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Split: How behaviour profiling can streamline your hiring process

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Hiring the right person is always a business-critical decision. Whether it is the new office junior or the CEO, every person who is part of your business affects the culture, service, experience and outcome of the company. At deverellsmith, when it comes to talent acquisition, we want to armour our clients, both in the estate agency and the wider property industry, with every hiring tool possible to maximise the chances of identifying and onboarding the perfect fit. One of the ways we do this is through behavioural profiling.

  • What traits are you looking for in your next hire?

  • Now tell me how you are going to decipher that from a CV?

The standard recruitment practice of reading a CV and conducting a face-to-face interview can reveal many things about an individual such as experience and how they present themselves in a formal setting. But many of the attributes we are looking for in high customer service environments and leadership roles are much harder to ascertain from a self-created document i.e. a CV coupled with a chat over a coffee in the local Starbucks.

Profiling can help employers fill in the gaps that CVs create, help to make better hiring decisions, plan for onboarding of new hires and establish a well-balanced team.

All too often we see that hiring decisions are made based on track record or likeability and are less about the ‘fit’ of the person to the role and the behavioural requirements.

For example, I have in the past talked to clients about their hiring strategy and when it comes to their interview technique am told something along the lines, ‘we’ll have a few structured questions, ask about their numbers and see if we get on.’

Whilst this approach is most commonly used, what it’s really saying is:

‘Did you do well at your previous company and do I like you.’

Neither of which are demonstrating the person’s ability to do the job you are hiring for in your business and leaves the hiring manager making decisions based on bias and assumption, not suitability for the role.

When thinking about the next hire into your business I urge you to measure what matters.

Think about the characteristics and behaviours you would expect to see from someone in this role and ask yourself:

  • What characteristics would be a good fit for your culture? And the role?

  • What makes your top performers brilliant and sets them apart?

  • What values are you wanting someone to align to?

By having a clear understanding of what ‘good’ looks like, you can create ways to identify it within your hiring process.

There are 3 main types of tests; behaviour (personality), capability and psychometric. With over 5000 types of tests available on the market currently, it’s a popular choice to compare candidates.

Behaviour tests

Behaviour tests generally help employers to understand a candidate’s way of thinking, how they interact with others and their general behaviour. Commonly formed by asking a candidate which statements most closely match to them. It can help to understand a person’s strengths, areas for development, leadership style and ideal working environment.

Capability tests

Capability tests are a good way to reveal if someone can actually do the job rather than just say that they can! They can often include numeracy, verbal reasoning and aptitude tests.

Psychometric tests

Psychometric testing is like behavioural tests but to a much greater degree of depth. There are many well-known tests on the market and the results can vary hugely depending on what you are using those tests for. Two examples of psychometric tests are:

  • DISC profiling (dominance, influence, steadiness, compliance) can plot traits within whole teams, showing areas of strength and weakness.

  • McQuaig testing will give you the relevant questions to ask an individual to get the most from an interview.

The key thing to remember with all types of behaviour profiling tests is that they are there in addition to the other elements of the recruitment process to aid a decision, not provide a pass or fail situation.

Well curated assessments are purposefully designed NOT to feel like a test, therefore is more likely to generate honest results. These types of assessments at the start of the hiring process also help to improve diversity and accessibility for individuals with disabilities such as dyslexia and colour blindness.

They remove the risk of unconscious bias because no matter how prepared you think you are, humans are programmed to like people who are most like ourselves, this is hard to overcome.

So, is the answer to remove all human touch and leave it to the robots? Absolutely not, AI recruitment processes are impersonal, lack candidate buy-in and will often leave the candidate feeling disengaged and unable to make a decision about joining a firm. But, it’s a good place to start!

If you would like more information about personality and behaviour profiling or would like some guidance on your talent strategy then please get in touch with Nicola Broomham, Director of Estate Agency.