About Compressed Profiles
9 September 2016
Your Guide to an Unusual Pattern
A typical compressed DISC profile: all four factors fall within the central zone of the graph.
The great majority of DISC profiles show a distinctive pattern of high or low factors that we can use to assess and describe a personality style in detail. Very occasionally, though, an unusual DISC pattern appears: a flat, or nearly flat line across the centre of the profile, with no distinct high or low factors.
A flat profile like this is termed 'compressed', and in this article we'll look at exactly what a compressed profile means, what it might imply about a candidate, and how you can manage a profile like this with Discus.
What Does a Compressed Profile Mean?
A compressed profile is technically defined as one whose factors all lie between 35% and 65% on a profile (these important points are marked with dashed lines on most DISC profiles). When this happens, none of the four DISC factors in a profile are sufficiently far from the average to draw many useful conclusions.
Patterns like this tend to be quite unusual, because they take a particular combination of answers on a DISC questionnaire. They imply that a candidate has provided self-contradictory responses, such that they combine to cancel each other out and result in an undefined profile shape.
One obvious possibility in a situation like this is that the candidate didn't clearly understand the questionnaire process. It may even indicate that the candidate intentionally tried to 'sway' the results in a certain direction. In these kinds of situations, we commonly expect to see compressed profiles across the entire series, with Internal, External and Summary profiles all showing a compressed pattern.
Compressed Internal and External Profiles
As often as we see fully compressed sets of profiles, we can also see situations where just one profile is compressed and the others are more conventional. In other words, the candidate might show a compressed Internal profile but a normal DISC shape on their External profile, or vice versa.
Cases like this can also arise from confusion, but can also imply actual features of the personality style. The suggestion is that a candidate is actually encountering some kind of conflict or uncertainty in a particular area of their life. Delving into the details of these effects is beyond a behavioural system like DISC, but we can take some general impressions, depending on the particular profile involved.
- Where the Internal profile is compressed, but the External is more defined, this implies that the candidate is finding it difficult to adapt their personal style to the needs of a role. For example, a person in this situation might find that they need to act in ways that don't match their natural behaviour, and that they are not finding it easy to make this adaptation. Alternatively, a pattern of this kind might potentially reflect some kind of tension at work in the candidate's personal life.
- Where the External profile is compressed, but the Internal is more defined, this implies that the candidate feels some uncertainty about the ways they should behave in a role. This might be because they feel that contradictory demands are being placed on them, or may simply be due to the their having limited information about the requirements of their situation.
Handling Compressed Profiles
Compressed profiles don't carry as much information about a candidate's personality as a normal DISC profile. In situations like this, then, Discus isn't able to produce as fully detailed a report as usual.
For that reason, where a profile series is fully compressed, Discus won't create the usual automatic profile report for you. Instead, it will display the candidate with a 'Compressed' icon next to their name, and when you select that candidate, you'll be given the option to either create a limited DISC report, or just remove the compressed results at no charge.
Your choice will depend on your particular circumstances, but when a fully compressed set of results appears, the best course of action is generally to organise a retest. If this is a practical option, it's worthwhile discussing the questionnaire with the candidate beforehand, and ensuring that they completely understand how to complete it.
Compressed profiles are rare, but when they do arise you'll need to exercise judgement in dealing with them. There's very little useful information to be derived from a fully compressed DISC profile series, but where only one profile is compressed (Internal or External) we can at least derive some suggestions about the possible cause.
Direct link to this article: https://www.axiomsoftware.com/features/default.php?article=about-compressed-profiles
25 August 2016
Introducing Form Field Settings
Setting up and using Discus invitations is now easier all round; easier for you, and easier for your candidates. That's because the new Form Field Settings help you manage the kinds of information requested from a candidate as they start their questionnaire. You can now simplify or expand this information as you need to.
Before Form Field Settings were in place, candidates signing in to start a questionnaire would be asked to provide some details about themselves including contact details and other information such as their date of birth. Though the form provided a comprehensive set of information about a candidate, then, it was rare for every option to be useful in every situation.
Though it's always been possible to modify this long form in simple ways, the new Form Field Settings feature gives you almost complete control. You can now be sure that your candidates are only asked for information that's directly relevant, streamlining the whole DISC invitation process.
To see these new settings, choose Discus' 'Invite a Candidate' option. You'll see that the invitation setup page is now a lot simpler, with a single 'Form Field Settings...' button at the bottom. If you click this button, you'll see that you can now turn almost all of the form elements on or off, including:
- Date of Birth
- Current Position
- Position Applied For
You can still display a full form if you choose to turn all of these options on, or you can simplify the form down to just the key questions that are directly relevant to you. If you turn off all these options, the candidate will just be asked for their title, name and gender before starting the test (those are the absolute minimum requirements to produce a Discus report).
One thing to be aware of is the fact that 'E-mail' works slightly differently to the other options. You can choose not to collect this at all, but if you do as for an e-mail address, it will always be mandatory (in other words the candidate will need to enter a valid e-mail address before starting their test).
