When recruiting, we all want to hire the very best candidates. But what do we mean by “the Best Candidates”?

Well, great candidates meet all three of the following criteria;

    1. People who can cope and even thrive in your actual work environment for years to come because it is compatible with their personality.
    2. People who have the potential to perform at high levels in your environment.
    3. People who will not adversely affect the performance of anyone else they work with (especially their manager) and may indeed increase the overall performance of the whole team.

This is why the first step I always recommend to clients that are recruiting is to build a Success Profile. There are any number of things that can feed into a Success Profile, however, we will focus on the psychology in this article as this is the area that is almost always missed out and it is also the most important area when it comes to predicting future performance and longevity.

In short, no matter what the job role, there will be some personality types that will thrive in it and most others will struggle to cope. So in building our Success Profile, we need to identify the personality types that will thrive. Your own experience of work will have demonstrated this to you.

Contradicting Behaviours

However, you also need to know that many behaviours do not co-exist in the same person. If someone has a lot of one thing, they cannot have a lot of something else. This is where many of the candidate specifications that line managers create go wrong. It is very common for conflicting behaviours to be requested.


This is what makes building a Success Profile so difficult. Most line managers want it all. Unfortunately, this doesn’t exist, so managers have to prioritise; they have to decide what is more important and they have to avoid specifying contradicting behaviours.

The Power of historical Modelling

When PeopleMaps builds a Success Profile it builds a psychological profile. This will be a real psychological profile that actually exists in the world. One of the most powerful ways of doing this is to use Historical Modelling.

With Historical Modelling, we copy what is already working. The line manager identifies a handful of people who have been doing the job for at least a year and who do the job really well. We call these our Models. Clearly you can only use Historical Modelling where you have several people doing the same job.

We then ask the models to complete the personality questionnaire and PeopleMaps analyses the results to identify any pattern. There is almost always a clear pattern.

Each Interview Pro personality report has about 20 Personality Gauges. The employer decides which Gauges are most important to the job role. PeopleMaps will then look for patterns in these gauges. Here is an example;

personality gauges

Now you know the psychological profile parameters of your best workers in that particular job role.

Logic dictates, that candidates with a similar personality profile will also prove to do an excellent job and cope with the work environment for a long time.

Once you know what you are looking for, it becomes very easy to compare new candidates against your Success Profile and give priority to the ones that most closely resemble it. You do not need an exact match. Similar is probably good enough.

Use your Histocial Model to easily identify great candidates. Using the Gauges this way also addresses the issue of contradicting behaviours.

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