How To Use A Personality Profile Test For Historical Modelling

In this article we will explain how to use a Personality Profile Test as part of your historical modelling.

What is a Personality Profile Test?

Strictly speaking it is not a test. We are in fact referring to a personality questionnaire. This is an assessment of an individuals personality.

Personality is something we are largely born with. We have certain preferences in behaviour and these are determined mostly by our personality.

So a personality profile test is an assessment of a job candidate for a specific job role.

What is historical modelling?

Traditionally when employers are trying to build a psychological profile for their ideal candidate, they bring in consultants and obtain expert opinions.

Historical modelling takes a very different approach. With historical modelling you pick at least five of your best existing employees who do the same job.

It is very important that you deal with one job role at a time.

The existing employees you pick should have been in the role for at least one year, preferably longer.  The reason for this is that our priority is staff retention. Unless you are deliberately looking for a high staff turnover, then we encourage you to first reduce staff turnover and then look at staff performance.

The simple reason for this is that your training will have zero impact if staff are leaving, as your training leaves with them. So in order for your investment in training to have any impact, staff must stay around long enough to implement it.

Once you have picked five good staff, that perform well, you need to ask them to complete a Peoplemaps Personality Profile Test.

personality profile test

Typically you will discover that most of the people reside in the same general area of the Map.

If they do then you have a reasonably robust historical model of what is presently working well.

In the example beside us, we can see that most of the people reside in the South West of the Map.

What are the advantages of using a personality profile test in historical modelling?

Historical modelling removes the opinion from things and can be more objective.

It doesn’t explain why these personalities work best but it clearly illustrates that they do, at least in this example.

When can you you not use historical modelling?

Sometimes your results will be inconclusive, in which case we recommend you use an alternative modelling technique and perhaps use the PeopleMaps Work Environment Analyser Tool instead. In fact it is always good practice to use both and see how close the results are.

Historical modelling cannot be used if you do not have 5 good people doing the same job role, preferably under the same manager.

What should you looking for in a personality profile test?

When using any personality profile test, you should look for one that is quick and easy for staff to complete.

If the questionnaire is longer than ten minutes, people become bored and results can be affected. Contrary to popular belief, long questionnaires do not illicit better results. Not if the questionnaire is well designed.


Historical modelling is a good place to start. It will not provide you with all the answers but it will help you prioritise your interview list. If you have twenty candidates and are looking for five to interview, then historical modelling will generally cut your long list down to a quarter. If you don’t find someone you like in the first five then you can widen your search. Generally people who are closest to your benchmark area will find your work environment most conducive.

See Personality Profile for more articles

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