The MacIntyre Profile

The MacIntyre Profile is the basis of MacIntyre’s values based recruitment process which seeks to recruit staff who are predisposed to work in a facilitative way and have a growth mindset: people with a willingness and ability to learn, adapt and reflect. This approach to recruitment has seen MacIntyre go through a process of total organisational change which has led to better staff retention, less sickness and absence, and fewer performance management issues.

This approach to recruitment was recognised in the publication of the Cavendish Review with the report recommending that “These kinds of recruitment approaches are something that all employers should be considering” and noting that recruiting to the MacIntyre Profile has “increased staff retention and user satisfaction by ensuring that new staff understand the reality of caring roles before they start work, and by testing their aptitude for caring.”

The MacIntyre profile grew out of our recognition that despite our best efforts to be an excellent service provider and doing all the right things; fully adopting person centre approaches, investing in staff training, innovating in service provision etc, there was still something missing. We found the solution in thinking about how to influence the quality of interactions and we did this by learning from the staff who instinctively “get it”.

MacIntyre began looking into “behavioural profiling” as it was thought that perhaps there was something different about the personalities of those who performed well, or those who just “got it”. We found a partner to work with and set about using a personality questionnaire to survey a group of support staff who were deemed to be “some of our best” and the results were surprising.

We had expected to see our best staff recognised as being benevolent, considerate and sympathetic, but what we didn’t expect was that the group we profiled would be so introverted. In fact the results of the profile reported that our group was so introverted that there was a significant difference from them and a control group – people chosen randomly from the population.

To confirm our findings we conducted a larger survey of recommended support workers across MacIntyre and found that exactly the same personality traits were identified. The research conducted and the subsequent results gave us robust evidence that a good support worker has an identifiable personality profile different to that of the general population.

We felt that we couldn’t ignore our findings, especially as we had strong evidence that some of the best support workers were particularly introverted and we knew that standard interviews are usually biased towards people who are more extroverted. The evidence we found was then used to develop the MacIntyre Profile; a personality profile of a good support worker.
The MacIntyre Profile gave us the opportunity to create a benchmark, but we needed an effective recruitment process that allowed us to identify both the ‘naturals’, and those others with the zest for learning and therefore the potential to become good support workers.

We devised a series of behaviour-based questions commonly referred to as a competency framework that could be used to support the recruitment process for new support workers. These questions are linked to the job role and are designed to elicit responses from interview candidates which give an indication of how they might interact with others. We believe that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour so candidates answers must be based on prior experiences drawn from any area of life. This opportunity to draw from any previous experience is really important when recruiting people who have no past experience in the sector to draw on.

After the tools were in place we piloted this new approach to recruitment across four areas in MacIntyre. We trained our Frontline Managers to ensure they had the knowledge and skills needed to interpret the personality profile results and to conduct the competency based interviews.

The pilot was successful and the approach was then rolled out across the whole organisation. Some years down the line we have seen increasing evidence that staff recruited in this way:

  • Have an increased retention rate during probation
  • Have an increased openness to learning
  • Are more likely to be promoted than those not recruited in this way
  • Are less likely to be subject to performance management issues

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