How Using Profiling Tools Can Help You Build High Performing Teams

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Around 75% of UK companies now utilise some form of profiling tool to develop their teams;  be it behavioural or psychometric, for recruitment or to assess overall strengths and development areas to facilitate growth. You’ll no doubt remember we ran a webinar on this very topic last year.

While an interview might prove that a person has the right skills and can present well, it gives no indication of how the candidate reacts to conflict or pressure, or whether they work well in a team (or just as importantly – how they will fit into your existing team.)


The Benefits of Using Profiling Tools to Build High Performing Teams

1. You can ‘see through’ candidates who are just telling you what you want to hear.

When you write a job listing with specific essential skills and qualities, you are in effect providing a ‘cheat sheet’ for the candidate to refer to in the interview. Profiling tools allow you to uncover whether they really have these skills and qualities or not.

Competency-based interviews are one step in a profiling assessment, requiring that the candidate offer examples and proof of the times when they have demonstrated a particular competency.

The second step might be using something like Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), to reveal whether they are likely to have these qualities based on their personality profile.

The third step might be a behavioural assessment where the candidate has to carry out a workplace task, or group testing at an assessment centre where the candidate can be observed working in a team.

You could use a combination of these profiling tools to uncover a candidate’s actual suitability for the role.


2. You will gain valuable insights into your current team’s potential (and pitfalls)

You’ll gain insights into your team so you can improve their performance and engagement. You might realise they have strong preferences and a high aptitude for certain kinds of work that you’re not currently utilising them for. Or that certain types of work will often lead to disengagement for a particular profile.


3. You’ll have insight into how to motivate individuals better.

As a manager, it’s a common trap to think that others like to be motivated in the same way we do – perhaps by recognition, perhaps by financial incentives. But this is patently untrue, and running profiling tools gives you a roadmap into how you can encourage others towards maximum performance.

4. You will learn about how your team members like to learn, and how they want to communicate.

Learning style profile tests are a fantastic tool for showing how your team members best take in new information. For example, if you’re sending dense-text reports but they best learn visually or aurally, it’s unlikely that information will be assimilated and implemented as well. Social Styles assessment provides another unique perspective too on communication preferences.


5. Profiling tools give your employees valuable insight into themselves.

You’ll often find that the team members themselves have lots of ‘aha’ moments during these tests, as they see that certain behaviours they exhibit are often part of a pattern. From a development perspective, these ‘aha’ moments are crucial for an employee, as it may make them more open to receiving coaching and development on individual weak points – making your job as a manager that much easier.


6. You’ll also get some valuable insights into yourself.

As a manager, it’s crucial that you also participate in the profile assessment process, as these tests deliver information about your strengths and development areas, working styles and preferences too. You can use these to become a much better manager.


7. You’ll be less prone to bias in hiring and management.

Profiling tools provide an objective, external assessment of the candidate, rather than falling victim to biases by the hiring manager or panel. We often fall into the trap of hiring people we like, or who are similar to us, meaning that we often employ in our likeness and create a ‘lopsided’ team where everyone has the same strengths but also the same development needs.

We’ll also often experience blinding by bias within our existing team, as we come to know them ‘better’ and fall into patterns of confirmation bias. Profiling tools allow us to cut through the bias and manage our teams more fairly.

Diversity is crucial to team success and creativity (as we’ve written about in a recent blog), so eliminating bias will assist you to hire and manage diverse teams successfully.


8. You’ll know exactly how to implement training and development.

Your profiling assessment might have revealed that someone has a particular talent that’s not being utilised, or that they don’t deal well with confrontation or criticism. What a great way to know how to develop this person! People’s behaviours are learnt which means that they can also change with the right training approach.

As a manager, you can now create a personalised training and coaching plan for each, and you don’t have to rely on performance reviews for a candidate to tell you what they need.


Until next time,

Nic Hallett


About Excel Communications

Excel Communications has a 30-year history as a global leadership and communication skills organisation dedicated to exceeding the expectations of clients through the training and development of their business and people.

We have a team of expert trainers delivering programmes across four continents in multiple languages. Isn’t it time you got in touch? Call us now on +44 (0) 1628 488 854.