How Personality Profiling Can Help Your Practice

I’m a big fan of personality profiling. First of all, as a test taker, the path to self-discovery is exciting. Not to mention, taking a personality assessment feels a bit like the magazine quizzes I once took in graduate school. For employers, personality profiling gives insight into how applicants will fit with the position you’re hiring for and your company culture as a whole. If you’re a nurse practitioner who helps make hiring decisions for your practice or department, here’s how personality profiling can help improve your team. 

What’s the Point?

The results of a personality assessment can give insight into a few aspects of the hiring and management process: 

  1. Results may help predict strengths and weaknesses of the applicant in the position for which he or she is being hired. 
  2. Results may predict how the applicant will work with the existing team. 

Assessing the personality of providers in your practice isn’t about ‘good or bad’. Every personality has pros and cons. Rather, it’s more about maximizing teamwork and the fit of each individual member for his or her role. If you have multiple providers high in the dominance dimension of the DiSC personality profile, for example, they will be likely to butt heads as each wants to take charge. So, when bringing an additional provider on board, it my be beneficial to find someone stronger in other personality dimensions, and less dominant, to round out the team. 

Personality assessments can also give insight into the strengths and weaknesses of each applicant in their role. Nurse practitioners high in the influence personality dimension, for example, are naturally more social. They may struggle with time management and facilitating brief patient interactions as they tend to get chatty. They will, however, be a positive addition to the provider team and help maintain a warm, personable practice culture. 

Finally, personality profiles can give insight into interactions with colleagues. Some personality types are more likely to be frank or blunt while others are more tactful, to name one trait. Understanding such characteristics on the front-end can help mitigate potential conflict or dissatisfaction in the workplace. 

Which Assessment is the Best?

While there are a number of personality assessments out there, the DiSC profile is a tried and true profile well known for the accuracy and insight it provides. The profile provides each test-taker a behavioral pattern and identifies key characteristics and tendencies of that individual based on the results. The DiSC measures four key components of personality: 

  1. Dominance
  2. Influence
  3. Steadiness
  4. Conscientiousness 

The DiSC assessment asks a series of questions and can be completed in about 30 minutes, depending on the version you use. Upon completion, the assessment compiles results into a personality type. For example, I am have an ‘Investigator’ personality profile, scoring highest on the D and C dimensions. 

Implementing Personality Assessment in Your Practice

If you’ve decided to proceed with personality assessments to help guide hiring and management decisions in your practice, first ask current employees to complete the assessment. This gives you a view of your existing team. Then, as you interview for additional positions, ask applicants to complete the DiSC assessment early in the interview process, possibly even before you talk on the phone or meet in person. 

There are a variety of DiSC profiles available for purchase online. Simply purchase the profile and send a link to your applicant to complete the assessment. My favorite version of the test can be found here. Some websites offer a lower cost version of the test, but these versions may not provide as much helpful background and information about each personality type. 

Do you use personality assessments to help guide hiring decisions in your practice?


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