Personality Assessment for Franchisees - An Expert Panel Discussion

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Ulf Muller (Interim Management & Consulting in FM | Create Self-Employment Opportunities)

Which are the most effective personality assessment tools for Franchisees?

Any suggestions?

Joe Caruso

Joe Caruso You may want to start with this article - "Uncovering The Secret History Of Myers-Briggs"

The author Merve Emre has some interesting and shocking things to say about relying Myers-Briggs.

  • Joe Caruso Joe CarusoNot sure that DISC is any more reliable than Myers-Briggs.

    "Personality Scores and Job Performance

    Are scores on personality tests highly predictive of performance? There is a long history of research showing: maybe. That is, if the employee has all the other performance elements necessary to do the job, and the personality test is job-related, personality can make a difference. Self-descriptive test scores represent how the applicant wants to present themselves -- it may not be reality. So, even if an applicant tells an interviewer he/she is organized, it's no guarantee he or she will be good with details. It is just bad science to claim the DISC (or any other personality test) will accurately predict managerial performance, capability for organization, character, or personal responsibility."

  • Monique HernandezWhen it comes to discovering individual and organizational personalities, I highly recommend the Myers Briggs personality assessment. Given the persons being assessed understands that the questionnaire is not going to be spot on but everyone has a preference. That preference is key to receive accurate results. I've turned to this assessment when I've noticed a team is having difficulty understanding one another, or the team is not understanding myself. The time spent doing this and openness brings everyone together. I suggest Myers Briggs ! True believer

  • DISC is also a great tool for management development. Be careful using it as a predictor of performance. Again it will tell you how someone will approach their job, not the outcomes they will get.
    There are several profiling tools that have been developed from solid research into franchisee performance. We have one at the Franchise Relationships Institute that is part of a total recruitment system called The Nathan Profiler, and Fred Berni has one that I think is called The FranchiZe Profile.
    Don't rely on a personality profiles alone. Structured interviews, on the job trials and past performance are also useful to consider when trying to predict future performance.
    By the way I am a registered psychologist with 35 years up my sleeve working with a range of these types of tools, so I speak from experience, not hearsay.

  • It makes sense to filter using a tool which assesses expected performance, like your tool & Fred's assessment, but we have found sales departments very reluctant to employ them as part of their screening process.

    So, I wonder if these predictive assessment tools aren't more usefully deployed right now as part of the onboarding process, by the operational folks.

    Mary Clapp Mary Clapp In my experience the personality assessments can be useful if they go both ways. The tools are supposed to help people understand how to communicate better with each other. For a franchisor to understand if a franchisee is likely to be a good fit for the system's style of communicating and making decisions, the franchisor has to understand the personalities of the decision makers and key ops folks in the franchise system, as well as those of the franchisee. Sometimes a change in the zor management is necessary. If the franchisor isn't considering that as a possibility, it probably won't matter what the zee assessments say.
  • Greg NathanGreg Nathan Michael - your observations are correct. The priority for most franchise sales folks is to hit their recruitment numbers. Better quality operators factor in franchisee suitability as an equally high priority. Having operations folks also involved in the recruitment process acts like a conscience and balances the short term and longer term perspectives. (The ops folks have to live with the franchisee long after the recruitment folks have handed them over, so to speak). And I agree, using profiling tools for onboarding, coaching and improving communications is very useful.
  • Mariel Miller "The Franchise Advisor"Mariel Miller "The Franchise Advisor"I've been in organizational devel for franchisors since 2000, have seen many products in this space...I'd be happy to discuss my experience & share with you an objective workshop I've delivered to USA franchisor groups about this topic - [email protected] 732 4811-5188
  • Ron Bender, CFE

    Ron Bender, CFEI have used (and taken!) many, including MBI, DISC, Wunderlic, ProvenMatch and Spot-On, and I think your development staff can be trained to get great use out of all of them. I love the newer, more 'workstyle and communication-related' programs like ProvenMatch since they become very useful for better training and coaching after they become franchisees.

  • Michael (Mike) Webster

    Michael (Mike) WebsterMariel, have you got a link to your seminar? Thanks. You could post in your comment.

  • Mariel Miller "The Franchise Advisor"
  • Michael (Mike) Webster
  • Greg NathanMariel - I just looked through this. It looks fascinating but is a bit hard to follow. Can you explain the context?

  • Thom CrimansCheck out Proven Match. DISC, Myers Briggs and such are fine, but they are off the self products used for a wide variety of purposes. Proven Match is specifically designed to determine a prospects fit to your business model. Here is the link from the IFA website: Or contact [email protected]

  • Craig SlavinThe oldest and most reliable franchise profile is the Franchise Navigator. Launched in 1997, after 7 years of research, Franchise Navigator has had incredible success with its clients.

  • Fred BerniGreg - Thanks for the mention.

