Jan G. van der Hoop, President, Fit First Technologies InternationalJan G. van der Hoop, President
Matching recruits to roles is the objective every employer aspires to achieve for their organization. However, Jan G. van der Hoop and Tim Brennan, with expertise and many years of experience in the IT and HR fields, recognized the deficiency in the hiring process caused by organizations’ reliance on low-quality data occupying the standard resume. The job seeker’s snapshot, educational qualifications, work experience, and interests contained in a resume might all be important as qualifiers for certain positions, but are very weak predictors of success, as indicated by psychological research. Van der Hoop and Brennan founded Fit First Technologies International with the drive to improve hiring and employee retention aspects of HR. “The things that are specifically strong predictors of an individual’s likely success in a role are: who they are as an individual—their core traits, their values, attitudes, standards, and how they think, acquire and apply information,” states Jan G. van der Hoop, who also heads the company as its President. Specializing in Predictive Human Analytics for more than a decade, Fit First combines psychometric testing, advanced research, behavioral modeling algorithms to develop custom cognitive solutions for a variety of HR applications. This boosts the recruitment of the right person for the right role and benefits both the recruiter and the recruit.

“Surprisingly, almost nine times out of ten, a worker’s inability to perform satisfactorily at a job has nothing to do with their education or previous work experience. It has everything to do with how they fit or do not fit in the work environment and culture they have entered,” shares van der Hoop. So with a ‘fit first approach’ while sorting applicants, Fit First’s TalentSorter software pre-screens applicants for their fit in the role they are applying to. It does this through identification and assessment of the applicants’ cognitive, conative, and affective indicators of capability, suitability for the work environment, and a likelihood of future success, irrespective of the applicants’ age, race, gender, and limitations to ability.
Comparing with the traits of established top performers at organizations via assessment, and/or analysis of their key trait patterns, TalentSorter generates a fitability score (FitScore™) for each applicant that accurately predicts probability of fit, functionality, and future success at the job. The software also develops a customized ideal candidate profile while preparing an interview guide to ensure that recruiters ask the right questions to save time and cost for a more effective recruitment process. The focus on ‘fit’ also lowers employee turnover and enhances employee satisfaction rates.

Fit First brings objective, predictive science to the task of more effectively matching talent with opportunity, for the benefit of both the jobseeker and the employer

“Fit First effectively takes the inefficiency and friction out of the system and brings objective, predictive science to the task of more effectively matching talent with opportunity, for the benefit of both the jobseeker and the employer,” states van der Hoop. Whether clients hope to gain deeper insights into their customers’ decisions, prospects’ actions, employees’ performance, or policyholders’ behaviors, the company fulfils all such requirements. It also informs organizations about whether their job qualifiers are appropriate for the roles offered. In addition, Fit First prioritizes an employer’s applicants list in a reliable way that eliminates the need for keywords and Boolean searches through resume databases.

The company also helps college and university students with career planning and enables individuals to understand their compatibility with different kinds of careers. In addition, the company also taps into pools of hidden talent comprising people facing difficulty finding employment such as veterans, individuals with learning disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), at-risk women, youth, and indigenous populations. “Fit First demystifies the potential capability of such workforce and their specific requirements for the recruiter,” explains van der Hoop. “With Fit First, employers are getting in touch with individuals who are a GREAT fit for their organization, but who they would never have looked at in a million years on the basis of their résumé.”
One of the many clients that Fit First has aided is a large national insurance company based in the Midwest, providing life and health insurance in the U.S. since 1956. Upon hearing of Fit First’s hiring platform in 2016, the insurance company approached Fit First for a customized version of the TalentSorter pre-hire assessment tool to resolve two key hiring issues. Firstly, to spot the right rookie sales candidates with the capacity to be the most productive at the job, and secondly, to retain such candidates as quality, long-term sales agents. Fit First implemented a TalentSorter assessment of the existing sales agents in the client’s organization to differentiate between the more and less productive agents that the client already employed. This revealed the unique mix of key traits and the TalentSorter FitScore of the top performers differentiating them from those underperforming in the job. The top performers’ assessment results showed a compelling correlation between high job productivity and a high TalentSorter FitScore. The solution also informed the client about their candidates’ standards, attitudes, and values serving as good predictors of their likelihood to settle in, perform, and prevail at the job. Having deployed Fit First’s services, in 2018, the client’s retention rate was measured to have increased by nearly 11 percent for the new hires during the firsts three quarters of 2018. Also, the client’s overall growth has increased by nearly 20 percent since 2017. As a result, the insurance company is embracing Fit First’s solution as a more accurate starting point in the screening and sorting process of candidates.

Considering the future of work with the fast developments in AI, robotics, and technology in general, the platforms that Fit First is developing are uniquely suited to support organizations to transition their workforce. Apart from employer facing platforms, the company is also launching their first B2C platform. Geographically, Fit First is still primarily focused on the North American marketplace with its slew of opportunities for growth. Unimpeded by linguistic challenges, the company expects to go global more quickly while addressing their clients’ international operations. “Fit First is uniquely suited to offer a platform that is almost ‘future-proof,’ actively reconfiguring their elements to help people and organizations prepare for the future of work,” concludes van der Hoop.