Fit is defined as the degree to which individual and organisational attributes are compatible, and is an important cornerstone of team analytics and candidate assessment (van Vianen, 2018). According to behavioural science research, fit takes two forms:
Supplementary fit: Individual and environmental attributes are similar in terms of values; applies on a person-team level
Complementary fit: Individual attributes are complemented by the organisational environment; company culture-fit
Person-team fit over culture fit
Research suggests that supplementary fit relates to attitudes towards peers, job attitudes and organisational citizenship (Kristof-Brown, et al., 2005). When focusing on supplementary fit and value matching in hiring, the results are improved employee retention, increased engagement, and stronger organisation cultures.
Many enterprises have shifted focus towards company culture-fit approaches when hiring. However, understanding the fit between individual differences and organisation-level characteristics, especially in large enterprises, is near-impossible. To top it off, there can be huge differences in internal culture between work groups or departments in a single company.
Balancing fit with diversity
A team made up exclusively of creative people may lack pragmatism, and a team of methodical people may lack room for flexibility in idea generation. Depending on the team goals objectives, a diverse group may do better than one with high similarity levels in a single trait.
Understanding where diversity or fit is more important is an essential part of hiring, especially at an executive level. Behavioural insights and tools that visualise individual variability within a team can help hiring managers navigate the complexities of human preferences to make effective people decisions.
Kristof‐Brown, A. L., Zimmerman, R. D., & Johnson, E. C. (2005). Consequences of individuals' fit at work: A meta analysis of person-job, person-organization, person-group, and person-supervisor fit. Personnel psychology, 58(2), 281-342.
van Vianen, A. E. (2018). Person–environment fit: A review of its basic tenets. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 5, 75-101.