By Victoria Downing. Every day, remodeling company owners struggle to find ways to improve the bottom line and build a sustainable company. Finding excellent employees is a significant part of this struggle. According to recent research, the cost of hiring the wrong person could be as high as 10 times their salary.

To avoid those mistakes, many business owners are now using psychological or personality profiles -- instruments that identify how a prospective employee behaves and whether that matches the behavior needed in a particular position or job. For example, a production manager should be highly organized, a wonderful multi-tasker, and have the confidence to confront employees, subs, or out-of-line clients in a diplomatic manner. An estimator should be comfortable sitting in front of a computer for long stretches of time and working with things instead of people. An office manager should be detail oriented and follow through on tasks. Psychological profiles can help you find the best fit.

Each position in the company calls for a person with a certain behavioral style. What would happen if you hired a production manager who had to complete one task before moving on to the next? Or a salesperson who so wanted to be liked by his customers that he ignored all else -- including profits? Or a bookkeeper who didn't enjoy working with the details? Disaster!

Personality profiles can provide important information on characteristics like a person's pace, independence, people skills, level of adherence to rules and procedures, and more.

While a "misfit" might be able to do the job in the short term, the effort of trying to adapt their behavior to an incompatible position will cause significant stress, ultimately causing them to quit the job to avoid the pain that it is causing. The moral: Hiring those who fit the position best will extend employee satisfaction, increase productivity, and decrease turnover. In addition to hiring, personality profiles can be a huge assistance in the managing of an existing team. Don't know why you're always arguing with one lead carpenter? Perhaps it's because you're not communicating with him in the most effective way. Miscommunications between two managers? Maybe one works best with written information and the other with verbal. Most profiles provide detailed information on how to and how not to communicate with different behavior styles, which can make the entire team work better together.

There are several different types of instrument: DISC, Meyers-Briggs, Predictive Index, and others, with prices ranging from $100 to $5,000 depending upon the report. While each instrument uses slightly different systems, they all deliver reports chock-full of information on the how's and why's of human behavior. --Victoria Downing is president of Remodelers Advantage, Fulton, Md. (301) 490-5620,