  • Craig SlavinLet me know if anyone would like to "test-drive" the Navigator. It was built from the ground up for franchise application. It is also not a "generic "psychometric" assessment but actually becomes customized to each brand that uses it.

  • Mariel Miller "The Franchise Advisor"Certainly, I was asked to present an objective picture of assessments in the franchise space and discussed several valid and reliable instruments and how they would fit inside the recruitment process - The focus was how to work with an instrument and how to have a better process including "fit" even without an instrument. The key issue is how valid the assessment is and can it, in fact, predict future behavior. There are a good number of valid tests out there, but a franchisor should ask a lot of questions about how long the instrument has been used, how long specifically in the franchise sector, and ask for white papers, studies, etc. to insure the tool is appropriate for selection. Contrary to some commentary, personality has been proven to predict "job performance" in many studies. So has an individuals Value System. Tons of research is out there supporting this. Hope that helps put my work in a bit of context.

  • Daniel Alberto Bernard

    Daniel Alberto BernardHere in Brazil we use our own Teste Aldeia Gaulesa. It was based upon studies developed by professor Yves Enrègle, Ph.D. on Psychology and Sociology from Harvard and my professor at Groupe ESSEC in France in the early 90´s. We selected more than 10,000 franchisees by using this very accurate assesment test. It represents an evolution from PEAI and considers laboral relations later from the digital revolution from the mid 80´s. Just check the portuguese version at|conteudo&id_conteudo=2

  • Dave Sullivan

    Dave SullivanI currently use SpotOn by Zoracle. It has proven to match my candidates with concepts that line up with their competencies and compatibility. When I match a franchisee who shares a company's Values, Stages of Growth, Culture and Work Style they perform better and ramp-up quicker.

  • Jan-Marie Hall

    Jan-Marie HallHello Everyone - Proven Match is a scientific based assessment since 1987, designed specifically for Franchising to help you know the characteristics of your to top performing franchisees which helps you measure your candidates to their attributes.
    Proven Match also help you with talking styles to get the best out of all your franchisees plus where to market to attract those top players.
    I would be happy to give a demo or connect you with a franchisor using Proven Match

  • Craig SlavinSince 1987? I would check on your statistics. Proven Match was launched 5 or 6 years ago at best according to the creator.

  • Craig SlavinSpot-On is less than 2 years old.

  • Simon LordMost franchisors I have talked to who started off using general profiling tools stopped using them after a while as they didn't accurately reflect the peculiarities of the franchisor/franchisee relationship. I'd recommend looking at the Nathan Profiler

  • Craig SlavinHere's my take on using assessments/surveys in the franchising space. First, using one is a better idea than not using one. Anytime you can "model" something and be able to replicate it you are likely to be in a better position. Secondly, based on my experience, research, creation, usage and administration of a Behavioral Recognition Assessment called, the Navigator, I personally feel the value of an assessment/survey comes in the ability to use, adapt, and leverage the results. Most of the data, and results, of assessments/surveys becomes either under-utilized or misunderstood. The focus should not be solely about the assessment/survey but should address how to implement the recommendations in real life situations, with franchise operators, employees and others that participate in the franchising efforts.

  • Michael (Mike) WebsterThanks to everyone who contributed to this thread.

    .1.We made a feature & highlighted it at:

    .2. It was also in the Franchise-Info newsletter.

    Thanks for all your insights.

  • Greg NathanWow that 's been a wild ride. Enjoyed looking back over that thanks!

  • Fred BerniI apologize in advance if this appears as a duplicate post. I've been told that my original post didn't appear in this thread which is strange as I can see it.

    Ulf - Let's start with the basics.

    First, decide whether you want a tool designed to give you information on "cultural fit" or are you more concerned with performance? The two are not the same. If you're looking to see if a person is a good cultural fit, then likely any "personality" profile will do the trick.

    If, however, you're looking to find out if your candidate will perform, then one of the best ways of identifying how a person will do in a specific job is to measure their skill-sets and their job-specific judgment. Since every job has a unique set of situational judgment needs and skill-sets, no single questionnaire can accurately be used for multiple jobs.

    Continued in next post....

  • Fred BerniThe reason the FBI uses job-specific judgment questions in their agent hiring process is because it's so accurate in predicting performance. That's also why we include situational judgment in our FranchiZe Profile.

    Second, make sure the system under consideration was actually designed for selection. Several of the most common personality profiles specifically state on their websites (Meyers Briggs) or in their validation documents (DiSC) that they were not designed for selection. The Meyers Briggs site even goes so far as to say it's unethical to use it for selection. Even so, people are using these profiles for selection purposes.

    The article Joe mentioned in an earlier post does a good job of explaining these first two issues.

