HR Profiling

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A candidate came to the interview to work in your company. His speech is well delivered, curriculum vitae is great and in general he gives an impression of a professional. But appearances are deceptive, the Internet has plenty examples of «correct resumes», and behind the mask of a promising employee might be hiding an empty talker or a crook who has already been caught in stealing and dismissed in disgrace. And what if it is an agent of a competing company? And he will begin to give away confidential information?

Neither option can not be excluded. Security is one of the main factors determining the stability and competitiveness of any organization. In this sense, recruitment plays a key role. Who needs employees robbing a company, hustling behind their bosses’ backs and so on? The question is rhetorical, and the answer is simple — no one. But how to put a barrier in the way of such people? The task is not trivial.

Suppose a business is small, employees are few, and everyone knows each other for many years. Even in this case «surprises» from seemingly absolutely reliable employees are possible. Not to mention a large company. There are plenty of applicants for a good position, everyone has excellent resumes, everyone wants to demonstrate his or her strengths and hold back negative information. And so many people have things to hide: criminal biography, and, therefore, connections in the criminal world, addiction to drugs, alcohol, gaming addiction. The presence of large debts that one cannot succeed to pay off, a scandalous quit from previous work, and a lot more.

So, who is in front of us: an honest professional or a deft liar? The answer to this question can give technologies developed and widely used by the International Academy of Lie Research (IALR).

Our company has been present on the market for ten years. During these years, IALR carried out about 20,000 polygraph examinations (Psychophysiological Detection of Deception (PDD), took part in more than 500 actual investigations, and made 300 expert evaluations upon the request of investigative and judicial authorities. We provided more than a thousand psychological counselings, published 12 books and trained several thousand people. Our experts are often involved in television projects. And I am Martianova Lyudmila, the author of the book, a practicing profiler and polygraph examiner at the International Academy of Lie Research, and in this book I will share professional secrets and interesting stories from my colleagues and my own experience.

Of course, the work of a recruiter is not limited to identifying a liar. Before you take someone to work, especially in a responsible position, you need to make the most complete psychological portrait of the candidate. But everyone has weaknesses that are usually kept out of the public eye. Some people perform excellent results in a relaxed atmosphere, but they get lost in force majeure situations. The project deadlines are suddenly shifted, an acute shortage of time occurs — a familiar situation, isn’t it? In these case the ability to withstand stress comes to the fore.

Some can not find a common language with the customer simply because of insufficiently developed communication skills. Others are not able to resist the temptation to get illegal income at the expense of the company. And so on.

There is another layer of problems. They arise when a candidate fits all criteria except values. Imagine a young man graduated from a higher education institution, who wants to be a lawyer, defend the innocent and fight against injustice.

So at the interview he says: «I want to become a first-class lawyer under your guidance and fight for justice!». And in front of him sits an experienced man, who has a completely different view of the advocacy. «What? For justice? What are you talking about now? How will we earn money? ” If a young man does not want to move away from his creed, then these two people are out of the way.

Needless to say that some companies require adherence to strictly defined procedures. Other companies expect flexibility, if not absence of principles. Remember the joke about the accountant recruitment:

— What’s 2 plus 2?

— Four.

— Next!

— What’s 2 plus 2?

— Four.

— Next!

— What’s 2 plus 2?

— How much do you need?

In other words, before you approve a candidate for a position, you will have to gather as much information about him as possible. Sometimes it is quite easy to do, but usually the help of highly qualified specialists is required.

We had an interesting case when a guy came to the interview for a position of a head of sales department. I talk to him for a while, notice the features that say that according to his psychotype he is a kind, gentle, diligent person. He knows how to get along well with people, behaves delicately and carries out the tasks assigned.

Then I ask him a question: «What animal do you associate yourself with?» Understanding that his qualities are being evaluated now, he answers: «I associate myself with a lion!» Then the guy lists a number of his characteristics, explaining why he thinks so. And here it turns out that he will not «buckle» people, neither will he impose his point of view.

Then I ask him about the reasons for his dismissal from a previous job, and I see that the candidate is holding something back. After asking a question later using a different wording, I get an answer. It turned out that the guy was on a leadership position three times, but each time he would leave. The first time it was because one of his colleagues set him up, but he did not try to prove his position. In the second case, the manager was throwing a spanner in the works, but our «lion» did not fight. And, finally, he left the third post when a controversial issue with management arose. The guy decided to avoid the conflict and rather start looking for another job.

It is clear that the head of the department should be able to solve problematic issues, even if they imply any unpleasant confrontation.

And here is another example, unique in a way. This time a man was interviewed, a candidate for the position of a development manager. It was a man who was not accustomed to working under the guidance of anyone. Previously, he had his own business projects and not always legal, including raider attacks.

Of course, he did not share about his specific experience immediately. Standard control questions sound like this: «Have you ever deceived your employer?», «Did you treat the task or work negligently? At least once?» And others. But for this candidate we had to use «big guns». The dialogue was as follows:

— Do you prefer to achieve your goals illegally most often?

— Well, in different ways.

— And most often?

— Yes.

«Are you capable of murder?»

— Yes.

Eventually, I did not recommend taking him as a development manager. He would have done an excellent job as a consultant, but I had suspicion that with such a manager our client would have a risk of losing his company.

Well, on this the introductory part of the book can be finished. Details are waiting for the reader further. The following chapters will discuss how to apply technologies to ascertain the personality characteristics of candidates and organization employees in practice. And, not least, we will look at ways to predict their behavior in contexts of interest to you.

It should be noted that the book you hold in your hands is a practical guide written on the basis of the Russian realities of doing business. Theorizing is minimized, everything is to the point and aimed at solving real problems that are constantly encountered by executives, recruiters and middle managers.

We would like to thank our colleagues: Evgeny Spiritsa, Alexey Filatov, Svetlana Ivanova for the opportunity to use the results of the works and research of these talented people who have made a great contribution to the study of this field.


If the goal is blurry, then the result will be the same. A clear idea of the tasks to be solved by the employee is a prerequisite for successful recruitment. Therefore, the first thing that is required is to describe the relevant competencies, individual and personal characteristics, requirements for knowledge, skills, qualifications and experience of the employee (candidate).

Such a description is called a position profile.

If we neglect the compilation of the position profile, guided by some vague image of the desired, then the selection of employees will be made «by guess and by gosh». That’s how companies hire mediocre, poorly motivated, and sometimes obviously undesirable performers.

Companies often send candidates to the International Academy of Lie research both to assess their psychological portraits and to identify risk factors. Here it turns out that customers have little idea what they want to receive. In other words, these companies simply select more or less liked resumes from the stream of incoming ones. Moreover, the selection takes place on the basis of some vague ideas about what kind of employee is needed!

In this situations we have to make a profile ourselves. Later when we agree on this profile with the customer, he says: «It looks good! Why not?».

Sometimes there is another error which occurs because of using obsolete profiles. Well, yes, the profile has been once compiled, and you cannot say that it is not there. But since then the company has changed the direction of its development, and employees continue to recruit according to the criteria formulated for other tasks. The world is changing very quickly. And even if it sounds like a cliche, it’s a fact. And, nevertheless, a number of companies use «cemented» profiles, the «filling» of which has long been requiring a radical revision.

I believe we agreed that the current profile of the position is necessary. And now let’s consider how to make it properly.

Writing down the list of competencies and values that are mandatory for the candidate.

For instance, for the position of sales manager such competence will be sociability or stress resistance. Further, based on the prevailing corporate ethics and values of the company, it is necessary to prescribe the values that the candidate should have. It is desirable that the company and the employee have similar values.

Main requirements for the employee, his experience and knowledge.

