The Business Improvement Network

We only use profiles for recruiting?

By John Shenton

BIN - The Business Improvement Network

How many of us know why we really use the DiSC profiling system?

If you go and knock on the door of your internal personnel department and tell them you want to use a profiling system for recruitment they may well tell you that you need to be qualified to use them and that any system you choose must be approved by the British Psychological Society. Ref:

If you pick up the telephone and call your external recruitment agency and ask them if they use a profiling tool to support their recruitment drive for your jobs, most will say no. Their reason for this would most likely be that they stand in the way of their role in the recruitment process and that is simply - putting candidates in front of you that might meet your job description.

If you go back to your personnel department and ask them for a job description for a given job in your department, the odds are that it will not include any soft skills or form of measurement other than for the hard skills required.
So far so good then? You have half a job description (as at least half of the job requirements are soft skills that cannot be measure in the conventional sense) and you have an agency that only wants to fill your inbox up with CV’s so that you make the mistakes and not them.

Why then are some profiles more useful than others for certain types of jobs?

If the soft skill element of any job is what you need to gauge, given that you already have in place a hard skill set of measures to put in front of potential employees, then the DiSC profiling system in its original form is probably the most straightforward for anyone to understand without too much training.

The main reason for this is that it only looks at four characteristics that have been proven to be linked to the soft skill requirements of every job role. Add to this that it is probably the only system that contains a method of analysing the soft skill requirements of a job as a base to the job profile excluding the personal element – in other words it allows you to create the words for the job description before you meet any people.

Does this profiling system need to have a level of accuracy sufficient for the BPS to approve it as viable?

Firstly the BPS do not approve any systems. Members may be prepared to pass comment on systems having spent time evaluating them – but this is an opinion.(albeit qualified)

Secondly – the DiSC system has a much more important role and that is to ensure that two or more people understand and agree the requirements of a job role that need to be met for a person to be successful in that role- it is therefore a discussion tool that focusses both parties on the essentials.

If those people do not understand how the job should be done then nothing will stop the mistakes made during the recruitment process.

Having covered just the recruitment process, what else can the DiSC tool tell us?

The challenge for people working in close proximity is complex. We all have our own working preferences and some of us find it difficult getting on with certain types of personalities.

Put these people together in an open plan room and the end result can be carnage. Get the design of the layout of the room such that people can easily get on with others and the problems go away overnight.

What of the market place that the business works in. Can the DiSC system help anyone understand how better to cope with the differences here?

A classic example is the company that kept getting it sales staff recruitment wrong. Time after time a new salesman was brought on but within six months was being let go due to underperformance.

The problem turned out to be that the sales job description was led by traditional sales values when the market place demanded opposite sales values. The whole of the sales process had to be re written to solve this challenge and sales management had to change completely to support the required outcome.

In just two paragraphs I have described two possibilities where business performance can be improved in a short time frame when profiling is used to define exactly what a business needs in terms of soft skills to be successful. If these make up half of a job description then you can see why it is very much a part of my life and a business adviser for performance improvement.


About the author

John Shenton has been involved in the business of increasing performance using a range of methods and tools, including one that has been developed by John specifically for this purpose for 40 years and has been a DiSC based profiler for over twenty years.

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