  • Fred BerniThird, if the "test" you're considering doesn't include job-specific questions you run the risk of running afoul of the EEOC and the ADA. The Supreme Court ruled in Griggs v. Duke Power Co. 401 U.S. 424 (1971): "What Congress has forbidden is giving these devices and mechanisms controlling force unless they are demonstrably a reasonable measure of job performance."

    Fourth, make sure the profile you're considering has been validated by an independent third-party with no monetary interest in the results. By validated, I mean proven to demonstrate that it does accurately predict performance, not just that it's internally reliable. Doing so goes a long way to cutting down on your risks with the EEOC.


    Michael (Mike) Webster
  • Michael (Mike) WebsterThanks for adding in these ideas, Fred.

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Some great points being made.

Ulf here is my bulleted review regarding franchisee profiling tools. Should it pique your interest you may wish to scroll down and read further.
• Franchisees are not employees.
• Personality does not predict performance.
• You are not pixie dust. You did not fall from the sky predestined to be a Reality TV star, and your prospect was not ‘born’ to be a franchisee. Any tool that argues nature without nurture is playing you for a fool.
• If it fits into four buckets it is not science. People Are Unique. Businesses are Unique. (DiSC, MBTI and their stepsisters)
• It is neither valid nor reliable if constant. People Change. Businesses Change. Measure Both and Often.
• Remember the blind men and the elephant. Use a meta-analysis approach to determine franchisee compatibility and predict performance.
• Older does not mean better. In fact, in my case age is causing some sagging.
Longevity is no excuse for incompetence. In both science and technology, age is an anvil.
• Most importantly, screen for compatibility first. Make sure your prospect shares your company’s values, culture, stage of growth, etc.), everything else is secondary and/or can be trained.

I agree with Greg Nathan, personality tests cannot predict performance. There is a .03-.15 correlation between personality and job/employee success (Morgensen. Although personality tests are useful in the employer-employee relationship; as Michael Biggins pointed out franchisees are not employees. Beyond normal compliance boundaries, a franchisor has limited say as to how a franchisee runs his/her business.

And we all know the cost of a misfit or poor performing franchisee. Thus, a more holistic approach is warranted when selecting franchisees (as suggested by Fred Berni, Greg Nathan and others).

When forging franchisee-franchisor agreements it is vital to look beyond personality tests. The MBTI, DiSC and their stepsisters have several things in common two of the most limiting/dangerous in my opinion is the idea that we are somehow ‘predestined’ to be a certain ‘type’ and that this ‘type’ will remain constant throughout our lifetime. Both are ridiculous; when we look at it logically.

Yet Jung rejected the theory of human psychological development, believing instead in individual predestination and innate universal psychic dispositions. Jung, a protégé of Sigmund Freud wrote his doctoral dissertation on the occult after 2 years of attending séances of a 15-year-old medium. Why is this important? Because MBTI is based on Jung’s work and beliefs.

The article Joe Caruso shared addresses other fundamental issues with the MBTI.

Who amongst us is the same today as we were 20 years ago (assuming you are at least 21 years old)? We have all been influenced by environment, family, experience, education and etc.

Further, the idea that a profiling tool is good based on it ‘getting the same result each time a person takes it’ is also a challenge. If our franchisee’s values, behavior, thinking process, soft and hard skills, attitudes, aptitude and potential, haven’t evolved that would be scary ... never mind false.

Thus, I would argue a franchisee profiling tool to be impotent which measures only those things that remain constant and have zero correlation to performance. Especially, considering the world, your franchise system, the economy, your competition and their franchisees are evolving changing.

Much like technology the science and study of human behavior, performance and the gray matter between our ears continues to evolve and expand. Researchers and scientists are focusing on sports and performance psychology, emotional and social intelligence, etc. Same holds true of business evolution where market modeling is a standard.

The study of neuroeconomics for example, has hit the stock market, investors and companies are using it to select their CEO’s. Don’t look now but it determines not just what franchise someone buys, but what they will be willing to pay or do to have it.

Soon real science(s) will replace 1940’s personality theories – till then, I’m in Greg Nathan’s camp we must use a meta-analysis approach of both franchisor and franchisee.

In case you are wondering - I’ve been researching and designing psychographic assessment tools for years. The first used in franchising I created for FranNet brokers in 1993. The second in 1997 to research compatibility markers of franchisees for Craig Slavin’s franchisor clients.

In 2006 I created the My-Noodle tool, licensed exclusively to FranNet. In 2009 I created and licensed the Proven Match tool for franchisors to screen prospective franchisees. Proven Match was purchased by FranNet in 2013.

That same year I launched Zoracle Profiles and the SpotOn! Profile – which uses a franchise specific meta-analysis approach. Jan Marie Hall, you are new with FranNet and likely still learning the facts.

As the scientist and creator of Proven Match I can tell you PM is not 28 years old.

Neither the science nor the technology existed back then.

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This page contains a single entry by Ulf Muller published on November 25, 2015 2:47 PM.

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