Science tells us that for any living thing to flourish, it must be planted within an environment that is conducive to its ability to function, survive and thrive. 

It is the same within any workplace. The performance of an employee is not dependent on their inherent talent alone. The context of the organization is of equal importance. No matter how talented an employee is, they will fail to deliver results at full potential if they are not optimally matched for the job or even the organization itself.

The context of an organization, therefore, cannot be ignored when hiring. 

For a business to be effective and successful, it must thoroughly assess the realities of its context and then take deliberate steps to align its activities – including recruitment – with its internal and external realities. 

To hire right, it is crucial to ensure that there is a “fit” between your business context – or environment – and the people you are hiring. It is not enough to hire the right candidate. You must hire the right candidate for your context. This is absolutely non-negotiable. 

The truth is, there are no “wrong” people, just people out of context. The right person for your organization might be the absolutely wrong person for mine. Furthermore, the right person for your organization today could end up being absolutely wrong three to five years down the line. Until you have clearly defined your internal and external contexts, it is virtually impossible to hire the right people for your organization.

But in reality, many hiring executives are going for the best candidates on the day without thoroughly assessing their ability to thrive within the context of their organization. They might score quick wins, but at what cost? For one, they will be faced with persistent inefficiencies because no matter how good an employee is, if placed in the wrong context they are likely to underperform. When due consideration is given to context however, you get employees who are passionate and engaged. They consistently perform at very high levels and more importantly, they rarely leave.

There are several ways your company can define its organizational context. One of which is the 3C’s + M model which outlines four organizational contexts in terms of internal and external realities. The external being your Customers, the Market, and your Competitors, and the internal context being the nature and situation of the organization itself. This model enables an organization to be outward facing whilst, crucially, maintaining an internal focus. 

The next step, once you have thoroughly defined your organizational contexts, is to strongly align the realities of your business with your hiring decisions. In my groundbreaking recruitment manual, Hiring Right, I outline a highly proven framework that details step-by-step guidelines your organization can adapt and deploy to skillfully align your hiring practices with your context. You can get copies of the book at