What Is DiSC Profiling, And Why Should You Use It In Recruitment?

Feb 28, 2023

If you’ve been through a coaching and personal development programme, in the business world for a long time or even just bored on the internet one day, you’ve probably heard of a DiSC profile. If you haven’t, DiSC profiling is a type of personality assessment that can be used to understand your behavioural traits. It’s a simple assessment that can reveal a lot of things about your motivations, behaviours and preferences – some you might not even have realised yourself! This tool is used in a lot of different areas for different reasons, but one of the more popular uses is in the recruitment process. More specifically, helping a recruitment agency source the right candidates for roles, and helping employers understand the kinds of people they are hiring. But what exactly is DiSC profiling, and why is it so useful?

What Is DiSC Profiling?

Before we can look at DiSC profiling’s role in the recruitment process, we need to know what it is first! So let’s start with the basics. The DiSC analysis was developed by Dr Willian Marston in 1982 as a way of understanding human behaviour. Fun fact – he also invented the very first version of the polygraph test in the 1920s! As it developed, the DiSC analysis was used by psychologists to identify behavioural characteristics in their patients. Under his theory, behaviour can be split into 4 traits, which govern how a person would express their emotions and react to situations. The 4 traits are Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance.

Fast forward, and today the DISC analysis is still used to understand how we behave as people. Typically, DISC profiles are administered as a speed quiz, encouraging participants to answer the questions as quickly as they can and then move on. By putting this time pressure on, the participants have less time to think through their answers and give what they perceive to be the ‘correct’ answer – they just respond with their gut. This means the responses are genuine reflections of their behaviours and attitudes – which is exactly what we want.

Why Use DiSC Profiling?

DISC analysis is a particularly useful tool for business owners and their teams because it helps them to understand how their different personality types will interact. That means better decisions, better communication and better teamwork. The DISC analysis helps you with this in part because of its identification of behavioural tendencies. Each profile letter has its own set of behavioural characteristics. For example:

Dominance – Sees the big picture, can be blunt, accepts challenges, gets straight to the point, and perceives themselves as more powerful than the environment. Driven by results, competitive, forceful and assertive.

Influence – Shows enthusiasm, is optimistic, likes to collaborate, dislikes being ignored. Love building relationships and are very positive, friendly and sociable.

Steadiness – Doesn’t like to be rushed, calm manner, calm approach, supportive actions. Dependable, genuine and delivers high-quality levels of service and support.

Contentiousness/Compliant – Enjoys independence, objective reasoning, wants the details, fears being wrong. Focus on accuracy and precision.

All DiSC profiles are equally valuable – it’s not about being better than others. It’s about understanding the way people, including you, behave in different situations, and how you can use those personality traits to benefit your employees and your business.

What’s That Got To Do With Recruitment?

About now you might be thinking ‘but what has this got to do with recruitment?’.  But when you’re looking for a new recruit for your business, you’re looking for someone who will fit into your company culture and have the right traits for the role. This can change a lot depending on what the role is. For example, someone in a sales role will probably need higher levels of influence or assertiveness than someone in an admin role.

The problem is that in an interview, it can be difficult to get a full picture of a candidate. Even when you use a recruitment agency, employers will often only see a candidate behaving how they think they should behave in an interview – which isn’t always how they would naturally behave. DiSC profiles complement the traditional recruitment agency model by giving employers a detailed picture of each candidate’s behavioural traits. They can also help businesses recruit someone who is not only fit for the role, but for the dynamics of your team. In the long run, DiSC profiles give managers a much clearer idea of how to manage candidates, since they have a better idea of what makes them ‘tick’. On the flip side, a candidate’s DiSC profile can bring potential issues to the surface that would never usually come up at an interview, but much further on. This helps inform interviewers and gives them a full picture of exactly who is sitting in front of them and what they will be like to work with. This leads to a much higher employee retention rate and higher ROI overall from the recruitment process. Because they’re a self-assessment process and the results can be obtained quickly, it’s simple to include a DiSC profile for each of your shortlisted candidates.

At Wildcat Careers, we can offer the DiSC profiling service as part of the recruitment process. We’ve seen the value that such an understanding can provide, and want to offer that to our clients – ensuring new recruits mirror the current team dynamics or that their unique personality fits seamlessly with the existing team members. It also means we can tailor our candidate suggestions not only based on skill but on which personalities best fit our client’s team, giving you a prime choice of candidates the first time around. If you’d like to know more about how we use DiSC profiling service, please get in touch with us today.


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