How to use DISC for talent acquisition

How to use DISC for talent acquisition

Research by the Harvard Business Review shows that acquiring top talent could ultimately be the difference between success and mediocre result. In fact, vetting and positioning incoming talents, based on strengths and abilities, isn’t always enough. With every “ying,” there’s a “yang.” Therefore, both are necessary in finding the right talent for your organization.

We need to find balance in everything we do. We must position the new amongst the existing in order to strengthen our organization, overall, and therefore gain greater footing within the markets. Where one lacks, we should find one that excels. Examining the behavior of incoming talents for predictive hiring will allow us to decide if they have what it takes to fulfill the role that they are after, if they work better alone or in a group setting, and who they may best collaborate with – in turn, increasing productivity and quality for the organization.


Let’s begin with identifying the role that you are trying to fulfill. Will you need someone that takes risks, or will you need someone that operates strictly, based on the numbers? Differentiating your immediate hiring needs, from the overall needs of the firm, can be vital. Sometimes, we won’t realize the weaknesses elsewhere within the organization until we do this. Handpicking talent based on strengths and weaknesses will allow us to find that balance between new and existing, leading us to exceed “mediocre” by equipping our workforce with the resources that we need to succeed. Take a look at the DISC model and decide which personality style describes your current position:


If we are looking for a leader, someone who can delegate, is results-oriented and solutions-driven, we are also looking for someone who is dominant, unafraid of rolling up their sleeves and one who always takes initiative. They are workaholics, committed to the team and often think outside-of-the-box to get the job done. This can be an executive, as long as they are active on the ground floor. Moreover, yes, this someone, who can and will wear more than one hat at once – if we let them.

The “D”-type personality is one, who is very confident in what they can do. They love solving problems and facing challenges head-on. They are accustomed to taking risks, whereas no obstacles are too big, and none are too small. They excel in start-up firms, product development, and ongoing business initiatives.

With a habit of taking on “more than they can chew,” this person can overwork themselves if not provided with adequate resources. They consider time money and cut corners to streamline tasks just to get to the final phases of production and on to the next project in the queue. They fear no boundaries and are often known to overstep them. They work towards achieving a common goal, meeting scope and producing nothing but quality through resolution.

Our “D”-Style employee is someone we want to place in front of large teams in oversight of daily activities, projects and program roll-outs. We want to be sure to provide them with balance so that they don’t become overwhelmed and so that they don’t feel restricted by the monotony of a stuffy office environment. This person is active, energetic and never truly satisfied and this is your pick for big picture results.


A few key reasons to implement DISC into ongoing workforce initiatives may include cultivating more solid relations, helping contributors continue to grow individually and to resolve conflict more diplomatically. The “I”-type personality is the answer to everything “social” and personable within your organization.

They are customer-oriented, influential and lead from within. They create an environment of comfort and empowerment while motivating the team to embrace self-growth, as necessary for transformation in the workplace. They are creative, take action and avoid conflict along the way. Their strength is communication, and acknowledgment is often their drug of choice.

People-oriented, “I”-types are often ambassadors. They forge strategic partnerships and cater to the customer experience. They bridge departments and find commonality between multidisciplinary teams. “I”-types are often secondary leaders, directors, managers and team leads. They are sales executives, marketers and program directors. They understand “people” and can make amazing trainers, educators, and entertainers within our organizations. They are the peacemakers, the negotiators, and liaison between upper management and the finance department. Team them up with “S”-types for stability and “C”-Styles for insight, while collaborating with “D” to get the job done.


An active listener, the “S”-type is patient and empathetic. They strive for security and fear the unknown. Without concrete evidence, they seek solutions and work quickly to manage risks, often developing a “Plan B” – just in case.

A “fine-line” between the “I”-type and “C”-type, they are instrumental to our business structure. They keep our executives organized and make sure our stakeholders feel appreciated. They are friendly, reliable and dependable. They are loyalists and advocates of authority.

Seek out an “S”-type personality if you are looking for an awesome assistant, program coordinator, office manager or secretary. They are expert schedulers and administrative geniuses. “S”-types are great at coordinating, often leaving us with time to prep and room for error, even in our most action-packed of days. Some say that the “S”-type is actually the thread that holds the entire organization together. If you are building a team from scratch or downsizing this year, make sure to keep a few of these guys on your roster.


If we are seeking to fulfill a position that involves data mining, administration, litigation or analysis, we should probably lean towards a “C”-type personality. They are focused on the details, standards, and quality of daily activity and often fortify business at every step of the way.

They are perfectionists, “dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s.” They will take lead where expertise is key and are amazing advisors and consultants. They ensure compliance throughout the organization and highlight missed opportunities within the business structure. They make sure that the company is meeting all obligations to governing regulations, policies and procedures, while indirectly bridging gaps across operations. They are systematic and often considered the “anchor of reality,” in which everyone depends on to “keep tally” and “tell it like it is.”

Pair the “C”-type and “D”-type personalities for perfect results. Redirect emotional decision-making by enhancing logic with intuition. The “C”-type personality is essential for grounding the emotional rush of the “D”-type person. Because both styles value results, together, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Read more on Using DISC for Workforce Optimization in 2019.

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Written by: Jessica N. Abraham

Jessica is passionate about “people” and helping them to evolve professionally. Her “I-style” personality trait has led her to 15+ years of service to public relations, social branding, and design strategy.

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