I'm wondering whether there's a word that basically means "finding out what people are good at and assigning them appropriate roles in an organization". So determining that one person's a natural leader and making them the leader, someone else is good with people and they're the counselor, someone else is good technically and they're running the website, etc.

In medicine, there's the term "triage" which is kind of doing this but with patients and severity of their illness.

  • This is perhaps one of the best SWR's I've seen, but I think you've hit upon a lexical gap. The nearest terms I've been able to find are the strong collocations (perhaps compound nouns) functional assessment, vocational assessment and aptitude testing, but these only imply (rather than denote) subsequent provision of a position. These terms are defined at Springer._Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine, though they may have slightly different definitions conferred by other ... Jul 9, 2019 at 11:12
  • institutions. 'Making the best use of manpower' is perhaps the standard expression. Jul 9, 2019 at 11:12
  • @EdwinAshworth Or "fitting square pegs in square holes - round pegs in round holes" is the business metaphor.
    – WS2
    Jul 9, 2019 at 11:53
  • @WS2 Fascinatingly, Farlex gives the examples 'This is in addition to enabling the Administration to effectively place square pegs in square holes, as well as round pegs in round holes' ... Biometric capturing not to witch-hunt any staff a FCTA' and 'That alone lies with the board – square pegs and round holes is literally how Everton have shaped up for near on two seasons.' under 'References in classic literature'. Jul 9, 2019 at 12:34

4 Answers 4


Few single words came to mind

  • appoint
  • choose
  • elect
  • nominate
  • delegate

I know you are asking for a word but what about

Talent Management

  • I like 'talent management'.
    – Jez
    Jul 9, 2019 at 17:55

Since the asker seems to be highly skilled in linguistics, the words I proffer might not interest him. But it can be useful for some others.

  1. When an employer wants to assign appropriate people to the duties they would be good at, he should sift out "ashes from cinders".
    Why not use "sift out"?

  2. Every employer shall see about interviewing or testing candidates so as to separate them according to their skills, personality, aptitudes, etc. In other words: "He shall see about the initial screening of candidates for the job. Why not use "screen"?


I can think of allocate which means

distribute (resources or duties) for a particular purpose.

So the usage could be like this.

Allocate roles according to skills.


to apportion TDF

To divide and assign according to a plan; allot:

The jobs were apportioned according to each employee's skills.

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