The benefits of psychometric profiling
About the author
John Belchamber is the Chief Development Officer for the OrgDev Institute (ODi), a member-based institute established to help HR professionals with the new breed of employees and emerging technology challenges.
Creating and holding onto a winning team is invaluable to any business. Staff who reflect and adhere to the business values, deliver a standard of excellence which leads to a thriving workplace and healthy revenue growth. Everybody wins.
Despite the fact that most businesses know their success is due to the people they employ, most don’t think about how to keep them on board, or better yet, decipher what it is about them that makes them an excellent fit for the company – particularly in a senior leadership role.
One way to help companies understand their people is through psychometric profiling, which helps to give insights into which job candidates would be the best fit for a company. Psychometric profiling is the understanding of individuals based on their personality traits and cognitive abilities.
Staff selection - Matching your best performers
Psychometric profiling measures the traits of the company’s best internal performers against those of prospective employees, to help identify who would suit their organisation best.
Since its inception, it has been used worldwide in sectors as diverse as aged care and retail to provide organisations with insights and clarity about what type of people are the best fit for their needs.
Understanding staff potential, where they are at and where they need development, can be a huge advantage for businesses and the employee.
The results can be used to help businesses develop long-term leaders within the company, develop plans for staff growth and aid retention.
Use of behavioural profile
One early psychometric profiling tool is Leading Dimensions Profiling (LDP), which uses sophisticated yet straightforward methods to understand the behavioural profile of a job candidate.
At the time of selection, it provides statistically reliable data that enables employers to predict the suitability and future performance of job candidates.
Through targeted questions, information is gleaned about a candidate’s approach to working, their personality traits, communication approaches in different contexts, and how their approach affects other people.
It also provides clear visual representations of their growth opportunities, measures their development as a leader and influencer, emotional intelligence level, and social and situational adaptability.
A case study: Recruiting top performers
Let us look at the case of an Australian aged care company that was working that used the tool to target training and improve learner outcomes.
The organisation was expanding at a rapid rate, with managers located at over two dozen facilities across the country. The company needed to find consistency in how future candidates would be evaluated and selected.
They wanted to replicate traits found in their current top-performing staff members, which included financial performance, clinical practices, staff leadership, managerial initiative and the ability to cultivate a trusting environment.
The company selected a group of leaders, including 40 existing residence managers and 24 emerging leaders. Researchers analysed the ratings for statistical correlation with ten behavioural dimensions, including intensity, risk tolerance, assertiveness, adaptability, decision-making, openness, affiliation, consideration, status motivation, and self-protection.
Following the analysis, the researchers recommended a “recruitment profile” that mirrored the top performers’ behavioural dimensions within a certain range.
Results a year later revealed that those who were recruited based on “the top performer recruitment profile” performed 35% better than those who were not.
What the behavioural analysis revealed
The results revealed the top-performers had consistent characteristics that differentiated them from the lower performers. Specifically, when approaching task goals, higher performing managers were found to be more measured (than intense), more confident (than reticent), more flexible (than consistent) and preferred balance between analysis and perception in decision-making.
When interacting with others, higher performing managers tended to be more open (than private), social (than independent), nurturing (than objective), and trusting (than sceptical).
From these findings, a specific benchmark was set for recruiting for future positions.
This ensured the company was consistent with how prospective candidates would be evaluated and selected, and that every dollar invested in hiring candidates was targeted to provide a return.
In a world where people are an organisation’s most essential asset, companies need to be strategic not only with staff selection, but also development and retention strategies.
It is time more employers use such tools and embrace the power of profiling to build that “winning team”.