Job Crafting, Training, and Age
Due to the competitiveness of the job market, many people are not finding jobs that are a perfect fit. Many job seekers accept jobs that may not be aligned with their skills, interests, or strengths. Person-job fit refers to the alignment between a person’s characteristics (e.g., needs, abilities, knowledge, preferences, etc.) and the characteristics of the job. Person-job fit is crucial during the recruiting and selection stages, given that it can impact employment satisfaction, engagement, and performance. However, employees can also redefine jobs (i.e., job crafting) to fit their personal strengths and interests.
Recent research in the Journal of Applied Psychology explored the challenge of person-job fit misalignments. The researchers predicted that job crafting (i.e., taking the initiative to change the scope of job activities) could help to improve person-job fit by empowering employees to align their current jobs with their strengths and interests. The researchers recruited participants from a Dutch healthcare company. Participants were assigned to one of two groups of the experiment. Individuals placed in the first group were told they were on the waiting list for the job crafting training. Individuals placed in the second group actually participated in the job crafting training. During the training, participants in the second group were asked about their jobs, their strengths, and their weaknesses. They were then asked to create a plan for creating their job towards their strengths and interests. Later, all respondents (both groups) were asked to complete a survey to assess how well they had crafted their job.
The study revealed mixed findings. Of those that participated in the training, older individuals had an increased person-job fit due to job crafting toward their strengths. In contrast, younger individuals who participated in the training experienced a decrease in person-job fit because they were less likely to job craft toward their strengths. The researchers concluded that this may be due to older employees being more aware of their strengths. In contrast, younger employees may be less receptive to the intervention because they are less aware of their abilities.
Kooij, D. M., van Woerkom, M., Wilkenloh, J., Dorenbosch, L., & Denissen, J. A. (2017). Job crafting towards strengths and interests: The effects of a job crafting intervention on person–job fit and the role of age. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(6), 971-981.