The list of requirements, as a rule, includes specific knowledge, skills and abilities that the candidate must possess. I will not dwell on this in detail. I will only note that there are basic requirements, without which a person cannot be effective in a particular field of activity. For example, if the work of a manager is connected with foreign companies, then one cannot do without knowledge of English. This is a prerequisite, since a person cannot quickly learn a foreign language in the process of doing his job.

I will talk more specifically on such components of the profile as work experience and learning capability. If you want the employee to be engaged in the work immediately, then preference should be given to an experienced candidate. If the nature of work has its own narrow specifics, it might be better to invest certain resources into the employee while he is learning and getting into the position. By the way, in driving schools, instructors often ask a student if he had previously driven a car. The answer «no» usually makes the instructor happy, since he won’t have to retrain. If you need to find a specialist for the «bottleneck», or train him «for yourself» — it is better to choose a candidate without experience.

What is more important for you, experience or personal characteristics? For example, an active student applies for the position of sales manager. Yes, he has no experience, but he is so charming, charismatic, he rocks and inspires so that the question of experience is not even an issue. Or, let’s say, here comes a manager with 10 years experience, but upon closer inspection it will become clear that all these years he has been sitting on incoming calls in the same company.

However, if we are talking about a highly specialized field or specific knowledge — work experience is necessary. If you select an employee for a large foreign company, and, for example, job responsibilities include technical translation from a foreign language, then experience is desirable. To work in shops or to manage the production, one needs experience of at least 3 years. Experience has shown, that during the first 2 years a person figures out the nuances and specificity, makes mistakes and learns from them. Therefore, before answering the question of who you want — beautiful or smart — analyze the specific nature of the work.

I need to warn those who want both an experienced and capable of learning employee, that sometimes the «box» is fully stuffed. And things that you will try to add to the top might simply pour.

Expected employee motivation.

You need to understand what kind of motivation you expect from a person. For example, there is a motivation «To positive results» (for short — «TO»). And the motivation «From negative consequences» (for short — «FROM»), which means avoiding unpleasant situations. Mind the main credo of doctors — «Do no harm!». Especially in emergency situations motivation «FROM» allows to make the right decisions.

Let us compare the motivations of a risk manager and a sales manager. The first one should be motivated to get away from unnecessary risks, solve assigned tasks without mistakes and get the salary on time. The second one is motivated by the results worth the effort, by management recognizing him as the best manager. You need to understand what you can give the employee, and what pole of motivation he is relying on. Below, in the chapter on metaprograms, we will talk in more details about the program of motivation.

Behavioral model in different situations and when making decisions.

Model the most common situations that an employee will encounter in the course of the work. Then identify the most effective models.

Suppose an employee is invited for a process, operational activity, where the main requirement is sense of duty. This work does not require super-skills, and here the model of conflict avoidance is acceptable. But if we select a candidate for the position of leader, then avoiding conflicts while solving issues will have a destructive impact not only on his work, but also on the entire organization.

How will the candidate behave in conflict situations? In order to test, argue with the candidate, just do not start right away, let him get used to you a little, adapt. After that, create a conflict situation around disagreement with something. This will be a hint for you. But still for an exhaustive analysis a deeper check is usually required.

Before we start talking about it, let me introduce the term «metaprogram, linguistic and behavioral profile». This is a set of unconscious filters of a person’s perception, through which basic life and behavioral strategies and associated beliefs are formed.

So, we study the past experience of the candidate, his psycho-type, and, of course, the metaprogram profile. Knowing the metaprogram profile we can tell a lot about the candidate.

It will become clear how and in what form information should be conveyed to each specific candidate in the most accessible and capacious way.

Analysis of the metaprogram profile will allow to form official duties, identify the professional opportunities and limitations of a particular candidate, find out how to motivate him.

It will become clear whether the candidate is able to interact with the team members, how he makes decisions and on which basis, how long it will take him to do that. Instant respond to rapidly changing conditions is one thing, another thing is a systematic problems solving analysis in the field of strategic management. Who do you need, a call center expert who promptly answers questions, or a manager who determines the development strategy of an organization?

Summarizing the above said, I would like to note that the analysis of the metaprogram profile provides an answer to the main question: whether the candidate will be successful in the position he is applying for or not.

Candidate’s education

There are positions in which a person’s personal characteristics play a greater role than a certain education.

For instance, a manager may be a charismatic, strong-willed, initiative person who thinks strategically, but has not got education of a manager. And vise versa, a person with a manager education might not fit this position in terms of his personal characteristics (passive, non-initiative, etc.).

But if you recruit a candidate for the position of an engineer in the nuclear industry, then you cannot do without a specialized education. So in the profile, be sure to record the level of education, if necessary.

Here the question may arise: if a person has experience, but there is no proper level of education, is it so critical? What if you’ll miss a good specialist? Are you ready to invest in raising his level of education with various qualification upgrades? Will the employee be allowed to go on study leave if he wants to study? You should have the answers to these questions.

Preferred relationships in the team, expectations for leadership style, peculiarities of team interaction.

An important moment is the type of relationships that a person prefers in a team. If the activity implies the competition among employees and the candidate is used to working in conditions of trust and mutual assistance, then this team will not work for him.

Leadership style is a factor that affects the duration of the work and the motivation of the employee. Some people prefer a strict hierarchical relationship and a clear task, but for another one it is easier when you can talk with management on unrelated topics and maintain good relationships. These things can be cleared up with the help of special questions used in projective techniques. We will talk about them in the relevant chapter.

There are also situations when a candidate is an excellent specialist, but he has «his own vision» of working in a team. To put it bluntly, he poorly interacts with the team, which is a distraction for both the specialist and the rest of the team. Who is your candidate: a manager, a lone wolf or a team player? There are special questions to find this out.

Goals and tasks of a specialist.

Determine what goals the worker should pursue. Once we were recruiting a candidate for the post of a production manager. We were looking among people living in Moscow, Moscow region and in the province. There was one 53 years old candidate from the periphery. On the question why did he respond to the vacancy and was even ready to move to another region while not having relevant experience, he answered: «I want to try myself in a new field.» It is unlikely that such a goal should have a person in this position, taking into account his age and experience.

Quite often we face the fact when a person gets a management position having no goal at all. This might suggest that he can stick to the same policy at work. Try asking the question: «Whom does your candidate see himself in a few years? In which areas would he like to develop? ” With some candidates it becomes immediately obvious that the person has never asked himself these questions.

If we need to fill a vacancy for a line position and we need a good performer, then the goal to take the post of director in the near future is hardly suitable for our request. For this post we will be looking for good performers who are not striving to take management positions.

Recommendation: In this part of the profile, the full functionality of what the employee is required to do shall be written. The reason for that is so that other responsibilities, which might be gradually added, won’t come as a surprise to an employee.

The more detailed the profile, the better it is. It is more likely that you will not get a cat in a bag. But try not to overdo it with incoming conditions. At times, you read a profile and you understand that this position requires a Superman, although in fact the position does not imply the use of a number of the listed skills. Just as in everything, you need to stick to the golden medium.


In terms of recruiting a properly compiled profile is the foundation on which further work is built. The foundation should always be paid special attention. So we will continue talking about the profile and we’ll offer the reader some basic recommendations.

1. Defining the development strategy of the organization as a whole.

Defining an organization’s development strategy is the first rule. In different companies the same position often differs in terms of functionality. Common sense suggests that there is a difference between an organization that has just begun its journey, and a long-existing large company, where everything is stable and clear. Accordingly, the profiles differ, even if they are compiled for the positions with the same name.

In large, stable, profitable companies, the work is built systematically and nothing particularly new needs to be done. It would be enough to follow a certain order, perform a set of actions and algorithms associated with the position. In a «young» or small company, an employee is both a «a chief cook and a bottle washer». He is in charge of various number of functions, including those that were not talked over. A start-up organization needs initiative, creative people, ready to do what they have not been taught. This is really important at the initial phase of company formation.

