Role Fit:
How to Stack Your Structure with the Right Talent

No structure is perfect. No new hire is perfect. There are always trade offs. Be more conscious of those trade-offs up front so that you can make the best decisions possible and stack your new structure with the right talent.

What Is Role Fit

The Role Fit tool is used in the Designed to Scale Coaching Program. This module, which lasts throughout the program, helps you think through the role fit for current management team members and potential new hires.

Using the new structure, you and your coach identify potential roles for the current team, talent gaps, and hiring priorities. Additionally, we identify smart ways to consolidate reporting lines. The result is a clear picture of the overall team composition including improved awareness of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses and the real requirements to thrive in a given role.

The Elements of Role Fit

In my book How to Think About Hiring: Play Smarter to Win the Talent Game, lays out the elements of role fit using a mental model called the Draft Board. The Draft Board is an insightful way to think through where to place your current team and prospective job candidates in the new structure:

The Organizational Physics Draft Board

What the Draft Board shows is that the major elements of role fit are:
1. Cultural fit
2. Skill fit
3. PSIU style match
4. Candidate demands

How to Stack Your New Structure
To cut to the punchline, when it comes to placing leaders into the new structure, our objective is to place #1 Team Leaders to lead your most important growth functions. You can accept #2 Team Players in non-growth or support functions. Don’t allow any #3 Specialists into key leadership roles. Fire any #4 Waivers fast.

In our work together, using the new structure combined with PSIU Assessments, my job is to help you determine the PSIU Style Match for a given role. Your job is to assess for cultural fit, skill fit, and candidate demands.

How this Program Works

The most important element of successful Role Fit has actually already been accomplished. What do I mean? Notice that we have already done something very important. We did not design the structure around people! From the ground up, we designed it around principles. This alone provides tremendous insight and clarity about what a role should be responsible for, its purpose, accountabilities, key performance indicators, and its PSIU style. By using the new structure as a roadmap, it becomes infinitely easier to assess an individual’s suitability for a particular position. You are driving in the dark without this roadmap.

You can send PSIU assessments to anyone you want during the program. You will learn how to interpret actual assessments and discuss the tradeoffs of a given role and individual. This includes assessing potential span-breakers and how to wisely consolidate reporting lines in the new structure. This also includes helping you to identify any talent gaps and the new hire priority sequence.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does the Draft Board work?
The Draft Board is an internal thinking tool. Neither internal nor external candidates use it, but managers do. The best way to understand it is to read Chapter 1 of How to Think About Hiring: Play Smarter to Win the Talent Game. The power of this tool lies in its practicality. Together, you and your coach will teach and review the draft board concepts and use this model to evaluate candidates and roles for the new structure.

2. How are you placing people without their involvement and buy-in?
It’s a trick question since we’re still backstage. Working with you and a trusted advisor to determine potential role placement and reporting lines. It’s important to give yourself permission to think freely (and critically) without worrying about how people may or may not respond. As we move pieces around backstage, we are testing our thinking. As part of the next-stage Level 3 Strategic Execution Program, the actual people placement discussions will take place in a way that is relatively easy to manage.

3. How do you assess for Cultural Fit, Skill Fit, and Candidate Demands?
We don’t assess for these unless you want us to interview a key senior hire for a new and unproven role in the organization. Internal and external candidates will be vetted based on your current candidate pipeline, recruitment team, and HR processes. You should also keep in mind that most structural changes do not require a wholesale change in the team. As a matter of fact, it’s usually just the opposite where your existing team is aligned in new ways.

We focus on designing the role clarity into the new structure with the right purpose, accountabilities, key performance indicators, and PSIU style for all major business functions. Then we provide insight and training on PSIU style matching to a given role as well as reporting line consolidation choices that lead to optimal role fit and improved execution speed.

4. How many people will I need to hire in the new structure?
It is unknown. It usually takes three to five new talented hires to really energize a new structure. It all depends on where the talent gaps are, your funding, and your growth pressure. Keep in mind that you can always assign multiple hats to one or two individuals because you need more time/capital to find and make the desired new hires.

5. How low in the organization do you provide Role Fit consulting?
Generally, we assess potential heads of functions. Think of the head of sales, the head of brand marketing, the head of XYZ. You can also request an assessment at the manager or director level if you wish. Most importantly, we want you to become an expert at assessing role fit yourself by learning this framework.

How to Apply

If you like this way of thinking and want to engage in a similar process for your company, schedule a consultation.