West End Training

Employee Profiling. What is in it for me?

Profiling can be one of the more controversial aspects of employer/employee relations. It gives the employer great insight into potential or present employee and can give them a great deal of bargaining power. It presents a much more detailed assessment of their employee, outlining their strengths, weaknesses, reaction to different situations, and a general character assessment. On the other hand, for the employee, the idea of being assessed by a computer is concerning; what will it reveal about your innermost weaknesses? How will it affect your job?

New graduates, certainly have concerns, coming into contact with the first profiling system. What would it reveal? Would it be a positive image? Would an employer be put off by what it revealed?

Nevertheless, the results are interesting. It confirms an effective team player, with a hardworking and enthusiastic outlook, it also reveals any low tolerances for stress, was not independent, and lacked self-confidence.

Clearly any cynicism about the results shows us that we perhaps should not take such profiling completely at face value. There is a great deal of negativity towards the usefulness of such profiling systems, but their extensive usage should suggest to us that clearly they have some kind of role to play. Recruitment is an obvious area where profiling has established itself, especially in many large companies dealing with vast quantities of applicants and with a limited amount of time to dedicate to interviews.

However, it is not recruitment which I refer to when I mention the role of profiling in business. Instead, profiling is starting to play an increasingly important role in training – not the training itself, but in the T.N.A – Training Needs Analysis. A Training Needs Analysis assesses what type of training would be of greatest benefit to a company in order for it to succeed in the long term. It is now standard practise for any company considering investing in training, allowing them to make sure what they are getting is essential and useful.

Where profiling comes in is to assess the training needs of a company right from its very source: the employees. Instead of looking at wider trend for training, profiling allows us to gain access to the very core of training needs. It reveals things about your employees that may not become evident until a particular situation draws it out of them.

It could be suggested that a candidate is in need of some stress management training, or perhaps assertiveness training. It is not that I will not function without it at this particular period in time, but it could be crucial if I was to come under serious stress in my work.

When such a situation occurred, I would have the knowledge and skills to deal with it in the correct manner. It could avert reduced productivity, or even time off through stress.

Such measures are extremely important in the business world. We do not want to be simply reacting all the time to situations, but predicting their potential and taking action beforehand to limit their damage when they do occur. Training is part of this long term perspective; providing a framework for staff to deal with problems, ideally before they happen. Profiling gives us the benefit of being able to perceive problems before they happen even more clearly.