When it’s a relatively long-existing organization, no one is intruding in another workers’ sphere, into someone else position’s functions. Employees work bell-to-bell, from 8.00 to 17.00, and they are pleased with everything. This kind of companies welcome people who know the entire sequence of further actions, understand their area of responsibility, and then strictly follow clearly defined procedures.

When there is no clear and tested algorithm, a «procedural» person will not become effective in a position that implies creativity and multitasking. The smaller and the younger the organization is, the more competencies are needed, and the more requirements there will be for the candidate. So it makes sense to find out what kind of company you are recruiting for.

2. Formulate each competence very specifically.

Be clear about each competency description and what it includes. Avoid pompous titles that allow many interpretations.

Here is an example from our personnel profiling training. The participants were asked a question: «What are the qualities that a sales manager should have?» In general, the participants’ answers were as follows: communication skills, stress resistance, loyalty to the company, expertness, organizational skills, responsibility, clear speech and diction, learning ability, ability to listen and identify client’s needs, skills for reaching the decision-maker, client-focused approach.

The participants were offered to give detailed description to each competency. And it turned out that different people meant by this or that competence completely different things.

Explanation of competence depends on the specific position a candidate is applying for (car sales manager at the car dealership, sales manager for incoming calls, customer service manager, etc.). Let’s look at how to decipher each of these competencies.

Communication skills. Deciphering this competence may include both similar and completely different traits. For example, the ability to persuade, listen, identify needs; desire to communicate, well-bred speech, politeness, clear diction, persuasiveness, eloquence.

If requirements to the candidate include all above, but in fact he will be using only 2—3 characteristics, it will groundlessly make the profile more burdensome. Thus, you complexify your work, but that’s not all. If you specify redundant skills, this may cause low employee motivation.

Imagine the candidate for the position wants to communicate with new people, and he was given a block of client management where he cannot realize his plans. The candidate was expecting the position would give him a chance to use his strengths, but faced with the fact that his «trumps» are not in demand.

Suppose you recruit a person for the position of sales manager for incoming bids and an active sales manager. In both cases, sociability is paramount. But what exactly is included in the concept of sociability? In the case of an active sales manager, this is a desire to communicate, eloquence and the ability to convince. The sales manager for incoming calls processes applications, therefore the ability to persuade and the desire to communicate is not so important, but the ability to identify needs and well-bred, polite speech is a must.

It can be as follows: the candidate claims to be a sales manager, he loves and knows how to communicate, but his speech is not quite clear and competent, he does not pronounce a couple of letters and lisps a little. But the way he gives information is extraordinary! He does it expressively, he motivates and gets people interested. And this is more important than competent speech and clear diction.

So when compiling a profile, it is necessary to understand what particular position the candidate is applying for and what skills are really important.

Stress resistance. How can we understand that a person is stress resistant? Stress resistance implies patience, flexibility and the ability to quickly respond to different situations, which is develop through practice. The experience speaks about stress resistance. Sometimes some twenty years old guys come for an intervew and they say: «My strong quality is stress resistance!» Immediately the question arises: «When and how did you manage to understand that you are stress resistant?».

Loyalty. Talking about loyalty we also mean performance and manageability. To verify this, put the candidate to the task that must be performed before he comes to the interview. See whether the task was accomplished, whether the candidate asked questions, whether there were any attempts to shirk responsibility or shift performance of the task to another time.

Similarities of the candidate’s values and the already established team of the company can also be seen as loyalty. We had a customer who wanted to recruit a lawyer. The customer was flexible to the available opportunities, so to say. And one of the questions for the candidate sounded as follows: «How do you feel about the fact that sometimes you have to maneuver in the existing legislation to achieve the goals of the employer?». The candidate replied: «I will not do things that I consider to be wrong». A good specialist, but did not meet the case.

Expertness. Expertness is not only experience, it is knowledge of the product and the existing market. It is also the appropriate level of education and skills in a particular area. But the expertness of the antiques seller and the expertness of the car sales manager are completely different. In the first case narrow, specific knowledge of the product is paramount. And by the way, this knowledge is not necessarily acquired in the process of receiving a formal education. In the second case, it is the experience and understanding of what, why and who to sell to. Here knowing every detail of the components of the car is not the crucial point.

Planning skills. Let’s see what is it about. The ability to plan and strictly follow a plan is not the same thing. There are people who are focused on results, but there are also procedural people who are focused on the process (more on this in the chapters on metaprograms). There are people who are able to plan out every hour of their lives and strive to follow the plan in everything. A chance that a procedural person will constantly look for new ways to sell a product is greatly reduced. If the position implies the desire to search for non-standard solutions, approaches to difficult customers, then the procedural person will not cope.

Let’s recall a good phrase: «Plans are useless, planning is priceless.» What is important is the planning process itself and the possibility of adjusting the plan along the way and not just following the established plan.

Responsibility. What do we refer to this competence? The desire to see things through to the end. Orientation for results. Performance. How can one measure it while communicating with a candidate? Responsibility is often associated with «FROM» motivation; this can also be added to the profile of the position. However, for the manager the «FROM» motivation is a minus.

Learning ability. Learning often does not imply experience. In general, the younger a candidate is, the more capable he is to learn.

Client-focused approach. We advise to specify this competence at the level of actions: to love working with people, to prioritize the client’s interests and take them into account while making decisions. Attitude to people, and in particular, to clients, is partly revealed at the stage of the conversation with the candidate.

Abilities to reach the decision maker. In general, this competence is quite clear. It is the experience that a candidate has in this matter is important.

3. The profile shall include priorities.

It is not enough to give detailed description of the competence characteristics, it is important to do something else with all the listed competencies as well.

Suppose you have ten competencies in the form of specific characteristics that are preferable for a candidate. It is unlikely that your position profile will have the same importance ratio for each feature. Some competencies are more essential for you than others. Accordingly, the profile should prioritize and indicate that you personally consider paramount. What is more important, the ability to listen or the ability to convince? Competent speech or charisma? The ability to speak politely is useful, but is it so significant compared to the ability to convince?

So, you write down a competence, describe it, determine the «weight» of each characteristic, and then choose which candidate, under otherwise equal conditions, is more suitable.

Let us analyze the position profile of the previous example, but with a limited set of competencies for the sake of brevity. For example, stress resistance, clear diction, loyalty, sociability, responsibility. Let us assume that sociability is paramount. Then we decide what is more important: stress resistance or responsibility? Flexibility, the ability to work in different conditions, the ability to adapt and change behavior can be attributed to stress resistance. Thus, stress tolerance is the second priority competence. The next quality is responsibility. In this case, responsibility is the ability to undertake tasks and perform them properly and on time. Responsibility also includes performance and most often it is «FROM» motivation. Given the fact that most managers work on the result with the motivation «TO», the motivation «FROM» is less preferable than interpersonal skills and stress tolerance. Therefore, the responsibility will be ranked as a third priority. Further, we assess what is more important: loyalty or clear diction? If it is important for us that the employee is manageable, then we put loyalty in fourth place and clear diction in fifth place.

Now imagine that there is a candidate and you understand that he is positive, expressive, and conveys information in such a «juicy» way, that you are ready to turn a blind eye on the fact that he does not pronounce some letters. Then we eliminate the last priority competency from the list.

This is the way how you can determin what you personally are willing to turn a blind eye on, in case if the candidate is generally suitable and meets the position’s key competencies.

4. Each competence, specified in the profile, should have its own «measure».

How can each competency be measured? In this matter we can rely on projective questions, the identification of a metaprogram profile, knowledge of the basic psychotype and additional trends in the profile. When composing a profile of a position, you should have an approximate picture: MP, variants of psycho-types, possible answers to projective questions, personal qualities, values profile, a map of motivators.

Thus, the algorithm for compiling a position profile is the following:

1) Determine the stage of the company’s development.

2) It is important to describe each competency specifically.

