When used in the recruitment process, psychological profiling is a means of understanding an individual’s personal character traits in order to predict their likelihood of success in any given role or situation. Most candidate selection is based on skills, however few recruiters pay close attention to the individual’s character, which actually informs most of their day to day behaviour in the workplace. The more influential the role the more critical it is to understand how a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses are likely to impact on your existing workforce, and by default on your business. Skills can be learned. Character (except under various extreme situations) doesn’t change. Just as a doctor orders an x-ray to support his/her diagnosis, profiling allows us to see inside an individual and to understand them… sometimes better than they understand themselves.
There is a huge variety of profiling tools in the marketplace. Many are blunt instruments, giving little more insight than a quiz in the Sunday supplement. Some are complex, time-consuming, come at eye-watering cost and provide far more information than the typical HR manager can comprehend. In the middle there are several that combine targeted, complex and relevant information at a reasonable cost. One of these is Expr3ss which we have used for over fifteen years and which we believe to be world class. Not only this, but having assessed numerous other products over a long period of time we remain convinced that Expr3ss is one of the best kept secrets in the industry. Via a deceptively simple online questionnaire it provides a chart which – to the trained eye – gives an unprecedented level of diagnostic information about an individual’s behaviour under varying levels of stress. This information can further be used to form an accurate assessment of corporate culture, team strengths and weaknesses, so that individuals may best be deployed to create a seamless, high performing unit.
When is Profiling used?
In today’s competitive environment it is more important than ever to make the right decision every time you add or replace someone in your workplace. The costs of hiring the wrong person can – in terms of lost productivity, damage to morale, legal and fiscal liability – be catastrophic, particularly to smaller businesses that don’t have the financial resources to withstand such mistakes. Most recruitment companies are geared to expediency, high throughput and the lowest possible overheads. A reliance on keyword searches, plus a worryingly common “churn and burn” mentality means that a huge number of recruitment recommendations have little more chance of success than random chance.
At eXenet we don’t make a decision until we have seen a candidate’s “personality X-ray” for ourselves. This allows us to make sometimes unusual (but consistently accurate) recommendations that see our clients hiring candidates they may have overlooked under different circumstances. We consider this our “unfair advantage” – having the means to cherry-pick the diamonds that others simply don’t see. Resumes and LinkedIn profiles are biased and notoriously inaccurate.
Candidates rarely suggest referees who are likely to tell you about their “dark side” and the success of an interview is often undermined by poor technique and by not knowing what questions to ask. As a result, most employers make their decision based on only a fraction of the available information. It isn’t until the chosen candidate is on the payroll that the cracks begin to show. Our unique profiling results not only tell us what questions we need to be asking referees, but also what issues need to be explored with the candidate at interview. In this way there are no surprises down the track.
To summarise –
Profiling does not provide all the answers. But it will enhance the answers to all the questions you are asking.
Ask yourself just how important the answers to these questions are when considering the employment of someone who will be a major part of your future plans.
Yes we can ask the questions at interview. But there are two answers you need.
One from your candidate, and another from a scientific assessment of his/her responses.
Both are very significant.