news and articles

Recruitment of Training Standards Officers for Suffolk Trading Standards, Spring 2013

Posted by: David Woollard


DWHRC were asked by Suffolk County Council Trading Standards to assist with the design and implementation of an assessment process for the recruitment of two Trading Standards Officers (TSO) in the Spring of 2013. This followed on from similar recruitment, assessment and selection projects that DWHRC had carried out with Suffolk Trading Standards, over the course of the preceding year or so. These included Assistant Chief Trading Standards Officer, Principal Trading Standards Officer and Import Surveillance Officer.

DWHRC were chosen to assist with this project, due to significant experience and expertise in the Trading Standards and wider Regulatory Services professions, due to the previous construction of the “Regulatory Services Test” (RST), an online psychometric test to assess potential to carry our regulatory work. This had been constructed in partnership with the East of England Trading Standards Association (EETTSA) and Blue Edge Consulting, a specialist occupational psychology and psychometric assessment firm.


A “multi-method, multi-rater” process was designed, which featured a panel interview, a bespoke-designed practical/role-play exercise and appropriate psychometric assessment – the RST ( Initially, a comprehensive competency framework was designed to assess the candidates against. This was based on the in-depth Job Profile that had been created for the role, together with the research that underpinned the development of the RST. Behavioural indicators were then developed to describe the required evidence in more detail. Interview questions were then developed around some of them.

The role play exercise was developed around a typical scenario the appointees would face in their work – an interaction with a market trader, following a complaint from a member of the public. This exercise was developed in conjunction with a number of Suffolk TS staff, especially one who was to be the role-player. This person had no previous experience of role-playing but proved to be a real star. The design process included drafting and re-drafting the exercise, trial-running and then subsequent fine-tuning of the exercise, before it was used on the day.


At the end of the day, a “wash-up” discussion was held between all 5 assessors who had been involved in the assessment process. This facilitated each candidate being rated against each competency or “key selection criterion”. Candidates were then rank-ordered and their “appointability” considered. This resulted in a clear stratification of the candidates and the identification of the two preferred candidates, who were then each offered a position.

Other benefits which accrued to Suffolk TS as a product of this process included:

• The development of a robust assessment process that can be used in subsequent recruitment processes, including the competency framework, behavioural indicators, interview questions and the role-play exercise.

• The development of the TSO who was chosen to be the role-player for the practical exercise, who is now looking forward to his next opportunity to demonstrate his acting and assessment skills.

• The enhancement of the Services’ reputation with the short-listed candidates, via the implementation of a comprehensive and fair assessment process.

Feedback from the Appointing Manager

At the conclusion of the process, Graham Crisp, Assistant County Trading Standards Officer for Suffolk said:

“Asking DWHRC to help us with this assessment process helped immensely. It took away a lot of the hard work that line-managers often have to do when recruiting and added greatly to its objectivity. David has unparalled knowledge of Trading Standards and this comes across in his assessment expertise and his judgement”.

Filed Under: HR Projects

Workshop on the Dark-Side of Personality for the Suffolk Chamber 27 Sept 2013

Posted by: David Woollard

On Friday 27th September, David delivered a short workshop on the dark-side of personality for the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.   The picture below shows David with Amanda Ankin, Customer Services Manager at the Suffolk Chamber.

David with Amanda Ankin of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce

In essence, the dark-side of personality is how we behave less-constructively towards other people, thereby making them experience negative emotions such as fear, anger, irritation etc.

The session covered the importance of dark-side issues in people-management processes, such as recruitment,  leadership development, personal development and team-working. 

The session also explained the research of Robert Hogan and his associates in the USA on the development of probably the best-known dark-side psychometric assessment - the Hogan Development Survey (HDS). 

Perhaps the key message from the session was that successful organisations and individuals learn to manage their dark-side tendencies, before they become problematic.  This obviously starts with an appreciation of what the dark-side is, and how to recognise when someone may be exhibiting dark-side behaviours.

Feedback from the attendees was very positive, with everyone rating it as "excellent".  Some additional comments made included:

"Excellent, relevant and well-presented".

"Very thought-provoking".

"Very interesting and thought-provoking...plenty of information for self-reflection".

More specifically, one of the participants observed that:

David's workshop on the "Dark Side of Personality" was well presented, illustrated and most importantly relevant. He cleverly demonstrated the serious detrimental effect that these behaviours, if not properly understood and controlled, can have in the workplace and on the 'bottom line'. A most informative and thought provoking morning. Thank you! 

David Bredin, Director at 4Sight Communications

And another:

This was a really useful introduction to a fascinating area which is integral to both personal and professional management.  David is an effective and enthusiastic trainer.

Tom McGarry, Communications Manager - Sizewell C, EDF Energy - Nuclear New Build

Please click here to view a PDF of the presentation used in the session.

Filed Under: All Categories / DWHR News

Powered by sla associates Website Management Modules