3) Set priorities.

4) Understand how you will measure it.

Recommendation: Do not add to the profile those characteristics and knowledge, skills and abilities that are not mandatory in this very position, because it will unreasonably «make heavier» the profile, recruiting process and filling a vacancy. Imagine the ideal employee in a particular position and think what is a must for this position. After this, delete from the profile all that is not strictly necessary. This will facilitate your work and give a chance to those candidates who are really suitable.


When recruiting staff a large number of details should be taken into account, from the position’s profile to the analysis of the psychological characteristics of the candidate.

Fortunately, there is a tool that allows to optimize the time without wasting it on communicating with unsuitable candidates. This is a preliminary stage, which includes evaluation, filter, analysis of resumes and questionnaires, both incoming and the ones that you yourself are looking for, for example, on hh.ru, superjob.ru, etc.

In the fourth chapter we will analyze in detail how to act at this stage. But before proceeding to the appropriate section of the book, we will show what our personnel profiling model is based on.

So, the IALR personnel profiling model consists of six points:

1) Operational psychodiagnostics of IALR.

There are quire a few classifications that help typologize a person, from dividing all people into four temperaments to the signs of the zodiac.

We distinguish 8 psycho-types, taking into account the peculiarities of the nervous system and basic emotions. We will talk about this from two points of view: which candidate is effective in a particular psycho-type of a particular position and which risk factors are peculiar to him. Risk factors can be predicted and thus the potential of their occurrence can be reduced. We will also look at the criminal profiles of people to understand what the candidate is capable of within the organization.

It is impossible to repair the whole house using only one hammer, since any classification has its limitations. One classification might not be useful for all tasks, besides sometimes it might not be applied at all. Therefore, we also rely on the human metaprogram profile.

2) Metaprogram profile (MP-profile).

The MP profile is a fairly stable characteristic, but still changing throughout life. It is something that we can develop and «stretch». And in the «stretched» metaprogram profile, we can work in opposite contexts equally productively. Understanding a metaprogram profile gives us many advantages. We start with finding out what is the basis for making decisions of a certain person, what motivates him, how he will interact in a team and with other people. By the end we know which positions are best for appointing the candidate. Besides, knowing the metaprogram profile allows to «measure» risk appetite and the level of loyalty of a person.

3) Projective techniques.

It is such a simple and powerful tool, that it allows to save a lot of time, which is spent on identifying real motives, motivators and personal characteristics. If not to use projective methods, then at the first meeting with the candidate we will hear socially acceptable and socially expected answers. In other words, people will try to look good in your eyes, and for a number of questions will give answers that are not entirely truthful. With the help of projective methods we instigate the person to respond unconsciously, based on the characteristics of his personality and experience. With some methods you are most likely familiar, for example, with the technique of Svetlana Ivanova. In this book we will touch these methods. We have also included a number of questions that are not related to the works of this author.

4) NLP tools.

Of course, we can’t do without NLP! In personnel work we use NLP tools when we set (attitudes) installations; when we examine who the person is and what are his representative systems to perceive the world. Here we also include a pyramid of logical levels, thanks to which we will be able to describe the employee’s loyalty level. Any communication is a manipulation, and in order to get answers to our questions we must act professionally and take responsibility for it.

5) Information collection techniques.

An important component in the personnel profiling model is information collection techniques. We apply these techniques not only in relation to people who are being recruited for a particular position, but also in relation to our potential partners in order to understand who we will work with.

It happens that the position you invite a person for is quite important. The decisions of the person on this position might influence the overall development strategy of the company (for example, in the position of a top manager). To understand what kind of person he is, what dark sides and pitfalls he has, whether he has any contacts with competitors, whether there are court decisions and other unpleasant hidden facts, we need to use additional information gathering tools. We use open information resources, databases, and social networking sites. Using this tool, we might, so to say, play softball «spy games». And before we see the candidate, we already know something about him.

6) Methods of non-instrumental (toolless) lie detection.

Think of the answers that candidates gave on he question «Why did you choose our company?» From this point on, «sugar honey» would begin: «Because your company is the best,» «Because I want to work with professionals,» «Because you are the largest suppliers in the market,» etc. Now imagine what can actually be hidden behind these words and what are this person’s true motives and reasons for employment. «I have to wait a couple of months, and then I will definitely go to another organization, they offer higher salary and tastier food …”, or «Well, it’s near my house». Or the worst case: «It is because I’ve agreed with your competitors that I would be feeding them intel.» During the interview at least 20% (which is the very minimum!) of the information will not be true.

To analyze the answers to a number of important questions (including reasons of dismissal from previous jobs or harmful addictions), tools for assessing the reliability of information are needed.


Whether you use the services of a recruitment agency or hiring candidates yourself, any way, a candidate for the position fills out a questionnaire. At the stage of selecting such questionnaires or resumes, there are several points for analysis, on which one can say whether to invite this person to an interview or not. Let’s go through the points that are usually included in the questionnaire.

Full name, contacts.

Primary input data, at first glance, do not give anything for profiling a questionnaire. But in fact, sometimes even significant information may be hidden here.

For example, look at the name of the mailbox. The man himself chooses a name for this purpose and shows the peculiarities of his character, convictions and so on. For example, rasist@yandex.ru or seksi-ledi@mail.ru. It is no coincidence that the candidate named the mailbox this way.

Data about the mail might also be needed when we analyze information about the candidate using various information sources.

Once we were looking for a candidate for a managerial position and we would analyze his general managerial experience and areas of activity. One of the candidates’ questionnaire indicated that he has been on the leaders positions since he was 15! It was further stated that until the age of 48 he held only similar positions. The profile was missing a photo, but there was mail registered on mail.ru. We used this information to look at the «leader from birth» and through the social networking site MoiMir we saw the candidate’s questionnaire. It turned out that he was 58 years old. So it means that the information in the resume was changed / distorted / hidden. Naturally, we did not invite this man, who was like the kings of the Middle Ages — rulers from adolescence.


The lack of education, which is supposed to help in mastering the profession, does not mean that the person is not suitable. Right away the «sales-managers with a God-given talent» with only a secondary education come to mind. And vice versa. An appropriate education, though increases the candidate’s chances, is not a hundred percent indicator of his effectiveness in office.

Our colleague Tatyana shared her story about this. She just got a job at the local representative office of a large trading company as a personnel director. The company had strict recruitment requirements. And so Tatiana received a call from a girl who asked her challengingly: «So what, you only take people with higher education?». Tatiana invited her for the interview. The whole biography of the girl was «one big minus»: she had a residence permit, a rented apartment, a 2-year-old daughter, no grandmothers-grandfathers, working experience only at the checkout counter in the store. Secondary trade education. Despite all these, Tatiana really liked the girl, she went to the supervisor to arrange an interview with her (of course, she retold her entire biography). The supervisor made a «cuckoo» sign, but agreed to talk. After talking with this girl the supervisor finally decided to hire her. The company had a trial period of 3 months. This girl had the shortest trial in the company’s history — 3 weeks. And over the next 3 years of her work she would fulfill the plan by 120%. Even the regional directorate was proud of her.

In general, when analyzing one should pay attention to educational institution the candidate graduated from, which faculty he studied, which specialty he mastered, in what city, how long did he study, whether it is a specialized or non-specialized education (whether it is necessary for this very position), and which skills and knowledge it provides.

Family status

Some employers also look at this factor and take into account the fact that a man of 45 years old has not been married and has no children.

It is not uncommon for young girls to seek employment in large company with an officially declared salary and a good social package with only one goal — to work for a while and go on maternity leave. When ordering verification clients often want us to ask the candidate this question: «Are you going to get pregnant in the near future?». Here, of course, we explain that there are things that you cannot plan, and the answer to such a question will be useless.

