How personality profiling can help you to build a strong team

Recruiting and retaining the right talent is one of the biggest challenges for businesses in the UK. At Price Bailey, we know from our previous Inside the Minds reports that business leaders believe finding the best people for the job – and then keeping hold of them – is a key issue.

So what more can you do to make sure that the talent you’re searching for, and the people you eventually recruit, really are the right fit for you and your business?

I was recently invited to take part in an episode of the Business of Cambridge radio podcast for local radio station Cambridge 105, which focused on the challenges of recruiting and retaining a strong team. It was an excellent opportunity to revisit some of the ways we do things at Price Bailey, as well as hearing how another business tackles some of the same issues.

One important area that we discussed was the interview process and the use of personality profiling. Many professional roles (including the Legal Services team which I head up) have specific technical skills and knowledge requirements, and the interview structure when recruiting to those positions has to accommodate a way of checking candidates’ abilities in those areas. As a result, when recruiting to our team we split the interview process into two stages; the first-stage interview will test an individual’s technical skills, which are an essential attribute for the role, so candidates need to complete this stage to progress to the second interview successfully.

As with many other businesses, the second stage interview is much more of an assessment of emotional intelligence, and how well an individual will fit into your team – which is where personality profiling can play an important part.

There are a number of profiling tools, but one of the most widely used (and which has worked well for us) is the DISC approach. This is based on the initial concept of four main personality traits – dominance (D), influence (I), steadiness (S) and compliance (C) – these are then interpreted as colours; red, yellow, green and blue.

The Insights Discovery ® profiling tool takes the DISC approach and uses the answers to a series of multiple-choice questions to build a personality profile for every individual, based around traits represented by those four colours. The colours can then be further divided into eight blends or shades, which reflect people’s various combinations of personality traits, and uses the psychological theory that everyone’s personality is a mix of six key characteristics – introversion, extraversion, thinking, feeling, sensing or intuition.

Those colours can then also be allocated to specific job roles. For example in our legal sphere, we’re looking for people whose strengths are reflected by a ‘blue dominant’ observer profile – setting standards, attention to detail, and strong on analysis.

If that all sounds complicated – well it’s not, at least, not when you see it in practice and have had some training (something we can offer teams and workplaces).

The main point here is that while it’s essential to recruit people who will have the right technical skills for the role you need to fill, it’s also important to bring in people who will fit with the culture of your department and company, will help you to blend the most effective team, and who have a good level of emotional intelligence. After all, it is said that 58% of performance relates to emotional intelligence. Personality profiling – whether through Insights Discovery ® or one of the other tools on the market – can really help you to build a strong working team and increase the levels of emotional intelligence of each individual employee.

This was just one of the many areas we covered in the podcast; if you’d like to find out more about profiling, interview questions and techniques, recruiting the next generation, and a whole host of other employment topics, you can listen to the Business of Cambridge ‘How to build a strong team’ podcast here.



We always recommend that you seek advice from a suitably qualified adviser before taking any action. The information in this article only serves as a guide and no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.


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