Fitting the job to the person

I’ve been talking a lot about Pinnacle lately, but there are so many neat things we can do as a smaller company that I’ve never even considered in the past. A great example of that is the tendency to fit the job to the person on our Operations Team. Instead of rigidly defining what the position requires and recruiting for an exact fit, we define the minimum education/experience level, find a great culture fit, and find out how to customize the job to fit them.

It takes a great manager

The Operations Manager at Pinnacle holds a philosophy similar to Marcus Buckingham, which basically means giving people work they are really good at and letting others do the other tasks that they are uniquely suited for. The Ops Manager works hard to define what each team member likes and does well and strives to give them more of that kind of work. They’ll do it better than someone else, and it makes them happy. Tough to beat that kind of attitude when it comes to teamwork!

Our accounting team is a great example. We have two part time accountants working a job-share situation. They both do different pieces of the work, but they are a great fit for each other and for the type of work they do. Some companies would have turned them away because they wanted to work fluid, ever-changing part time schedules, but we found a synergy there that vastly outpaces what a single accountant could accomplish.

But you’re small!

I know, I know. We are a small company so we can bend the rules. However, if you have noticed, I used the example of one team/department, not the whole organization. And it’s certainly possible for one subset of employees to follow this model if their manager is willing to spend the time on it. I keep hammering culture fit and attitude. If you have two similarly qualified individuals, but one has enthusiasm and passion for the position, then harness that to make your team, department, and company better.

Have you ever managed a team and tried to fit the jobs to the people? Does your manager do it for you? 

13 thoughts on “Fitting the job to the person

  1. Lois Melbourne

    This is a practice Aquire has had for a long time. This works on a continuous basis. Before we open a position we evaluate the team they will be entering and ask the individuals what they are ready to get rid of in their jobs. This usually helps us improve the current positions & build a job requirement for somebody that will love the role.

  2. MBrisciana_HR

    Excellent post, Ben. This is is a story that is pertinent to any size organization (large or small), I think — because even the largest organizations break down into departments, units, teams, etc. The key is in your words “… it takes a good manager.” Yes — indeed — a manager who sees everyone’s strengths and motivations as different, and deals with them accordingly. Not an easy approach to management — but a very rewarding one.

    Great story!

    Michael Brisciana

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