Working experience and previous jobs

An important point. We are interested in finding out at what places the candidate used to work, and whether they were similar to one another. For example, if a person began working as a laborer, and then he became a shop-worker in the same company, then a shop foreman, and eventually the head of a company, then we can see consistency and procedural character.

The opposite case: the resume shows the frequent change of places, the candidate worked in many companies but not in one did he stay for a long time. What is the matter here? We will list several reasons. First, it can be the meta-program «Differences», when a person does not want to work in one place for a long time, he wants to develop and is longing to go forward. The meta-program «Opportunities» should not be excluded, especially when places of work do not cross over and official duties do not overlap. Besides, a risk factor might be a reason (alcohol, conflicts). If a candidate has changed 3—4 places in 10 years it is not so bad, 2 places are actually excellent. This suggests that a person is stable, appreciates orderliness in his life and is not used to changing places of work so often.

Additionally, consider the spelling in the questionnaire. For example, a person applied for an assistant manager position, but in five lines he made three mistakes. In fact, what does the position of assistant manager imply? Attentiveness, commitment, multitasking, responsibility, nuanced approach. For instance, his responsibility might be ordering tickets, organizing transfers for partners from other cities, monitoring services operation to complete the tasks set by the manager and much more. But if a person wrote a resume and did not even recheck it, then there is a high probability that he will continue to make mistakes in the future. For example, time of the meeting important partners will be wrongly appointed and it will negatively affect the work of the manager and the company as a whole.


Hobby is a remarkable thing. Up to this very point in the questionnaire everything is usually structured, a person writes things that he wants to be known. For example, skills, knowledge of languages, etc. Here you can write anything of these, it is impossible to check it just relying on the questionnaire. But the hobby speaks of that part of the personality that the candidate is trying to conceal. What do you think a hobby like collecting might say? If you think about it, this may speak of patience, desire for deeper understanding, or when a person wants to know something — he begins to «dig» and hunt down the topic. This may also speak about diligence and goal orientation. This hobby often indicates that the person is ready to follow procedures and processes.

Once we analyzed a resume for the position of development director, in which the candidate wrote that his hobby was collecting orders, medals, badges, any lapel pins and working with archives to study family history. It is not difficult to guess that we did not invite the candidate to this position, because his hobbies are connected solely with the past.

A versatile multi-faceted person with different interests will suit us for creative professions. Such type of hobby as extreme sports (for example, rodeo, rock climbing, rafting, etc.) speaks about adventurous nature in a way, about risk appetite. It is important to consider what position you are hiring the person for. For positions that require risk (for example, when working with new directions) this hobby is rather a benefit. If we select a candidate for the position of a risk manager, where a person must predict, foresee all negative aspects, such hobby might tell us that a candidate has some undesirable personal traits.

Additional information / portfolio

In the resume candidates also often add additional information about themselves, including various certificates, awards, credentials. It might say that such a person is longing to learning, self-development, he is quite active, able to present himself and his abilities, and most often such people are ambitious. This information will give a clue as to the candidate’s area of interest: whether certificates relate to different fields and areas, or each certificate is a logical continuation of the candidate’s training in one area, which reveals the desire to study the subject deeper. Also, if the candidate has included all this in the resume, it is possible that he wants to show how he will cost the labor market.

Concerning strong qualities, which candidates use to describe themselves, there is an excellent saying of by L.N. Tolstoy «The more the person is satisfied with himself, the less satisfying things can be found in him.» It is difficult to assess yourself. To convey your assessment objectively is not an easy task, too, since everything is relative. If you ask a 19-year-old girl from the village if she considers herself to be goal-oriented, she will answer «Yes» because she graduated from the 9th grade, unlike her friends who dropped out of school in the 7th grade. All of us once achieved a goal, even a small one, but to assert that all people have this strong would be hastily and biased.

And here I want to recall the experiment of Bertram Forer. In 1948 he showed the results of this effect. Forer gave his students a special test in order to analyze their personalities. However, instead of the actual individual characteristic, he gave each student the same text written in a generalized language, which is often used in drawing up a horoscope.

Here is the text that students received:

«You have a great need for other people to like and admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside.

At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others’ statements without satisfactory proof.

You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. Security is one of your major goals in life.

Then B. Forer asked each student to evaluate the accuracy of this description according to their personal reality on a scale from zero to five, and surprisingly, the average evaluation was 4.26.

Most surely you also, after reading this text, would agree with a couple or more descriptions. And at the same time certainly you would not deny the fact that all people are different.

This example, among other things, illustrates the fact that people’s opinions about themselves do not always coincide with reality. Therefore, to evaluate what the candidate writes about himself one need to have a certain dose of skepticism, or not to take it into account at all, especially if the information you received from more reliable sources (or other points of the questionnaire) contradicts what the candidate says.

Candidate’s photo

We know many HRs who collect photos that absolutely disagree with resumes. One candidate sends a photo in the «nude» style with a cherry in his mouth, the other one makes photo with a bottle in his hand against a background of unbridled fun. What do these «photo reports» speak about? At least about the attitude to their employment. The analysis should also touch the details of the photo, in what setting and pose the candidate is captured, what he is wearing, what his body language is talking about. Even before the meeting with the candidate, this information will help determine both the basic psychotype and the metaprogram profile.

Cover letter

Based on the study of the text of the cover letter, we can evaluate how convincing the candidate is, how clearly and intelligibly he expresses his thoughts, determine his literacy, the structure of the letter, examine the text for adequacy to the context. One of the HRs had a case when a «cry of the heart» was sent as a cover letter. In the letter the candidate literally begged to employ him.

Preferred contact method

The choice of contact methods sometimes indicates whether the candidate is currently working elsewhere. Correspondingly it might shed light on the habits of behavior (e.i. a candidate hides from the employer that he is looking for another job, thus he might be ready to lie in your organization). For example, the candidate denies that he works in a company, but writes that the preferred contact method is mail and indicates a corporate e-mail.

It can also show how important it is for him to find a job; whether the candidate wants to know about his employment «here and now» or he prefers to get an e-mail and have some time to think which place to choose.


The next stage of work is collecting information about the candidate / employee from available sources with subsequent analysis.

Working with social networking sites

The first source that we turn to — a personal page in social networking sites (Facebook, VKontakte, Twitter, Instagram, MoiMir, etc.). Social networking sites are a storehouse of all sorts of information about a person, but analyzing pages and accounts of a person is a creative task, because there is no clear algorithm here.

Do not forget that filling the page, a person creates his own refined image. Actually, this is how a person would like to present himself to society. Of course, the ideal image is different from reality, and, nevertheless, we are interested in everything that a person tells about himself. What photos does he show, which one does he have as an avatar, what posts does he write, what reposts does he make, what groups he is subscribed for, what he «likes», how detailed is information about him, his statuses, the number of friends and subscribers, etc. Everything that is laid out by a person is connected with his perception of the world, his experience, system of values and beliefs.

Note the important difference between profiling pages in social networking sites and forensic profiling. How profilers come to conclusions when analyzing a crime, a crime scene, behavioral traces cannot be reduced to a formula or structure. The fact is that a person is a rather complex organism. He has a wide range of characteristics, peculiarities, experiences, capabilities and abilities that affect his behavior and decision-making process. There is no simple correlation, when one particular event characterizes one particular trait of a person. And yet, the set of actions that he used to do allows to come to a conclusion regarding his personal characteristics.

Profiler is well aware that when he works on the case of a criminal, he must always have doubts about the correctness of the decision. It is these doubts in the preparation of the profile that force him once again to double-check some things and make sure of other things. If the assumption made does not fit into the overall profile, then it is better to put aside this assumption. It happens that having processed the crime scene, we get data that contradict each other. It means that something went wrong, there is a mistake somewhere. If such a contradiction has arisen, it is better to stop and return to the beginning, to review everything again. So it is easier to understand at what point the mistake occurred.

