Science of Self ™ Knowledge Centre

Can I Use the DISC Profile for Recruitment

Jun 28, 2012


The answer in short is yes (DISC can be used for recruitment), however, we recommend a complete job benchmarking process including the use of other assessments in the process.

In recruitment, the DISC profile is most commonly used in the following four (4) ways:

1). Give the hiring manager additional information about a candidate’s natural behavioural tendencies so that they can better understand how the person prefers to approach projects, people, pace and procedures. Using a profile helps to provide objective information that would otherwise not be available through a resume or the job interview process. The manager is able get a much clearer picture about what they can expect from the candidate, and how that might contrast with their own management style, the company culture, the other team members, and the nature of the work itself.

2. Highlight potential behavioural strengths and possible challenges which can then be addressed and targeted with questions in the interview stage. This is known as behavioural interviewing. The DISC profile can validate or challenge your impression of the candidate, and be used to determine if there is an apparent mis-match between the role and the candidate's natural behaviour. The candidate may not know it, but they may be applying for a role that "goes against the grain".

(E.g. "I noticed that your profile has a strong preference for having lots of interaction with people, and the role requires very little interaction. Do you think that you will get bored without having people around? Can you give me an example of a time when you had to work independently of a team?")

3). Determine the exact degree of behavioural fit between a candidate and a job. There is a patented process for this called Job Benchmarking.

4). Help induct a team member by sharing their profile with the rest of the team so that they know what to expect from the new recruit, and so the new recruit can understand the best way to communicate and interact with their new team.

The Most Common Recruitment Mistake with the DISC Profile:

The most common error made using DISC in recruitment is assuming that a particular type of profile can (or cannot) succeed (or fail) in a particular industry, profession, or type of role.

DISC does not predict job success — there is no such thing as a ‘best’ profile for an accountant, lawyer, nurse, salesperson, or entrepreneur. Any type of DISC profile can succeed in any type of profession.

Contrary to the stereotypes, high performing sales people can and do have S/C profiles, just as high performing accountants can and do have high D/I profiles. Having a natural preference for analysis (high C) does not make someone skilled at numbers. Having a natural preference for interacting with people (high I) does not make someone skilled at selling.

It is important to remember that DISC is only one part of the picture and there are lots of other aspects that affect individual performance.


The only way to accurately determine whether a person is ‘well suited’ (behaviourally speaking at least) to a job, is by benchmarking the job description associated with that specific job. Once a benchmark has been established, DISC can then help the hiring manager flag aspects of the role that might conflict with a candidate’s natural behavioural tendencies. This is the best practice use of the DISC profile in the recruitment process.

Although DISC is a wonderful tool that can provide some insight into how a person might fit the role, team and manager they are applying for, it does have its limits in the recruitment function. We recommend using the TriMetrix System in the benchmarking process, which uses 3 separate tools to measure 3 layers of performance: 8 behaviours, 6 motivators and 23 personal skills.

Topics: Recruitment & Selection- DISC Profile

Theo Winter

Theo Winter

Client Services Manager, Writer & Researcher. Theo is one of the youngest professionals in the world to earn an accreditation in TTI Success Insight's suite of psychometric assessments. For more than a decade, he worked with hundreds of HR, L&D and OD professionals and consultants to improve engagement, performance and emotional intelligence of leaders and their teams. He authored the book "40 Must-Know Business Models for People Leaders."


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