Over the last fifty years psychometric profiling has come into its own and nowadays is increasingly mainstream in its use. Organisations who use profiling in recruitment recognise its greater value, finding that it improves the quality of hires and can also help with appraisals and staff development.
The Profiles4Care profiling system has been developed to focus on an individual’s personal and in-built ‘values’ specifically as they relate to employment in the Health and Social Care sector. The profile is written in simple language producing values-based profiles that can be accessed by individuals as well as organisations without further need of third party debriefing.
The Profiles4Care system was created to be self-explanatory written in layman’s language, which means they do not need the intervention of any ‘expert’ interpretation. Profiles4Care reports provide information of a candidate’s personality type and resultant behaviour.
However, identifying a personality type is a beginning not an ending yet with most psychometric profiles they stop at identifying and associating a certain type of behaviour to the person profiled then file this information away never to be used again.
With a Profiles4Care profile, consultant’s comments are provided to help answer the ‘So what?’ question. These comments give advice on how to develop each individual in the way they need to be developed to ensure they have the chance to maximise their potential.
The Psychology Underpinning Profiles4Care
The theory underpinning the Profiles4Care profiling system comes from the work of Carl G Jung, the Swiss psychologist who believed every individual was unique. He was against boxing people in and used the analogy of a compass as a method of finding his way around people’s differences, helping him to understand and aid the development of their potential.
Jung spent his whole life on his own development – especially on what he called individuation, which he described as the person’s attempt to get in touch with their full potential as a human being. His was a psychology for the second half of life, learning was a lifelong project and people were capable of changing and developing right up to their last breath.
He placed no value on people remaining consistent – his encouragement was for them to explore other traits. If someone has spent their whole life with a preference for Introversion, he thought they would not be fully developed until they worked on their Extraversion. For him this was the main advantage of the bi-polar scales; to let people take stock of where they currently were on a scale and then by moving back or forth along these scales, work at developing their less used gifts. Jung’s theory focuses on the cognitive aspects of personality i.e. how people think; take on board information to make their decisions and sense of the world.
The Profiles4Care Regions
When we move into more advanced features of the Profiles4Care profiling system we introduce The Profiles4Care ‘Regions Indicator’. This is a visual representation of the individual’s personality type.
At its most basic, it is a communication device where you can say “I am in the North East”. This is an alternative to labels. The Profiles4Care profiling system does not use labels. People are unique and should not be categorised, however two people in the North East Region will share many behaviours in common and can therefore fit within the predictive north east of behaviours likely to exist in this region.
The Profiles4Care Region Indicator is also used when implementing the advanced Benchmarking feature. Benchmarking helps identify which personality types are most likely to work out best in the long run for any specific job. The job role and environment has to be specific to the company. Although two job roles may appear the same in theory, they may be very different in practice from one company to the next.
Management of Teams
Another area where the Profiles4Care Regional Indicator is useful is for managers assessing the dynamics to be found within their team. At a glance a manager can see where each member of the team sits on the Regional Indicator. This is vital information when planning work schedules and for further development of personnel.
The Profiles4Care questionnaire was designed exclusively for the Internet. It was not a converted paper based questionnaire, making it almost unique amongst professional profiling systems. It is also the shortest of the professional questionnaires and can be completed in around eight minutes.
The questionnaire was designed so that it could be completed by the majority of people. By using simple language it is aimed at a reading age of 12 years old and above. The questionnaire is also available in several other languages, therefore if English is not someone’s first language an alternative may be provided upon request.
The Profiles4Care system is a ‘Type’ measure which takes account of interactive scales. Two methods are combined to improve the accuracy of the questionnaire, a choice forced between most and least and the freedom to weight the other two items. 40 word pairs i.e. 10 frames each containing four word pairs, which describe functions, attitudes and values.
To measure the dominant and inferior energy, a most and least forced choice must be made in every frame. This is in effect forcing a choice between opposed functional ‘energies’ such as Thinking/Task at one end of a scale and Feeling/People at the other, together with their respective attitudes of extraversion/external energy at one end of the scale and introversion/internal energy at the other.
An example could be-:
Extraverted/External energy combined with Thinking/Task
Introverted/Internal energy combined with Feeling/People energy.
A normative element is created by asking the respondent to further weight the other word pairs while not choosing the same weighting twice. This produces a spread of scores to assess the order of preferences between the dominant and inferior functions without the need to artificially prescribe or skew the choices. The variance and spread of scores is modelled on Jung’s bi-polar dynamics, which helps to increase the instruments test-retest reliability and decreases the effect of random error.
The short length of the questionnaire is designed to improve accuracy as there is no time for boredom to affect the results. (Reliability refers to the degree of consistency with which instances are assigned to the same category by different observers or by the same observer on different occasions’)
“Occupational psychologists are trained in translating the measurable factors generated by questionnaires i.e. the statistical data from the psychological tests validated against norms. What would be best described as purely actuarial concerns have assumed unrealistic importance to many psychologists.
“It has become commonplace to quote the concept of ‘reliability and validity’ as essential requirements of any assessment system. They almost invariably appear linked together in one phrase as if inseparable. They have become a cliché, and like most clichés are accepted without further thought.
“Reliability is yet another part of the baggage people carry with them from traditional norm – referenced models of assessment…by definition the assessment is about comparing individuals with each other. Less emphasis is given to what is actually being measured…typically, in such norm referenced systems, which tended to prevail in educational assessment there is seldom any attempt to relate the assessment to any external criterion. In fact there is often a lack of clarity as to what the objectives of the assessment are, except to discriminate between individuals in some way.”
“Validity is concerned with the extent to which an assessment instrument or method actually measures what it is designed to measure. It implies comparison between the assessments of some external criterion i.e. that which one is trying to assess.” –Gilbert Jessup, Outcomes (1991)