A personality profile is a knowledge management tool used to provide an evaluation of an employee's personal attributes, values and life skills in an effort to maximize his or her job performance and contribution to the company. Questions in a personality profile test, which can be taken traditionally or online, are designed to seek out information about an employee's temperament, decision-making methods, communication style and general attitude towards work and recreation. The information is used to match the right employee to the right project or task, especially when group work or telecommuting is involved. There are two generally accepted categories of personality profile tests, trait and type .
Trait personality profile tests, such as Orpheus, 16 PF, and OPQ, operate on the assumption that personality is made up of a number of characteristics. The goal of the test is to document the employee's characteristics and match the characteristics to appropriate roles within the company.
Type personality profile tests, such as Myers-Briggs, Insights Discovery, and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, propose that people fall into well-defined categories. The goal of the test is to identify the category the employee belongs to, share the information, and build team skills by having team members become aware of the talents associated with each category.
Advocates of personality profiling claim that it's a valuable reality check when viewed in the context of an employee's job performance. Critics claim that the advent of sophisticated knowledge management technology could put too much emphasis on the process involved in gathering and mining employee data, especially in large companies, and recommend that face-to-face communication and evaluation be valued above all else.