Let’s look at how candidate profiling can help you recruit the right people.

Candidate Profiling – What is it?

Candidate profiling helps us understand the people we interview for jobs. A candidate profile can tell you things that are simply not included in the CV or job application form.

The candidate is asked to complete a short, online, personality questionnaire. The employer then has access to a detailed personality report about the candidate.

The first thing to know is that it is not a test. Instead, it is a way of getting to know a stranger in a short space of time.

The PeopleMaps Interview Pro range of personality reports is designed as interview guides. They provide the interviewer with some insight into the candidate and some questions to ask. The reports help facilitate conversation between the interviewer and the candidate.

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Candidate Profiling Recruitment

So can candidate profiling really help you with your recruitment?

candidate profiling

Why do you interview people? It’s time-consuming and mostly a waste of time because you only hire one person out of every five you interview.

You already know about their qualifications and their work experience, or you wouldn’t be interviewing them. So why do you interview them? What is a job interview?

Well, in short, every job interview is a personality assessment. This is the main reason you interview people. In effect, you are candidate profiling them.

However, the problem is that humans are very poor at personality assessments. Our natural candidate profiling ability is very unreliable when compared to well design profiling software such as PeopleMaps.

Humans are far from objective. In fact, we are very subjective and full of conscious and unconscious bias.

Candidate Profiling Has Evolved

Candidate profiling has come a long way in the last 30 years. PeopleMaps has been pioneering this field for over twenty years, making it accessible and affordable to more people than ever before.

One of the major breakthroughs was in the design of the questionnaire and algorithm. Unlike many professional profiling questionnaires that can take over 30 minutes, the PeopleMaps questionnaire only takes five minutes to complete and yet it delivers incredibly accurate, high-resolution results. this is due to the unique design of the questionnaire, which has evolved from the old two-part question format.

Is there such a thing as bad candidate profiling?

personality test for recruitmentThere is a common misconception that employers should avoid specific personality profiles because these are fundamentally “bad”. This is a myth spread by consultants over many years to scare recruiters into hiring them.

The myth essentially exists to convince employers that a consultant can spot something “bad” in a candidate, that the employer will not be able to see.

However, this is largely smoke and mirrors.

While there are some types that will find the work you offer more suitable than others, there is no such thing as a “bad” personality profile.

What candidate profiling works best in sales roles?

One of the most common scenarios where we see candidate profiling being used is in sales roles. If you happen to be recruiting a salesperson, then you may be under the belief that there is a specific personality profile for an ideal salesperson. This is not the case.

People are a lot more complex than this.

Not all sales environments are the same. In fact, sales environments vary considerably.

If you want to know what type will work best in your specific sales role, then you need to carry out some analysis and build a Success Profile. PeopleMaps will do this for you and help you figure out exactly what you are offering and who it will suit.

Once you know this, it’s pretty simple to compare new candidates with your environment and see who it most suits.

Do we need candidate profiling for each job title?

It is a huge mistake to presume that two jobs with the same job title are the same. Both may offer a very different work environment and it will be the compatibility between the work environment and the individual that determines whether they excel in the role or not.

It is recommended that you conduct a personality profile for each job role you have. Once you have this on record you stand a better chance of placing the right people in the right job.

If you don’t know this then it’s very much a guessing game.

There are a number of factors which determine the work environment personality profile, which is why we recommend you use the PeopleMaps Work Environment Analyser Tool, which is available inside the Tools section of the PeopleMaps Control Room.

How do you use personality profiling when recruiting?

So if you are recruiting then there are a number of ways you can use a personality profile.

  1. Get the personality profile of each work environment you offer.
  2. Get the candidate profile of each candidate and see if it is a reasonable match for your work environment.
  3. Use this to create your priority shortlist.
  4. Use the report to interview candidates and get to know them quickly.


Give yourself every competitive edge you can. One way of doing this is to hire better staff than your competitors. Here you will find an article about Personality Profiling Software and Techniques and you may also want to read about how to use a personality profile test here.

Candidate profiling has come a long way in the last twenty years and when used responsibly sees happy candidates and employers.

candidate profiling

Candidate profiling is a method used by employers and recruiters to evaluate job candidates based on their qualifications, skills, and experiences. This process helps employers identify the best candidates for a given position, and can also help to ensure that candidates are a good fit for the company culture.

The Problems With The Traditional Approach to Candidate Profiling 

Let’s now look at the traditional approach to candidate profiling and comment on it.

1 Create the Job Description

Traditionally, one of the first steps in candidate profiling is to create a job description and a list of qualifications that are required for the position. This can include education, experience, skills, and other qualifications. 

Thoughts on the Job Description

This is where the problems begin. Most job descriptions are a fantasy list, that would require an individual with a split personality to do well. 

Job descriptions are full of contradictions and conflicting requirements, i.e two conditions that are mutually exclusive.

When writing a job description and designing a job, employers rarely take into account the actual work environment and therefore the type of person that will cope best in this work environment. 

