Is there an “ideal profile” for inspectors?
Is it enough to write and read English, and have previous experience on the job? I don’t think so. Research, and our daily observations, show that every human’s brain is “wired” in a specific way. It means they tend to prefer (and be good at) different types of activities.
For example, a typical graphic designer likes to be “creative” and forget about all the rules that limit our action/imagination. BUT ask him/her to do an inspector job (strictly following QC checklists and being very methodical), and you won’t be pleased by the result. They are just not good at it, and they don’t like it.
Another example: nurses need to be very receptive to the feelings of their patients. It is a very positive trait in the job they perform. BUT it is less than desirable for a quality control inspector, who is supposed to be guided by hard facts rather than the mood of a factory manager.
The whole brain model
Ned Hermann is the HR executive who put it all together in a useful model [side note: to learn more about it, I strongly advise you to read the Whole Brain Business Book].
You can see the 4 main tendencies (he calls them preferences) observed in his studies: quadrants A, B, C and D. An individual often has 1 or 2 strong preferences, some have 3 marked preferences, and very few have none (i.e. 4 at the same time).
The insight that can be taken away is that a good QC inspector has a strong preference in the B quadrant. A-quadrant traits are also welcome, but less important. A quality control inspector must place strong attention on details, be very organized and strictly follow the procedure.
I guess the large inspection companies already look for these characteristics (whatever the model they have in mind) in their recruiting efforts. But this is probably new and valuable to many managers in smaller businesses. In my mind, this is the most decisive information recruiters should look for when evaluating candidates for inspector jobs!