not have a solid understanding of their own job requirements or are unable to measure a candidate’s job readiness face employee relations challenges.


Turnover may be the least worrisome issue an organization can face if the Person-Job fit is not satisfied or misidentified.  Incompatibility between an employee and their job can negatively impact an employee’s overall wellbeing. This includes work induced stress, depression, burnout, and other mental health issues(2).  While these indicators are extreme, a lack of Person-Job fit impacts employee engagement and organizational connectedness. Therefore, it is important an organization reflects the true demands of a position along with realistic expectations of job function.



 (1)Warr, P. & Inceoglu, I. (2012). Job engagement, job satisfaction, and contrasting associations with person-job fit. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 17(2), 129-138.

(2)Zhu, C., Zhu, H., Xiong, H., Ma, C., Xie, F., Ding, P., & Li, P. (2018). Person-job fit: adapting the right talent for the right job with joint representation learning. ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems (TMIS), 9(3), 1-17.

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