For example, processing the trace picture and the crime scene, profilers see that the criminal picked the lock in the house, leaving no traces, did not wake anyone up, did everything quietly and carefully. No witnesses. The culprit wiped his fingerprints out or was in gloves, brought the crime instrument with him and then brought it away. The victims were wounded in the bedroom with no signs of a struggle. Most likely, he has experience in this matter and according to the FBI classification he is an organized criminal. But profilers found a broken flower pot in the corridor. Impulsiveness and negligence do not fit into the compiled profile. And since this footprint contradicts the general picture, it was not included into the profile. Besides, profilers do not know who was the author of this change. What if the cat broke the pot?

But we know that in terms of the social networking site page the author of the changes made to an account is the person who being profiled. There are no random elements, there will always be that part of the personality that the person himself wanted to show, so you can work with social networking sites. Here we do not work with the accounts of public people whose accounts are managed by other people, for example, PR experts.

Let us look at some examples.

For instance, in the account a candidate posts a large number of photos in different contexts, with different people, while traveling, doing some extreme sports and everywhere he is smiling. This may indicate a kaleidoscopic nature of events in life, an «opportunity» world picture where the person is ready for a new experience, impressions and is open to the unknown.

This part of his profile will manifest itself not only on vacations, but also at work. This candidate should not be given tasks with strict operational functionality that must be performed «from start to finish» in fixed deadlines. Routine, repeated day after day, is also not his cup of tea. Such an employee will get bored and start creating chaos in the work of other employees. Depending on the mood he will try to bring changes to his work. He will disregard the deadline. So it is better to put such candidates in creative positions, for example, sales, where communication and change of contexts are expected: different people, different places, different conditions.

We came to this conclusion, assuming that besides differences, there are also similarities between forensic profiling and social networking profiling. In the first case profilers use the principle of behavioral consistency. The main essence of the theory of behavioral consistency is that offenders behave relatively equally from crime to crime, even if the focus of crimes is different. And the individual characteristics revealed at the crime scene are also manifested in personal everyday life. The same principle is obligatory in our case.

Let us take another example: a person puts out photoes with repetitive contexts, regularly maintains his page, posts information abouthis his interests with a certain sequence. There is a tendency to procedural actions, planning and desire for stability. The tasks that such people perform well are related to proven algorithms and mandatory operations.

If a person puts out a large amount of information about himself, but only from the point of view of the professional sphere, then most likely, the page has been specially created for this purpose. It is difficult to evaluate in this case, although a definite conclusion can still be made. It can be seen that a person is professionally targeted, clearly differentiates contexts and wants to demonstrate only this very part of his personality. Otherwise, such a profile says nothing.

There are psychological studies that say that the avatar is also «reporting» something about a person. For example, a person put a baby photo as his avatar. Behind this might stand infantilism or the desire to return to the time when you were cared for. In other words, a person has a difficult stressful period in life, he needs support and care. If parents post a photo of their child on an avatar, this may indicate an obsession with their child. Or given context of career it may speak about feeling of non-fulfillment. There is an opinion that avatars with photos of a couple (if not married) point to an attempt to prove that «they love me after all» or that a person is kind of losing himself in a partner.

And what if a person has no account in social networking sites? Of course, the reasons are few. For example, a person is in public services or so, where people are forbidden to create accounts under there own name (FSB, etc.). But it is possible that this is how suspicious, secretive, inquisitive, unsociable, distrustful, introverted and cautious nature is expressed. It is these traits cause people to reluctantly show off their lives, which is opposite from the motives of people who put out 2000 photos with their image. And of course profiles of these people are very different. We use this tool not only in the case of staff recruitment, but also when analyzing information about potential partners or people we need. And often there are situations when a person simply hides away because of debts and obligations, therefore he does not maintain any page or deletes all accounts.

Not so long ago at the personnel profiling training, we analyzed a profile of one of the participants with the consent of him. Avatars had not a single photo with his image. It turned out that he was the owner of a collection agency, and for security reasons he had to hide his external data. That is, professional activity assumed possibility threats against him and other troubles, if people knew what he looked like. In this case, the absence of an account is a necessary measure for security purposes.

Another reason is that people from the IT sphere are well aware of the «big brother» who is watching us, and realize that the more information you post, the more chances that someone collects it and uses for somebody’s purposes. Or the person simply does not have time to maintain the page. For example, entrepreneurs are too busy for this. If social networking sites are used to promote business, then there is no room for communication on personal issues, the same applies to personal information.

Analyzing photos, keep in mind that people will put out those photos that they consider to be their reflection. In one of the training seminars a participant asked to analyze the information about her former employee, who was fired for certain violations. There were few photos and contexts, and about 5—6 photographs contained pictures of this girl drinking alcohol, in one of the photographs she was dressed in quite a vulgar manner. On her «wall» hung a fixed message with free views of a vulgar character. Compiling a social networking sites profile, we take into account that there are no random photos there, a person deliberately demonstrates something and this information is significant. So it turned out that the employee had difficulties with alcohol and the course of her behavior. Juicy pages and groups that she was part of partially confirmed the guess. So sometimes, it is enough to look at the site and make the right decision whether it is worth hiring this person or not.

While looking through the social networking sites, besides the groups content, pay attention to the general trend of interests of these groups or the absence of the groups. For example, if there are 4—5 groups of the same or similar subjects, that may speak about certain interest. Thanks to the page, one can compare what a person writes about himself in the resume and what content he puts on the page. For example, we read in the resume: «I am a professional, responsible, purposeful, reliable», and in the photo we see a person who is always hanging out with his friends in clubs, at parties, with a bottle in his hand. He will probably fit a sales manager position if not to consider the risk factor for alcohol. But in terms of the position of the manager it might give pause for thought.

By the way, consider reading the comments and answers to them — there is also a lot of information useful for analysis.

It is also worth noting that the candidate may have several pages in different social networking sites. The information in them sometimes varies, and putting everything together, we can make a more complete profile.

Summarizing aforementioned, we shall highlight that social networking sites give lots of information about a person, but not all of it. People in social networking sites often present the desired image. Your task is to analyze the maximum of what it may tell, because there are clues to the question: whether to invite a person for an interview or immediately refuse his application.

Working with open information resources

Try and write your phone number, email address and name in Google or Yandex. Sometimes search engines find interesting and useful information, starting with where the candidates left their contacts, and ending with the fact that they had to do with a scandal or trial with the company they had worked for before.

We had a case when we ran a search on the email address of a candidate applying for a leadership position. The name of the email address was quite interesting: a set of letters in a special order with numbers. We found in free access information that a person with such a nickname (the name of the mail) plays online games for money, making large bets. The site had information on how often does the person with such a nickname play, how much does he lose and win. Thus, we received information about the risk factor, which, by the way, was confirmed. This candidate periodically got into gaming debts.

It is worth noting that Google or Yandex do not always give information about the phone numbers and mails. In this case, use other search engines, for example, duckduckgo.com and so on.

Open information sources also include the federal website of bailiffs (fssprus.ru). There is information about execution writs and debts of the candidate, about the arrested property and unpaid fines written by the traffic police patrol service. By the way, talking about the girl who had problems with alcohol (example above): on the website of the bailiffs we found that her property was seized, and she had enforcement proceedings worth up to 80,000 rubles.

Regarding debts, including the payment of alimony, there is data if the court has already passed, the decision was made and there is a writ of execution. This gives a certain characteristic of the candidate, especially if there are large debts. This testifies both to the attitude towards one’s obligations, and to a possible risk factor. A person burdened with debts will try to find ways to pay them off, including secret use of company resources. On the whole, a person who does not systematically fulfill his financial obligations is unlikely to behave differently in your company.

In short, with the help of such services you may protect yourself from risks when choosing a candidate. Of course, these issues are handled by the security service, the are not your responsibility. But if you have tools that make it easier for you to settle on a candidate and save time — why not using them?

