16PF – 16 Personality Factor

What is the 16PF instrument?

What is the 16PF instrument?
The 16PF questionnaire measures 16 aspects of personality. It explores the deep roots of behaviour and embraces the whole personality. It contains 185 multiple-choice questions.
“Nothing predicts future behaviour like past behaviour”
The 16PF instrument provides a highly accurate prediction of future behaviour. Its profound insight provides support for smart decisions in selecting, developing and promoting people. It is used for many applications, including:

  • Selection and recruitment
  • Individual development
  • Executive coaching
  • Team development
  • Career development and guidance

What is the 16PF instrument used for?

1. Selection and recruitment

Frequently Asked Questions

Why use 16PF in selection processes?

 The 16PF questionnaire can be used to predict an applicant’s likely potential across a range of competencies or capabilities.
Many practitioners use the 16PF instrument as a way to gain a wider knowledge of a candidate and to inform the selection interview.

What does 16PF assess? 

The 16PF assesses 16 personality factors that fall in to 5 broad categories (global factors):

  1. Relating to others
  2. Influence and collaboration
  3. Thinking style
  4. Structure and flexibility
  5. Management of pressure

The 16 factors are warmth, reasoning, emotional stability, dominance, liveliness, rule consciousness, social boldness, sensitivity, vigilance, abstractedness, privateness, apprehension, openness to change, self reliance, perfectionism and tension. Each factor will influence one or more of the 5 global factors/categories (apart from reasoning which is considered separately). 

What is involved in using 16PF in selection?

Stage 1: The process will commence with SNCL working with the client/recruiting organisation to undertake a job analysis.
The outputs of this analysis will include a clear list of:

  • Competencies (attributes, behaviours, personality characteristics)
  • Capabilities
  • Other human attributes needed by a successful candidate.

Stage 2: Shortlisted candidates will be invited to complete the 16PF on-line. They will receive email instructions including their individual access codes, together with some basic information about the tool and why they are being asked to complete the questionnaire.
Stage 3: On submission of the completed questionnaire, SNCL will obtain the questionnaire results from OPP (European Distributor).
Stage 4: SNCL will provide 1:1 face-to-face feedback to each of the candidates and will explore with them the application of the results to the role for which they are being assessed. Candidates will receive a copy of the OPP ‘Candidate Feedback’ report .
Stage 5: SNCL will produce a suitability report on each candidate for the assessment/recruitment panel, together with a list of suggested follow up questions that the panel may wish to ask/explore further at interview.

What does the 16PF Questionnaire involve?

The 16PF questionnaire contains 185 multiple choice questions.
Candidates are asked to be as honest as they can and to avoid the middle (don’t know) responses wherever possible.
There are a number of questions within the questionnaire that provide checks and balances that help the practitioner determine if the candidate has answered the questions honestly.
There are 15 questions that are on general reasoning.
There is no time limit but people generally take approximately 35 minutes to complete it.

Who will see the results of the 16PF questionnaire?

The results of the questionnaire will be confidential and will only be shared with the candidate and the assessment panel. They will only be for use in the specific selection
process (and, if applicable, as a resource for any voluntary confidential coaching between the 16PF Qualified Practitioner and the successful candidate). SNCL will retain the results and resultant reports for a maximum of 18 months after which they will be destroyed.

What are the limitations of the 16PF

The 16PF is a highly effective tool for selecting the best candidate for a role. It should not, however, be used in isolation. The most successful recruitment and selection processes are those that combine a range of assessment methods such as:

  • Ability Tests (e.g. Saville Consulting Aptitude Tests and the ABLE Series)
  • Structured interviews
  • Job knowledge tests
  • Personality questionnaires (e.g. 16PF)
  • Assessment Centres

2. Personal development

The 16PF instrument provides a powerful and robust structure to help the individual understand themselves, as the first stage in a development process.
It can be useful in goal-setting, by helping to identify which areas the individual could build on and develop most fruitfully.
It can be particularly useful where individuals are already familiar with one model of personality and are seeking new and different insights. For example, many practitioners use the MBTI and 16PF instruments together.

3. Executive Coaching

In coaching, self-awareness is critical in enabling behavioural change. The 16PF framework can be an extremely useful starting point in raising self-awareness in a number of areas, and can act as a springboard for behavioural change through coaching.

4. Team development

Group or team profiles can be developed and used to identify commonalities and diversities amongst the team, leading to a discussion of team strengths, development needs, ‘tunnel vision’ issues etc.
Sources of misunderstanding, conflict or isolation can be identified and addressed.

5. Career development and guidance

In career change, the 16PF instrument can open up new avenues for investigation that the client may not have previously considered.

What next?

If you are interested in using the 16PF instrument for personal or team development or as part of your selection process, it is recommended that you contact Sophie to discuss your requirements. Please email Sophie on sophie@snclcoaching.com or telephone 07967 007 617 (mobile) or 01285 652910 (office).

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