We hope you'll agree that Form Field Settings make it quicker and easier to create DISC invitations, as well as a more straightforward experience for candidates completing your profile questionnaire.
Direct link to this article: https://www.axiomsoftware.com/features/default.php?article=easier-invitations
Sending Feedback Reports Automatically
25 February 2016
The Discus Feedback Report is a secondary report created by Discus, designed for you to provide to a candidate as feedback on their results. Feedback Reports cover general relevant topics, running from an overview to a discussion of subjects such as personal development or work style. If you're not familiar with the contents of the Feedback Report, you'll find a link to an example here.
Until now Feedback Reports have worked at your discretion: it was your choice whether to pass on a copy to the candidate or not. You can still use Feedback Reports like that if you prefer, but Discus now includes a new feature that will let you send Feedback Reports automatically.
Now, when you set up a Discus invitation, you'll have the option to provide direct feedback: just turn that option on, and candidates will receive a copy of their Feedback Report as soon as they complete their DISC questionnaire.
Remember that Feedback Reports are only available for certain types of profile. To use this new feature, you'll need to be creating an Enhanced profile, or have the Feedback Access service active on your Discus account.
Direct link to this article: https://www.axiomsoftware.com/features/default.php?article=automatic-feedback-reports
Feature Focus: Feedback Reports
19 January 2016
Example Feedback Report
If you haven't already seen a Discus Feedback report, just click the button below to see an example.
When you're using personality profiling as part of a recruitment process, it's best practice to provide candidates with some feedback about their performance in that area of the process - and it's also quite natural for candidates to seek to learn from the experience. Discus helps you to achieve both these aims by providing Feedback Reports as part of its service.
A Feedback Report includes much of the same general material as a normal Discus report, but expressed in a way that's useful and accessible to the candidate themselves. Inside a Feedback Report you'll find sections that cover topics such as Core Values, Strengths and Limitations and Personal Development, all written from the candidate's own perspective. Feedback Reports are intended to be clearly interpretable without any prior knowledge about personality profiling in general or DISC in particular.
All Enhanced Discus Online profiles automatically provide Feedback Reports as an option: if you open an Enhanced report inside Discus, you'll see a 'Feedback' tab at the top of the page. Just click this tab to see the Feedback Report's contents, along with options to e-mail or print the report. For reports at the Outline or Classic levels, you'll need to upgrade the report to Enhanced status to access these feature (or, alternatively, use the Feedback Access service described below).
Unlimited Feedback Reports
In normal use, Discus will only provide Feedback Reports for Enhanced profiles, but there is an alternative option. If you find Feedback Reports useful, but don't want to upgrade every report to the Enhanced level, you can make use of the 'Feedback Access' subscription service instead. For a small annual fee, Feedback Access will unlock Feedback Reports on all your Classic as well as Enhanced profiles, so there's no need to upgrade individual reports.
To find out more about this service, click your 'Subscriptions' tab within Discus Online.
Because Discus delivers its Feedback Reports in standard PDF format, it's an easy matter to communicate them to candidates. At a basic level, for example, you can simply print the report and give the candidate the printed copy.
In general, it is perhaps more useful and convenient to send the Feedback Report by e-mail, and Discus will take care of this for you. Looking at the Feedback Report on the screen, just click 'E-mail', and Discus will set up and send the Feedback Report directly to the candidate for you.
Direct link to this article: https://www.axiomsoftware.com/features/default.php?article=feature-feedback-reports
E-mailing Job Profiles and Candidate Matches
2 December 2015
We recently added the ability to automatically e-mail copies of Discus' Team and Relationship assessments, and now we've extended that feature even further.
If you're working with Job Profiles within Discus, or examining a Candidate Match report, you'll find the same new 'E-mail...' button ready for use. Just as with the other similar features within Discus, that button lets you send a copy of your current report to any e-mail recipient you choose. You also have the option of copying the report to another address, and you can edit the standard covering message as necessary.
Direct link to this article: https://www.axiomsoftware.com/features/default.php?article=email-jobs-and-candidate-matches
E-mailing Relationship and Team Reports
23 November 2015
Discus has long given you the ability to send DISC profile reports directly by e-mail with just a single click. We've now expanded that 'E-mail' feature to include reports for Relationships and Teams.
In the Relationship and Team Assessment features of Discus, you'll find a new 'E-mail...' button. Just click that button, enter an e-mail address, and Discus will automatically send a copy of the current report to the address you specify. Just as for individual DISC reports, you'll also be given the choice to add another e-mail address to receive a copy, and you can also make changes to the covering e-mail message if necessary.
Direct link to this article: https://www.axiomsoftware.com/features/default.php?article=email-relationships-and-teams
New Report Features Throughout Discus
6 October 2015
Expanded Job Match Reports
When you next select 'Print' to create a detailed Job Match report in PDF format, you'll see that we've made some far-reaching changes. Most obviously, you'll see that the overall style has changed to match the layout of the full Discus report, so the content is more colourful and accessible.
