Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF Mentor, tesh@shaw.ca

Managing Corporate Culture article series

A personality profile of an employee candidate (or current employee) is intended to provide insight into various attributes of the person including (but not limited to):

  • Initiative
  • Independence
  • Communication style (giving and receiving)
  • Big picture versus detail orientation
  • Comfort with conflict
  • Comfort with leadership
  • Comfort with change
  • Comfort with multi-tasking
  • Comfort with being coached
  • Empathy

Typically a profile is obtained by having the person complete a questionnaire designed by a qualified party that in turn, will interpret the results.

There are different types of personality profiles that best suit a position (e.g. management vs. clerical) and culture (e.g. constant change vs. minimal change). The personality profiling exercise is designed to provide insight as to whether the candidate is a good fit for the position and culture. Working with the profiling expert, the desired profile should be defined for the position being filled before the candidate(s) complete the questionnaire. The right expert can provide valuable guidance as to what their experience shows as being a good fit. This will provide you with the right benchmarks to evaluate the results for each candidate.

When first using personality profiling, you should always discuss the results from a candidate’s questionnaire with the expert in order to obtain the proper interpretation of the questionnaire. Until you have employed the process a number of times and have good experience with interpreting the results, I highly recommend using the expert input.

There are a variety of ways to use a personality profile. My preference was to have my short list of candidates (as provided by the external recruiting agency), each complete a profile questionnaire. I would then use the results to structure my interview of the candidate (and subsequent reference checking), particularly to highlight any potential weaknesses. I found this process to be extremely valuable as it made the interviewing and reference checking process much more effective. Stay tuned for my upcoming article on finding the right profile and provider for your organization.

Should you have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article, please email Terry Thompson at tesh@shaw.ca ©

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