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HiringSmart’s Three Bold Ideas (Part 1)

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Jan G. van der Hoop, President of HiringSmart™ — our go-to partner for help on how to hire more effectively, will be contributing to this blog on Fridays.  You can reach him directly at 905-338-7961 or

If you have heard about HiringSmart, you’ll know that we don’t shy away from being boldly different. We often find ourselves looking at common things from an uncommon perspective, challenging the often outdated assumptions that underpin them, and proposing new approaches that better meet the current reality.

It seems appropriate that we step back and share with you three bold ideas that we think will set the foundation of your success for the next few years. They are the following:

  1. If the fit’s not right… nothing else matters
  2. Measure what Matters
  3. The Birds of a Feather theory is alive and well

We are going to cover one at a time in our next three posts on  Be sure to come back every Friday to catch the next installment!


This is the foundation of our entire approach, our core philosophy. Research over the last fifteen years has continued to validate and revalidate the link between employee engagement and business performance. In fact, companies with above-average employee engagement:

  • are nearly twice as likely to outperform industry averages on many measures including revenue growth
  • produce 32% higher earnings per share and 263% higher compound growth
  • are twice as profitable and three times more likely to reach targets as their competitors
  • have voluntary turnover rates that are one-half those of average employers
  • have employees that give more discretionary effort and are much more likely to seek ways to improve the effectiveness of their work.

We also know that engagement doesn’t just happen; one needs to set the stage for it. The starting point is to make sure that people are assigned to roles (whether they are new hires or existing employees) on the basis of the Four Critical Aspects of Fit:  fit with the manager, in the job, with the team, and with the organization.  Once these fit factors are aligned, your managers and your systems can do their work more effectively and with less effort, and better results will flow naturally.

So we need to stop relying on the résumé factors (education, credentials and experience) as the admission tickets that determine who we’ll consider and who we won’t; they are the least reliable predictor of performance, retention and engagement. We need instead to pay attention to fit first, because if it’s not right, there’s nothing else in a person’s background or experience that will compensate for that. Nothing.

As an extension of this line of thinking, we’ve noticed that people most often speak of fit from the employer’s perspective, with good reason. What about the candidate’s perspective? Surely fit is a two-way street?

It most certainly is. So much so that you’ll often hear us use an axiom that is getting more and more play with our clients. That is, If the Candidate’s not engaged… the Employee never will be. This is a theme that we will expand on, and that we hope will challenge many of your existing beliefs and processes, particularly as it relates to employment branding, attraction, candidate sourcing, internal and external communication, and even how you manage the candidate experience and your onboarding process.

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Don Rheem’s presentation on Employee Engagement gets underneath the real “whys” on the behavior of discretionary effort. I found his examples to be relative and understandable. I see how our leaders are making better connections with the hearts of our people, so everyone better understands the goals of the enterprise.

--Peter Rittenhouse, Director of Supply Chain
Nestle Waters
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