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Fit First Technologies: The Secret to Hiring Right

CIO VendorJan G. van der Hoop, President & Co-founder
Jan G. van der Hoop and Tim Brennan, co-founders of Fit First Technologies, stumbled upon a common issue across numerous industrial verticals: the employee turnover rate was showing no sign of decline. Despite the extensive hiring procedures that were in place, there existed an underlying problem that had to be addressed: Organizations’ heavy reliance on the traditional résumé as the primary screening and sorting tool was yielding poor results. Even if the information contained in the résumés is factually correct, the information they contain–education, credentials, work history and such–are statistically very weak predictors of a candidate’s potential success. According to research, nearly 90 percent of the time when someone fails in a role, the failure has nothing to do with their knowledge or expertise; it is attributable to their ‘fit’. Tim and Jan evolved the “fit first approach,” which pertains to evaluating the candidate’s likely compatibility with the manager, job, team, and organization. Screening for fit first, then the requisite knowledge and experience, dramatically increases the likelihood of the candidate engaging better in the work environment, staying longer and performing better.

For a dozen years now, Fit First has provided clients with a robust interface to evaluate applicants’ compatibility with the environment that would greet them, where the résumé’s priority was secondary. As predicted, their clients were thrilled with the results generated by this application, but that didn’t stop van der Hoop and Brennan from experimenting further. The turning point came when they decided to integrate a proprietary psychometric component into the application process. This patent-pending element baked into the application process effectively eliminates the ‘résumé sorting guesswork’ for recruiters and hiring managers.

We have designed the engine to capture those nuances beyond the mere job so that screening can occur on a much finer level


“Clients are no longer performing keyword searches that comb through data that has low predictive value and no guarantee of finding the right people in the stack,” says van der Hoop. “Instead, TalentSorter generates a FitScore™ for every applicant, naturally guiding clients to the people they should look at first. When the primary screen is Fit and the secondary screen is knowledge and experience, everything changes. All our clients will tell you, ‘if the fit’s not right… nothing else matters’” Clients reap crucial benefits such as saving a tremendous amount of time spent on sifting through résumés and more importantly, they discover that onboarding is easier, time to productivity is shorter and quality of hire goes up. Their most commonly used platform, TalentSorter, is an engine that creates custom assessments that capture all the aspects of “fit” in a particular organization. Jan explains, “We have designed the engine to capture those nuances beyond the mere job position so that screening can occur on a much finer level.” With the ability to measure a total of twenty-five traits, the software’s power lies in identifying the right kind of qualities ideal for specific positions. Accordingly, it also creates interview guides for the recruiter, helping them hone in on those traits that should be probed with the applicant. The software is further beneficial for the candidate, as the application process shortens considerably, often down to ten minutes at the most.

Mr. van der Hoop recalls one of their earliest customers, a retail organization that deployed the recruiting platform and saw a broad range of KPIs improve over the first year–productivity, lost time, attendance, payroll ratios, overtime, customer satisfaction and profitability all saw significantly better results. For Fit First, it was a major milestone, as they watched their clients discover the value of finding the “DNA” of people who add the greatest value to the company. Currently, Fit First are launching a new platform, MyHiring. Guru, designed to support SMBs, in line with its plans to broaden the reach of their unique job-matching science.