A German blue chip automotive manufacturer worked with us to put a 16pf® competency framework in place for recruitment across its widespread dealership network.

As a leading-edge and innovative business, this automotive manufacturer decided to refresh its recruitment processes. It wanted to maintain the already-high quality of staff while at the same time enhance the organization’s brand in its dealerships. Managing a dealership is a diverse and demanding role, and is where the brand stands or falls in the eye of the consumer, so getting the very best people into key roles in the business was an important priority.

Having worked with the 16pf instrument in the past, the company was convinced of its credibility, validity and accuracy, as well as being impressed by the ability to adapt the reporting of 16pf results to the organization’s needs. The ability to customize the outputs of the 16pf was a particular selling point. With different reports available for different participants in the selection process, and the possibility of tailoring a competency framework to the individual specifications of different roles, the reports were seen as targeted, concise and accessible for all the people that would need to use them.


Once the 16pf questionnaire had been selected as the instrument of choice, work was done alongside the organization’s stakeholders to come up with a competency framework that could be used as a means of matching candidates to specific roles that were being recruited into.The company chose a ‘light touch’ customization by cross-walking their own competency framework to the 16pf pre-purposed competency library – a kind of ‘pick and mix’ approach.

After identifying the ten core competencies that were deemed the most relevant, nine different variations of the 16pf Competency Report were developed in close consultation with the client. These reports were designed to fit the various job roles within a dealership franchise. A consultant worked with stakeholders to rate the chosen competencies into a hierarchy of importance for each role, using the 16pf Competency Rating Toolkit. This gave the client bespoke outputs specific to each job that measured candidates precisely for their fit, in order to fairly assess their potential for success. Finally, the 16pf questionnaire and the bespoke competency framework were integrated into the company’s overall selection program, with recruiters receiving training and ongoing support via a variety of innovative e-learning modules and supporting materials.


The initial internal communications drive for the new process included a ‘toolkit’ that was sent out to all dealerships.

With the new system, busy managers now have everything they need at their fingertips, making the whole process straightforward and convenient to use. The initial communication will be followed up with a long-term program of support that aims to ensure as smooth and complete a transition as possible.

At dealership level, the 16pf questionnaire is administered prior to interview, and The 16pf Competency Report which includes interview prompts based on the results of the questionnaire is used by recruiters. In order to make their experience of the process as positive as possible and to build employer brand, job applicants receive a Candidate Report, which provides a high-level summary of their questionnaire results in an accessible format. Candidates who are successful at this stage are then invited to an assessment day, which includes 16pf-based activities alongside other relevant business simulations designed by the company.

As the competency-based recruitment process becomes embedded at local level, the results will be carefully monitored and feedback solicited on its effectiveness. The initial reactions from dealerships have been positive, and they are very receptive to the benefits in time saving, objectivity and precision that a psychometric instrument can bring. Over time, the company is confident that the improved process will mean the best people are attracted to, and retained within, the business.