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Finding the Best Fit for a Position Can Avert a Boatload of Dysfunction

The basis for a successful company is having the right people doing the right job at the right time.

But more often than not, company leaders are hesitant to get rid of the people that don’t fit, for fear they won’t find anyone to fill the positions.

Not true, says Jim Beqaj.

“From my experience as an executive recruiter, there is no lack of talent out there,” he says. “The problem stems from not properly defining fit and from not knowing what to look for.”

A Wall Street veteran and strategic adviser to chairmen and CEOs of top Canadian banks, Beqaj says a business will be left behind the competition if it fails to thoroughly assess the talent within its organization.

He warns that sustained success isn’t possible for a company with too many wrong fits.

“Putting people in the right positions is an ongoing process in business,” he says. “Companies aren’t ever going to reach perfection, but it’s important for them to try.”

Management must first determine what success looks like in a particular position, taking into account the goals of the chief executive and the board of directors. Once that is established, Beqaj says, managers can spell out exactly the skills and personality type needed for an employee to succeed.

Profiling is also a key factor in finding the right fit for a position. Managers should examine the profiles of the people in those positions, evaluating them on the basis of the skills, characteristics and experience required.

“These profiles must be done independently of the people who currently fill them,” Beqaj says. “Knowledge of and feelings for an incumbent will create an inherent bias. Jobs too often get defined according to the incumbent’s skills and personality rather than as a result of objective analysis.”
The next step is critical, Beqaj says. “What does the ideal person look like in this job? What would they need to be good at? What skills would they have? What specific traits would they have? What type of people would they need to work well with?”

The company adviser reminds managers that they won’t always find the ideal fit for a position, but knowing what’s needed for success will help them determine what the organization can do to supplement and support the person who is the best available fit.

“As a manager, you have to be prepared to put fit before almost anything else. If you don’t,” he says, “you’ll get yourself leveraged into a boatload of dysfunction, negativity and underperformance. Go out and find the right person.”

Jim Beqaj worked as vice chairman of the Bank of Montreal and co-founded an Internet-based IPO company, In 2002, he founded Beqaj International Inc., which provides recruiting, coaching and business-consulting services. He is the author of How to Hire the Perfect Employer. He can be reached at or


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