Tapping the Power of Profile Assessments

by Autumn McGarr

Recruiting, hiring and building a cohesive team should be a reasonably straightforward process. Ask any business owner, however, and they will say it is anything but that. Due to a lack of resources, most kitchen and bath owners or managers cannot fund an HR department, so they assume the role – all without training, experience or genuine desire.

Other than the cost of goods sold, employees are the second-highest budget expense in a kitchen and bath business. Getting personnel decisions right the first time creates a significant competitive advantage. Getting it wrong can spell disaster. Very few executives dedicate the time and resources to that second-highest expense on their financial statements.

The Right Fit

In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins states that executives who ignite transformation in their firms do it by first getting the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off) and then figuring out where to drive it – not the other way around. Collins states that leaders must be rigorous in the recruitment and hiring process to get new people on the bus. Easy to say, but a bit overwhelming to accomplish it well.

Fortunately, there is a management tool can that help navigate the course of hiring the right people to sit in the right seats on the right bus. It’s called a profile assessment or personality profile. This tool is used to evaluate a potential hire’s attributes, behaviors and values, and put that information in a leader’s hands. It provides a huge advantage in hiring the right person.

This tool, provided to a new applicant, begins with a series of questions that reveal a candidate’s behavioral patterns and personality under consideration. It’s important to remember and convey to a candidate that the assessment is not a test but rather a survey to obtain information essential to the hiring process. There are no right or wrong answers; it is non-judgmental.

We, as human beings, are all wired differently. It’s what makes the world so interesting. We’re all unique. Some are better suited for specific roles and responsibilities than others. This tool helps leaders match the candidate with the position that needs filling, eliminating the need to squeeze triangle shapes into square slots.

I was introduced to the assessment process very early in my career. After completing the survey, the results were shared with me by an individual who barely knew me. During the next 30-60 minutes, he shared with me all my tendencies and behaviors. He described my core self-concept, how I’m wired and how I might show up in certain situations. He shared my lack of patience, a sense of urgency and attention to detail. It was all laid bare on the table in front of me. I was in disbelief; how could he know so much about me? It was all revealed in the survey that I had completed.

That experience was a pivotal moment for me, and it revealed another excellent outcome for leveraging personnel assessments: Gaining a healthy self-perspective. From that experience, I gained knowledge about who I am, my strengths and weaknesses, how I respond to stress, how I deal with problems, how I communicate and what motivates me. That robust understanding has served me well and provided me tips on working with people who possess different behavioral styles and patterns.

Assessment Tools

DiSC, TTI, Predictive Index and Myers-Briggs are just a few of the wide variety of assessment tools available. Each provides a slightly different approach and offers differing benefits depending on the specific business needs. Some assessments focus on new hiring needs, delivering the information necessary to focus on the suitable candidates while streamlining the process. In comparison, others emphasize team building, conflict resolution and coaching. These tools measure personal attributes, behaviors, energy levels, tendencies, communication style and decision-making skills – all vital information in fulfilling a hiring need and building a cohesive team.

For instance, TTI, using the DiSC format as the foundation, furnishes a comprehensive 50+-page report generated from the survey results. This report reveals a candidate’s value to the organization, communication tips, areas for improvement and a whole lot more.

Besides healthy self-knowledge, a profile assessment done using the brands mentioned provides you and your team with the following.

Improves and streamlines the selection and hiring process. When used properly, the tools save valuable time and speed up the process, and minimize the risk involved in hiring the wrong candidate. Used effectively, it will result in positive outcomes with far fewer disappointments.

Builds a cohesive team by recognizing how each team member communicates. Businesses embracing this concept have everyone on their team participate and complete a survey. Sharing the results with the entire team builds camaraderie, a keener sense of purpose and reduced team friction. When teammates understand each other, rowing in the same direction, the vision cast is easier to achieve.

A framework to facilitate conflict and strengthen teamwork. When teams understand each other, conflict resolution is easier to navigate.

Assessments assist in identifying prospect types and behaviors, which creates a more reliable sales environment. Having this thorough understanding of personality traits serves well in the sales arena. Understanding how prospects are wired and how they think and react in certain situations can provide a sales designer an advantage – and take them to the bank faster.

The human relation skills needed to run a successful kitchen and bath business are fleeting for many owners or managers. This area is often a distraction and a hindrance, denying them attention to the job at hand. Utilizing profile assessments is one tool that will increase the chances of building a strong, unified team.

It is important to remember that one style or pattern is not better than another. A business needs a variety of skill sets, behaviors and distinctive styles to succeed. A profile assessment will only enhance your degree of personnel selection success and overall company financial performance. ▪

Dan Luck owns Bella Domicile in Madison, WI. He has been a SEN Member since 2002 and has led the SEN Leadership Team since 2018, conducting scores of the group’s educational programs. Visit sendesigngroup/education for more information. Dan welcomes questions and comments at [email protected]

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