An individual’s compatibility with the work environment on a daily basis will be the single largest determinant of whether they do the job well, remain engaged and ultimately remain in the job for years, or simply quit after a few weeks.

Can you describe the actual work environment?

2 Company Culture

The job description should also include information about the company culture, as well as any specific requirements for the position.

Thoughts on Company Culture

We hear a lot of talk about company culture but I’m not sure if I have ever seen a living example where anyone could define this and describe their company culture in a meaningful or useful way. Vague platitudes are about as much as I see when people try.

How do you describe your company culture? 

3 CVs, Resumes and Covering Letters

Once the job description and qualifications have been established, the next step is normally to review resumes and cover letters. This can be done by a human resources representative or a hiring manager. Resumes and cover letters are often the first impressions that a candidate makes.

Thoughts on CVs and Covering Letters

We read a lot into CVs and cover letters; both good and bad. As soon as we glance at a CV we start to form opinions about the candidate. If we don’t like the presentation of the CV, we start marking the candidate down and also start looking for other reasons not to like them.

The problem is that you can find yourself spending a lot of time with candidates that would never be suitable for this job role.

Every minute spent with an unsuitable candidate is a waste of time and money.

4 Interviews

After reviewing resumes and cover letters, the next step is to conduct phone or in-person interviews. This is where the hiring manager or human resources representative will ask the candidate questions about their qualifications, skills, and experiences. This is also an opportunity for the candidate to ask questions about the company and the position.

Thoughts on Interviews

Almost no one is trained on how to conduct an effective job interview. Everyone is winging it. The problem we face is that humans are not objective. In fact, they are very subjective. 

What it all comes down to is this – the only person with the data you need to make an informed decision is the candidate. Your job as an interviewer is to get the candidate to willingly share with you as much data as possible so that you can make an informed decision. 

But getting candidates to open up and share is very difficult. They want the job so they are very careful about what they say. Interviews are also very artificial environments and far from ideal when it comes to sharing. 

This is why PeopleMaps developed Interview Pro suite of personality reports. Each report is designed as an interview guide and includes very specific, personality-centric questions to ask the candidate. Interview Pro ensures you have the right conversations, which in turn reveal the data you really need to know.

Good decisions are based on good data. Poor or insufficient data is less likely to result in a good decision.

5 Reference Checks

After the interview, the next step is to conduct reference checks. This is when the hiring manager or human resources representative will contact the candidate’s references to ask about their qualifications, skills, and experiences. This is also an opportunity for the hiring manager or human resources representative to ask about the candidate’s work ethic and how they fit into the company culture.

Thoughts on References

OK, so there are so many problems with this, I’m not sure where to begin. 

Firstly, you are taking onboard the opinion of an ex-boss. You may think that you will remain objective but you cannot help but be influenced by what their previous employer says about them. The presumption will be that their opinion is valid.

It’s impossible to tell what happened to the previous relationship and why they quit and you don’t know how anyone actually feels about it.

The likelihood is, that the opinions of previous employers are disproportional, especially if it is less than positive.

Again, references provide data, however, it is unreliable and could be less than helpful. In fact, it could take you in the wrong direction completely.

All Done

Once all of the information has been gathered, it is time to make a decision about the candidate. This can be a difficult process, as there may be multiple candidates who are qualified for the position. In this case, it is important to consider the candidate’s qualifications, skills, and experiences, as well as their fit with the company culture.

The traditional predictors of performance, Skills, Qualifications and Experience are insufficient in themselves. 

The reason people struggle in a role is rarely because of the traditional predictors of performance.

The reasons people quit their job has rarely to do with traditional predictors of performance.

The new predictors of performance are;

  • Skills
  • Personality type
  • Attitude

When problems arise it is usually a result of one of the above three. If they do not have a skill, then it can usually be learned. A little time and a little investment can usually solve skills issues.

If the individual’s personality type and the work environment are incompatible, then there will always be struggles. And while it is possible to modify the work environment, it is not possible to alter an individual’s natural preferences.

Attitudes can change. We choose our attitude and if there is willingness, it is an easy thing to change.

Candidate Profiling helps You Hire The Right People

Many companies have started to use candidate profiling software to help streamline the candidate profiling process and make better hiring decisions. 

For over twenty years PeopleMaps has been pioneering candidate profiling to help managers make better, more informed, hiring decisions.

Profiling can also help to standardize the process and ensure that all candidates are evaluated in the same way, counteracting natural human bias.

For organisations that care about who they hire and how they will fit in with the team, candidate profiling is essential. You need to know who they are not just what they have done.

Overall, candidate profiling is a crucial step in the hiring process that helps employers and recruiters identify the best candidates for a given position. By taking the time to evaluate candidates based on their qualifications, skills, experiences, personality type and attitude, employers can ensure that they are hiring the best candidates for the job. Additionally, using software tools for candidate profiling can help streamline the process and ensure that all candidates are evaluated in the same way.

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