In addition to search engines and the website of bailiffs, look for information on decisions of general courts, Magistrates courts and arbitration courts of the Russian Federation with the participation of a candidate as the plaintiff or the defendant. To do this, use a reference and legal system RosPravosudiye (rospravosudie.com), the site of the federal arbitration courts of the Russian Federation (arbitr.ru) and other similar sites. Thus you will know the candidate’s past and present court decisions, how often did he sue an employer, or how often was he sued.

Once again, search of information about a candidate with the use of open resources requires a creative approach. Sometimes useful information comes from unexpected sources. Therefore, the mentioned sites search list can be extended.

Working with information databases

If you have access to databases — counterparty checking services, such as SPARK, Kontur Focus, Prima Inform, you can find out if the candidate was (or is) the founder or CEO of any organization. Suppose we select a person for the post of top manager. He positions himself as an excellent manager, he was the owner of various businesses and projects, but liquidated them or resold them, because there were more interesting and profitable niches. So we look for information through the counterparty checking services and see an interesting picture: all the companies, where the candidate was the founder or CEO, turned bankrupt or were liquidated. In addition there were trials with other organizations, where he and his companies acted as a defendant for non-performance of duties, non-payment, etc. It is clear that the larger the organization is, the more court decisions it will face and the more it is able to pay. But if the organization is small and there are 100 court decisions against it, then this can hardly be a positive indicator. Besides, you may also draw certain conclusions about the management style of the person who headed the organization.

Useful resources include databases on offenses and convictions. Many security services use these databases. This allows to immediately identify malicious violators of the law. And you save time by not inviting potentially unreliable candidates. It is clear that not everyone has these databases (especially relevant ones). But if you have access to them, it is better to use them.

Of course, we did not mention all the databases and services that we work with. The main idea of the chapter is that in order to solve your problems, you should not neglect the existing possibilities.

So, we have considered the sources that should be used in your work, if you want to save time and increase the efficiency of recruiting.

So, you have compiled a position profile, selected CVs, found and analyzed information, and you already have a general idea of the candidate you need — about 60% of the full picture. Note that you have collected all these data at a preliminary stage, before meeting with a potential employee. A direct meeting with the candidate lies ahead.


The collection of information includes the study of many components. The person’s appearance (from the hairstyle to the neatness), the manner of communication, the use of certain words and terminology, punctuality, and behavioral characteristics are analyzed. At this stage, the metaprogram profile, the candidate’s psychotype, his values and beliefs are determined.


Accuracy, practical clothing, fashion style, colors of the wardrobe give tips on the qualities and behavior of the candidate, as well as how he treats his official duties. Appearance can also suggest what kind of psychotype the candidate may be. Although we must bear in mind that people prepare themselves for the interviews and put on what is accepted. Manicure, makeup, hair, perfume also contribute to the study. All this gives food for analysis, but, of course, does not fully characterize a person.

Recently, we had a candidate who came to us for verification. At first glance, judging by his appearance, he could have been hysteroid type. He had a bright yellow jacket on, a trendy hairstyle, light stubble, and good physical shape. But when he timidly knocked the door, entered the room with a rickety walk, sat down on the edge of the chair, and began to speak in an apologetic tone with tenseness, the first impression dispelled. He looked like a anxiety-valetudinary type who tried overcompensate it. During the interview the candidate often asked again, agreed with the verifier, did not defend himself in response to provocations. So I ask him a control question (questions that cause an emotional reaction, questions of uncomfortable truth):

— Have you ever gossiped about your bosses?

— Yes, it happened (confused).

— So are you a gossip?

— It turns out that I am.

«I have such a bad habit, I constantly double-check everything several times,» the candidate admitted. He did sports, loved to read, wanted to become a writer, and even had first steps in this. One could feel in him a certain creativity, which brought some changes into his appearance and slight confusion. Appearance might be sometimes deceptive, so analyze it carefully, along with other components.

Initial behavior

All people respond to situations individually, depending on their own experience, psycho-type, habits, thinking strategies. Even such things as the way the person entered the office, how he sat on a chair, how many questions he asked when filling out the questionnaire may say a lot about the person. Each choice made is a reflection of the person himself. For example, one person, passing by a branch that blocks his path, will simply throw it aside, and another one will bend down the branch.

We have a good story that illustrates this. There came two candidates for the position of sales manager. The first applicant turned out to be a shy young man of fine breeding. He timidly entered the room and asked questions on almost every column in the questionnaire in order not to make a mistake. The second one came into the office at ease, took a few candies from the table, without asking permission, spoke in a confident tone. In terms of his psychological characteristics, the second candidate turned out to be more suitable than the first one. In this position, politeness and accuracy are needed less than familiarity and confidence. These qualities are desirable for those who want to sell and persuade better than others.

Metaprogram profile

When we evaluate psychological characteristics based on linguistics and speech content, we begin with identifying a metaprogram profile. The combination of experience and world view of the individual we call the map. Everyone perceives the surrounding reality depending on the maps that exist in our heads. How do we collect information about the world around us to form our maps, where do we get it from, what do we pay attention to and how do we express it? It stems from our experience, environment, socialization, habits of people that we love, professional activities and other issues that form the filters of perception and thinking.

We have already spoken about the metaprogram profile, but just in case let us give the definition.

A metaprogram profile (MP profile) is a set of unconscious filters of a person’s perception, through which basic life and behavioral strategies and associated beliefs are formed. Using these filters, a person filters the incoming information and transmits it. Metaprogramm profile is being formed throughout life. When motives change, a metaprogram profile may also change, «stretch» so to say. Each metaprogram has 2 poles. The poles are the extreme opposite points of certain characteristics and features of the metaprogram. Several metaprograms have 3 poles, where the poles also reflect the degree of a particular characteristic. Metaprograms determine how a person behaves in different contexts. We have already mentioned above why do we need a metaprogram profile when evaluating a candidate. Let us recall.

The first and most important thing is to define the effectiveness of the candidate in the position he is applying for. The metaprogram profile will help to predict whether this candidate will be successful or not. Imagine that in the beginning a person works enthusiastically and fulfills various tasks, but then he runs himself out because of doing a job that is out of his character.

Knowing the MP profile also helps in determining how to convey information to the candidate. Imagine that two people are communicating, the first has the metaprogram «General» and the second one — metaprogram «Details».

What is this about? Let us give an example. The manager with the pole «General» sets the task: «Find out the main trends in the development of this direction.» And the performer with the pole «Detailed» immediately has a million questions in his head. He needs the maximum amount of information to clarify the task, to present it in detail. The MP-profile allows you to understand how to convey information to people in order to get the result that is expected.

Identifying the motivation metaprogram pole will tell you the main motives and motivators of a person. This knowledge allows you to put an employee into the conditions in which he can perform his tasks. And vice versa, it will become clear which working conditions are not suitable for a specific person. For example, people with motivation «FROM» feel much better when there are no immediate, «pressing» deadlines.

Also, with the help of metaprograms employers can define the speed of decision making and even the peculiarities of this decision. Is your employee an impulsive person or is he inclined to mull over his actions for a long time? Knowing the answer beforehand will give you an idea of what decision the employee will take: impulsive or carefully thought out.

Besides, metaprograms will tell you know who or what will influence this decision: the person himself, bystanders or some other sources. Apart from this, the MP-profile allows to find out a lot more. In a separate chapter, we will give detailed analyzes of the main characteristics of metaprograms, features of different poles, risk appetite and loyalty level.

Operational Psychodiagnostics

Operational psychodiagnostics is identification of characterological features of the basic psychotype, which depends on the strength and mobility of the nervous system, as well as on the basic emotion. This is a great tool, an effective model of personality evaluation, predicting the behavior and characteristics of a candidate. In contrast to the MP-profile, the basic psychotype is innate, but existence of psycho-traumatic experience imposes a significant imprint on the personality pattern of the candidate.

