While personality profiling has been used as a recruitment tool for more than 100 years, research suggests it only takes place in around 18 per cent of companies.
It’s a concept that’s been around for thousands of years, stemming from the ancient Chinese practice of defining a person’s personality according to the four elements – water, earth, air and fire.
The first widely used intelligence test was introduced to the West in 1905, and since then, numerous well-known profiling methods have popped up, with several systematically used by a wide range of industry leaders.
It’s a growing trend, with studies suggesting the number of businesses using psychometric testing during the hiring process growing by around 10 to 15 per cent each year.
Essentially, psychometric profiling is used to measure an individual’s mental capabilities and behavioural style.
It’s a fairly simple process, with an insightful result.
“A person completes a questionnaire where they select from a range of multiple-choice answers to a series of questions designed to elicit their subconscious knowledge of themselves,” says Julie Davis, co-owner of Agent Dynamics, one of only a few industry-specific personality profilers.
“Most profiling systems are used when recruiting to match a person’s personality type to a particular role or function,” says Davis.
“They will all have their individual nuances but in essence, they are very similar and designed to be used across a number of industries.
“Agent Dynamics profiling is very different as it was specifically developed for the assessment of people within the real estate industry.”
Each different assessment within Agent Dynamics focuses on a specific core agency role: Principal Salesperson, Property Manager or Admin/Support team.
“Our aim was to have a real estate specific profile that filled a number of criteria. The first requirement was that it had to be written in a style that was easily interpreted and readily understood. Secondly, the profile report had to be accompanied by a comprehensive debrief that allowed the participant to have all their questions answered. Finally, and essentially, it must be able to be used on a daily basis to increase performance, develop team harmony and boost work/life balance.”
What does a profile measure?
In simple terms, a profile is used to measure a candidate’s suitability for a position based on the required psychological characteristics to do well in the role.
“In Agent Dynamics we take this one step further and train business owners and managers not only to determine suitability for a role, but how to best communicate and manage the profile type on a day to day basis.”
Profiling provides employers with insight into how a person actually sees themselves.
“It cuts through the way that they may like to present themselves and gives us an insight into what lies below.
“This can make it an invaluable tool, in two key areas. Firstly, it will disclose their internal operating system at an interview far beyond what is disclosed in their resumes and references.
“Finally it will identify the strengths and challenges that they will bring to the team which makes team management and role allocation so much easier.”
Profiling may be used to determine:
- personality assessment
- career development
- team development
- conflict management
- leadership development
- personal development
- recruitment and selection
- talent management
Profiling for recruitment and individual self-development
While it’s not an exact science, Ms Davis says her clients frequently report their profile as ‘dead accurate’.
“The results are based upon the answers provided by the participant. If the candidate provides answers and are not a natural response, we call it gaming.
“When a candidate games a profile assessment they are usually deliberately answering to confuse or have little interest in participating.
“Gaming normally shows up when we work through their results and we then validate and check this when we conduct our debrief.”
Davis says principals may use profiling at a number of levels within the business.
“Most will have a new team member profiled before they join. This will determine their natural suitability to a specific role and importantly will indicate to the principal the best way to both communicate and manage them.
“Using this knowledge, a principal can massively increase levels of generating success and save valuable time and resources by having the sales team working to their natural strengths.”
But it’s not just principals that can benefit. Real estate professionals can also use the results for self-guidance and self-management on a daily basis.
“They plan their days to allocate specific times of the day to complete the tasks that they know they will find challenging, freeing up the rest of the day to working in flow.”
Individuals can also use the information to better connect with potential and current clients, or build an effective team that works cohesively and effectively together.
“This keeps the team much more cohesive and satisfied and has a major impact on reducing team turnover.
“Put simply, a team member who is working in flow in a role that they are naturally suited to has no reason or desire to leave.”