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Personnel touch

Emma Thornton, Marketing Manager for facilities management recruitment experts 300 North makes the case for skills-based recruitment in the FM Sector, including personality profiling

Skills shortages in facilities management are still causing headaches for organisations that continue to have some long-term vacancies on their books. This has led to hiring managers considering different approaches to filling roles; including drilling down on which skills are absolutely essential and looking at candidates from other parts of FM or alternate sectors. Some are offering significant training and development packages and evaluating candidates based on their soft skills where appropriate.

An evaluation of how soft skills might benefit teams and businesses more widely is really valuable. In the post-pandemic work environment, FM is recognised much more as a people orientated profession, over the typical ‘bogs and brooms’ classification of the past. Soft skills are much more personality focused, and many companies find merit in psychometric testing for their teams to gain a better understanding of individual ways of working and group dynamics.

Personality profiling, using methods such as the DiSC psychometric assessment tool provides a “model for demonstrating common emotional responses to the perceptions and demands of a person’s environment”. For team leaders, it supplies insights on how to create a working environment your team feels comfortable in, leading them to collaborate more effectively, communicate better, and explore ways of fixing problems together.


For individuals, profiling can bring a greater understanding of their own workplace personality, allowing them to engage more fully with colleagues and gives them the space to set more meaningful boundaries at work. They are able to mediate more successfully with colleagues and navigate the workplace in a more natural way, by quickly identifying situations that may make them less productive, for instance where they are expending more energy by working in a way that does not come easily.

Personality profiling can also be used in recruitment and onboarding processes to make more informed hiring decisions. Companies that are open to considering candidates with the right soft skills profile alongside their technical expertise can have access to a wider talent pool, with the emphasis on the soft skills allowing for more people outside of the sector or those who haven’t done that role before, to be in the running. This can be very valuable in encouraging a diversity of thought within a business; while bringing more recognition to the FM sector.


This approach requires hiring managers to have a good understanding of the current team and the vacancy in question in order to identify which skills would be necessary. This type of hiring can be targeted at filling gaps in the current team, or ensuring that the new hire will work well within the group. They can also use the personality profile of the outgoing employee to inform on the type of person best suited to a particular role.

For example, many data driven people share similar ways of working and a meticulous and analytical approach to projects, even if they may not have worked in the specific field before. Finding an equivalent soft skills profile could demonstrate a candidate who will be able to take on the work without a lot of experience in the sector.

A similar approach can be employed when looking to replace team leads or other management roles within an organisation. If one manager is roundly praised and works really well with the surrounding personnel inside and outside of a company, looking for someone with a similar soft skills profile may be just as important as the experience they have in regards to the more technical aspect of a role.

This approach does therefore require robust onboarding processes to get people integrated into the company quickly. It can also require sound training processes for people to gain technical skills they need to develop. Using their profile whilst onboarding them can improve the experience too. As noted by workplace consultant, Alyson McNeela, an Everything DiSC Practitioner, personality profiling of successful candidates can ensure “their onboarding into the company can be better tailored to meet their needs, ensuring engagement and open communication from day one”.


Profiling can be used throughout the hiring process. If looking for a person who works in a certain way or needs particular skills to fit well into your current team, you can arrange your interview questions to highlight where candidates may have those skills and allow interviewees to demonstrate their use. This could lead to more informed decision making when thinking how someone may benefit the team dynamics, and could even make the recruitment process more efficient by having that data sooner. This could lead to fewer interviews, streamlining the process and saving costs, as well as creating a better overall experience for candidates.

Personality profiling is routinely used by businesses to improve team cohesion, reduce tensions and develop relationships, both within the team and externally, with clients and other stakeholders. It is also used to better inform decision making in the hiring process and broaden access to talent in the market, which helps diversify the workforce.

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