Buy Your Shoes a Size Too Big


Buy Your Shoes a Size Too Big

Over the years, my grandmother has given me many pieces of advice. Some such as, “Mark my words, this Internet-web won’t take off”, have proved to be rather wide of the mark, but one that sticks in my mind is the advice as a child to “Buy your shoes a size bigger.”

It’s not often that I issue my grandmother’s advice when advising clients, but in this case there’s certainly a parallel between selecting the right pair of shoes, and selecting the right candidate during a recruitment process.

As recruiters, we are often tasked with finding the ‘best’ fit for a role, so initially the most obvious route to achieving this, is finding a candidate who’s currently doing the same role we are recruiting for, but elsewhere (ideally in a very similar environment).

However, what often gets overlooked during this part of the recruitment cycle is the reason why a candidate wants to leave in the first place, along with what their overall career objectives are.

Leaving one job for another is largely motivated by a desire to change direction or take a step up, unless there’s a redundancy looming or change of circumstances. So with this in mind, offering a role that a candidate can simply side-step in to, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the role that they’re really looking to move to and crucially, stay in. The same can be said of buying shoes which fit like a glove at the time, but then over time become too tight, so we look for a new pair.

Questions asked during the hiring process often start with, ‘Can this person do the job?’ and ‘Is this the right job for this person?’. However, what we also need to ask is, ‘What will this person gain by taking the job?’

In answering what a person will gain by taking a job, we find the candidate’s motivation; if this isn’t clear then the likelihood is that this role isn’t the right fit.

Nearly all companies will say they want the best person and that they won’t rush unless the fit is perfect, but then continue to hire staff who come into a role already having done the same role elsewhere (and decided to leave!).

Experience tells us that the right fit often means hiring a candidate who has the core competencies to undertake the role, but not necessarily had the opportunity to perform it elsewhere.

However, by hiring somebody that’s got some room to grow within a role and is motivated by the opportunity to progress, you have a candidate who will be continually stimulated and challenged by their work.

Additionally, if the core competences are evidenced and present, they’ll quickly become productive within their role and importantly will enjoy it; that’s the right hire.

So to refer back to those wise words of Grandma, if your size nines are getting a little snug & worn, get yourself a 10, because before you know it your feet will have grown and you’ll have the right fit, all it took was a little time.

Saragossa are a talent provider specialising in the Financial Technology, Financial Operations and Data Science sectors. Our role is to match clients with high calibre candidates. Our work encompasses filling temporary contracts along with building permanent teams and resourcing projects. To find out more, please contact or call 020 7871 3666.