As you look through the report, you'll find an entirely new section covering Job Requirements in detail. Here you'll find a graphical presentation covering the features of a candidate's profile that are close matches to the job, as well as a look at any significant adaptation needs.
Each of these points is accompanied by an in-depth discussion. These new features appear in a detailed match report whether you create it as part of a Job Match within a full report, or as part of a Candidate Match. You'll find these new reporting features available whether you're viewing a report on the screen, or within a PDF version.
Even More Report Upgrades
The report updates don't end with Job Matching. We've taken the new layout of the main Discus report and applied it throughout the system, so all your PDF reports will now have the same clear and attractive look. You'll find that your relationship assessments, team reports and candidate feedback reports all now share the same consistent style throughout Discus.
If you have any questions about the new content, please feel free to contact us.
Direct link to this article: https://www.axiomsoftware.com/features/default.php?article=new-report-features
Starting a Questionnaire: New Features
13 July 2015
When you next start a Discus questionnaire, you'll notice that the layout has changed slightly - where there were three ways to begin testing, there are now four. Of course, all the same options are still there: you can still invite candidates, set up a question set to run on the screen, or print a questionnaire. The new fourth option also relates to printed questionnaires: it gives you a much easier method of entering manual results.
Until now, you'd enter answers from a printed questionnaire by simply running an on-screen test and filling in the responses on the screen. In fact, you can still use that method if you prefer, but the new 'Enter questionnaire answers' feature gives you a separate option designed specifically with printed questionnaires in mind.
When you choose 'Enter questionnaire answers', all you need to do is choose the type of printed questionnaire and its language. Then just type the details of your candidate, and Discus will show you a display like this one:
All the questions are laid out on a single page, so its easy to check them against an original printed questionnaire, and to make any changes before creating the profile. What's more, the questionnaire is set up so you can use keyboard shortcuts. With practice using the keyboard options, it's possible to enter complete questionnaires in almost no time at all.
Once you've entered your candidate's answers, just hit 'Questionnaire Completed' and Discus will put together the report for you right away.
Direct link to this article: https://www.axiomsoftware.com/features/default.php?article=starting-a-questionnaire-new-features
New Print and E-mail Options for Discus Reports
7 July 2015
It's often the case that you'll want to control exactly what appears in a Discus report, to help tailor it to a specific set of requirements. Discus has always given you a way to do this through the Settings tab, but we've taken feedback from users on board to help make this process even more intuitive and immediate.
Now, when you choose the Print or E-mail options on a report, you'll see a box of options like this appear on the screen:
These PDF Report Options give you instant access to turn entire sections of report on or off - only those section that are checked here will be included in the report. Of course, you don't need to change these settings every time. Discus will always remember your last set of preferences, so if you don't want to make any changes, you can just click 'OK' to create or send your PDF report.
For the Trait Analysis and Textual Report, you also have access to even more fine control. Click the 'plus' icons next to those headings, and you can define your report in even more detail, choosing exactly which sets of traits, or sections of textual analysis, will be included in the report's contents.
You can also use predefined Discus report contents. From the Report Content list, you can choose any of the standard reports, and the options will be automatically set to reflect that report. (Naturally, the profile in question will need to support the report level you choose here - to generate an Enhanced report, for example, the profile must already be at the Enhanced level).
If you'll be printing reports, especially in large numbers, it can be useful to reduce the number of pages to print. To help with this we've included a 'Reduce page count' option. If you turn this option on, Discus will remove all unnecessary formatting from the report to keep the page count to a minimum.
With these new options in place, you can now quickly set up PDF reports as you create them, just with a few clicks of the mouse. Remember, you don't need to review these settings each time: you only need to make changes if you need specific content in your reports.
Direct link to this article: https://www.axiomsoftware.com/features/default.php?article=new-print-and-email-options
Now Available: The Exciting New Discus Report
16 June 2015
The Discus report is now even better, with a host of new and improved features to give you even more effective insights into your candidates and their behaviour at no extra cost.
As well as a completely new look and layout, the new Discus report contains a range of extensions and improvements, including several entirely new sections. For example, the DISC Profile Series now includes full textual analysis for every factor, and there are extra Style Cards covering everything from general Work Style to Communication and Learning. There are also three entirely new sections available:
- An introduction to the report and the DISC theory behind it, useful when providing report copies to those unfamiliar with DISC.
- Relationship Keynotes discussing how the candidate will interact with people of different DISC styles.
- An appendix discussing each of the most common DISC profile shapes.
All the features in the current report will still be available from the new report, too. You don't need to do anything to upgrade to the new report content; these new features will appear on your Discus account automatically as soon as the report is released.
You can find a complete breakdown of everything in the new report, as well as a complete sample, on the Axiom Website in our article Inside a Discus Report. If you have any questions about the new content, please feel free to contact us.
Direct link to this article: https://www.axiomsoftware.com/features/default.php?article=exciting-new-discus-report