Myers Barnes' Editorial Archives
An age-old parable demonstrates the benefit of profiling potential team members during the selection process. It goes like this:
There once lived a scorpion and a frog, who by nature were enemies. One day the scorpion had to cross a pond, but being a scorpion he couldn't swim. So he approached the frog and asked, "Please, Mr. Frog, won't you consider carrying me across the pond on your back?"
"You can't be serious," the frog replied. "Why would I consider placing myself in danger, knowing you will sting me as I swim across?"
The scorpion replied, "But why would I sting you? It's not in my best interest to sting you because if I sting you, then I will drown."
Although the frog knew the nature of the scorpion and how lethal he was, the logic of the argument made perfect sense. Wanting to believe the best, the frog thought in this one instance the scorpion would keep his tail in check. So the frog reluctantly agreed. The scorpion climbed aboard the frog's back, and they set off across the pond. Just as the frog reached the embankment on the other side, the scorpion set his tail and stung the frog. Mortally wounded, the frog cried out his last words: "How could you sting me? You promised!"
"I know," the scorpion replied as he walked away. "But after all, I am a scorpion. I have to sting you. It's my nature."
If you doubt the validity of administering a personality profile on all prospective employees, remember what the frog forgot: Past behavior normally predicts future conduct.
Because individuals are so complex (yourself included), even the best hiring skills will give you only a certain insight and success rate. Each person is motivated differently and, because we are individuals, we have our own way of thinking and relating to others. Sometimes we adjust to others readily; other times we antagonize them.
Simple as it might seem, this is difficult for many to accept. But the reality is, whether you profile job candidates or not, you will eventually learn their true nature. So it's better to find out as much as you can beforehand. Otherwise, you might discover that experience is defined as "knowing what you shouldn't have done if you had it to do all over again."
Myers Barnes writes articles for many of the nation's top sales-related magazines and trade publications. Myers is also the best-selling author of Reach The Top In New Home & Neighborhood Sales  and Closing Strong: the Super Sales Handbook.  He is a nationally known motivational speaker and a consultant on new home and resort property sales. You may visit Myers' web site, www.myersbarnes.com  or reach him at his e-mail address email@example.com .