In a separate chapter of the book, we will recall the features of each psychotype, tell about the risk factors inherent to the candidate. You will be able to understand the conditions of adaptation and maladaptation; in which conditions a person will work well, in which not.

Values, beliefs of a person

Person’s values can be revealed through projective questions, when analyzing speech. One way or another people declare their values. When at the interviews we offer the candidate to tell about himself, we do not set any framework, leaving room for creativity. Let him tell about himself in a free way. Things that the candidate started his answer with, whether he asked for a narrower frame for the story, started talking about the family or did not mention a word about it, gives a hint about the candidate’s values. Noteworthy are the questions asked by the person himself. Did you notice that in the store some people ask only about the price, and some people only about the quality. Sometimes the behavior is more important than speech. Suppose a person during a conversation is trying to show his social status, brand of phone, car keys. Often, actions speak much more about personality than words.

The projective questions themselves are a simple but very powerful tool in order to learn about the person’s values. We will talk about projective issues in detail in another chapter of the book.


Motivation metaprogram «TO» / «FROM»

This metaprogram is sometimes called «seeking-avoiding». The metaprogram «TO — FROM» describes the structure of motivation for actions in most contexts, except for:

— Actions from which a person subjectively receives pleasure. For example, a person loves the cake «Prague», and in order to enjoy it, he does not need to additionally motivate himself.

— Vital actions. In this case, the instinct of self-preservation plays a pivotal role.

In these situations, we do not look at the motivation. Everything else is evaluated.

Motivation «TO» the positive and motivation «FROM» the negative.

«TO» the positive — «I will do it to get something.»

«FFOM» the negative — «I will do it to avoid something.»

For example, you want to feed the dogs. If you want to do it so that they are full is the motivation «TO». To feed the dogs so that they do not die of hunger is the motivation «FROM».

People with «TO» motivation are motivated by positive consequences, by the result that is awaiting. They imagine positive effects, associate themselves with these effects and act in order to fulfill their plans. They do not need to be additionally «fueled»; they have a goal and can maintain motivation for a long time.

Employees with «TO» motivation are more prone to long-term, though not always realistic, planning. They are characterized by careerism. This motivation is good for some positions and strictly contraindicated for others.

In their speech such people use positive constructions and formulations, without the particle «NOT». When speaking, they refer to positive experience, respond positively to the tasks set and decisions made. A typical trend for people with «TO» motivation is that they prefer to participate only in those events that are subjectively perceived as «advantageous». They are less disposed to restrictions and cautiousness.

For people with «FROM» motivation getting away from the problem it is much more important than coming to a solution. Unlike with «TO» motivation people, the moment of goal-setting and planning is shorter, it is easier for them to work that way. If «TO» is a strategy, then «FROM» is a tactic. On the one hand, «FROM» motivation is a recheck and pessimistic planning. But it is also the ability to work in a situation of emergency, force majeure. On the other hand, it is a state of relaxation, lack of motivation for further development, when everything goes smooth and «Easy Street». If nothing urges and does not keep them up, people with «FROM» motivation stop taking pains, stop doing their best as they did before in tumultuous time.

Any salesman should have a «TO» motivation, because employees with «FROM» motivation would not strive to do more than they have already done.

How can the «FROM» motivation be seen in the speech? First of all it is negative constructions of sentences with the particle «NOT». Often there are words of responsibility, such as: must, need, ought to, have to. A large number of words with negative connotations and problematic formulations. Besides, there are references to negative experiences, skepticism and critical statements in relation to decisions and tasks.

— Adaptation / Disadaptation Factors

People with the metaprogram «TO» have a positive attitude towards long-term planning and prospects. In work they prefer to deal with creative tasks, creative input. They want to make their own decisions and take initiative. They respond to the positive backing up feedback that boosts their self-esteem.

Disadaptational factors for them include routine operational activities, lack of contact with people and creativity in work. In such an environment, they grow indifferent and tarnish. The impossibility of career growth, lack of understanding of the company’s goals and negative feedback keep a person with «TO» motivation from going ahead.

People with «FROM» motivation need clear criteria for evaluation and analysis. They are comfortable with decisions and events that do not question their routine. A clear schedule, specific tasks, a clear hierarchy and areas of responsibility — these are the conditions in which they work most efficiently.

Disadaptation factors for them are chaos, frequent changes of conditions and tasks. People with «FROM» feel bad in situations of uncertainty and they are less effective in situations that need flexibility.

— Professional activity

Based on the characteristics and conditions of adaptation and disadaptation, let us consider where the employee with one or another pole of the metaprogram will be successful.

A person with the metaprogram «TO» is most successful in creative activity, in solving communicative, organizational and commercial tasks. Designer, artist, journalist, actor, sales manager, project manager, top manager, entrepreneur (including network marketing), lawyer. These are the typical examples of professions where the «TO» metaprogram contributes towards success.

If we talk about the metaprogram «FROM», then such people are suitable for professions related to the controlling, supervisory, correcting, eliminating, analyzing tasks. This is where control is necessary, where it is important to avoid negative consequences. For example, in security, audit, analytics. This includes representatives of law enforcement agencies, the military, firefighters, lawyers, analysts, accountants (not chief accountants), economists, controllers, auditors, etc.

Doctors, of course, must have motivation «FROM». Just remember their main motto and oath: «Do no harm!». But if talking, for example, about the head of the department, even of a small one, then it should be mixed motivation.

— Risk appetite and loyalty level

Who is more prone to risk? People with «TO» motivation are motivated by «carrots», so the risk appetite is high. They are not limited and do not frighten the consequences. They have positive goals, their motto is «I see a goal — I see no obstacles.»

The best sales managers not only sell well, but also pay attention to additional «gold mines». Yes, these people are excellent salesmen, they will do and overdo the plan, they perfectly communicate with people. However, imagine that such an employee wants a new car, although the salary does not allow him to buy it. But he wants it, and some clients on the side offer under the table payment. Or somebody offers him to leak the information. Then such an employee may do harm to the company. Besides, these people have a propensity to take risks and make hasty decisions.

Until someone else has not offered more favorable conditions — people with «TO» motivation are quite loyal. But searching for better offers can minimize loyalty to the previous organization. In other words, the level of loyalty depends on the conditions offered by the company and on their values alignment. This is a risk factor for the «TO» motivation.

Since people with the «FROM» motivation strive to avoid and consider any negative consequences, they are less risky. «Why using illegal ways to become rich? I will be put in jail!» These people stand for certainty and stability. It is better not to risk, better to have something permanent than risk it all and lose everything. However, if they take risks, they calculate them and factor the fall-back options. If they feel confident that any company hill hire them with their qualifications, then they are able to steal from the company.

Their loyalty level is higher compared to the pole of the «TO» metaprogram. But if at this very job there are problems that create great difficulties and it is easier to go to another organization, then loyalty level may drop sharply.

Of course, these are approximate trends, but knowing them, it will be easier to orient oneself. In general, people often have mixed motivations, but still there is a tendency to one direction or another.

You can find out the pole of the metaprogram of motivation if you carefully analyze the structure of speech. You will find a list of questions for determining the poles of all the considered metaprograms at the end of this book.

Metaprogram of reference Internal / external

«- Well, actually, I am a self-sufficient and self-confident person, who makes decisions himself!

— Why do you think so?

— My mom used to tell me that» (c)

This metaprogram describes the decision-making process, the evaluation of the subjective correctness of a person’s own actions and thoughts, as well as the general attitude to feedback.

People with internal reference are used to evaluate the correctness of their actions, based on their own understanding of the situation and their own evaluation criteria. «I am right because I know it.» They do not need feedback. It doesn’t matter what others think and whether they agree with this point of view or action. They have their own model of the world, and they act in alignment with it.

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