An HR Manager’s Guide to Using DISC Assessments

by | Sep 19, 2022 | Blog

If you’ve been in the Human Resources or Talent Acquisition space for long, you’re either actively using or are at least familiar with behavioral assessments. The proper distribution and diagnosis of behavioral assessments have been shown to increase your chances of hiring people who will consistently be happier and more productive in their given profession.

DISC assessments are the most popular style of behavioral assessments

DISC assessments are one of the most popular styles of behavioral assessments – used to understand a person’s behavioral style. Understanding someone’s preferred behaviors and what motivates them can help you make informed decisions about your people’s emotional satisfaction and effectiveness in the workforce.

The DISC Index measures four key personality factors 

The DISC Index measures four key personality factors. Decisive, Interactive, Stability, and Cautious. People tend to be one type or fall somewhere in between these categories.

The D in DISC represents Decisiveness. A high D tends to solve new problems very quickly and assertively. They take an active and direct approach to obtaining results. A low D tends to solve new problems in a more deliberate, controlled, and organized manner.

If you are considering hiring someone who is a high-D, look for these qualities:

  • They don’t procrastinate when it comes to making decisions; they just get on with it!
  • They like being the boss of the group because they believe they have the best ideas (and usually do).

The I stands for Interactive, and it represents how outgoing and gregarious you are when meeting new people.

High I people tend to meet new people in an outgoing, gregarious, and socially assertive manner. They have no problem being the center of attention and can easily strike up conversations with others. They like to learn about others’ interests, hobbies and backgrounds so they can better relate to them as individuals.

Low I tends to meet new people in a more controlled, quiet and reserved manner—they don’t mind being around other people but they’re not quite as interested in getting to know them (or themselves).

The S in DISC represents Stabilizing. A higher S tends to prefer a more controlled, deliberative and predictable environment. They place a premium on security of a work situation and disciplined behavior.

A lower S tends to prefer a more flexible, dynamic, unstructured work environment. They value freedom of expression and the ability to change quickly from one activity to another.

The C in DISC represents Cautiousness. A higher C tends to adhere to rules, standards, procedures, and protocol set by those in authority whom they respect. They like things to be done the right way according to the operating manual. A lower C tends to operate more independently from the rules and standard operating procedures. They tend to be bottom-line oriented.

As you can see, DISC assessments don’t measure intelligence or aptitude but indicate whether a candidate’s overall personality is a good fit for a given role. This employment assessment can predict behavior patterns in the workplace and help you find the right fit for the right job.

Unfortunately, too many businesses are hiring the wrong people. 80% of employee turnover is due to a bad hire.

While a job applicant’s resume can tell you about their experience and education, unless they’re entry-level workers, resumes won’t tell you about their on-the-job performance or how well they work with others.

DISC profiles can help you make a more informed decision when hiring someone. While there are many ways to learn this information, DISC assessments are one way to gather it in a quick and easy way that works for any industry.

Reducing Employee Turnover with Behavioral Assessments

At its core, HR’s use of DISC assessments are designed to help you:

  • Identify and hire the right skills for your job roles based on natural behavior
  • Minimize personality clashes in your team environment
  • Reduce staff turnover by identifying employees at risk of leaving

Beyond its general use, In order to use DISC profiles effectively, you’ll want to set up a process for bringing in new hires that is as efficient as possible. You need to make sure that each candidate gets the same experience and assessment information before their pre-employment testing begins.

There are ways that DISC assessments can help out with this process:

  • When you’re hiring new employees, it’s important to understand which of the DISC personality types will be happiest and most productive in your organization.
  • While traditional job interviews can be helpful, they’re typically only as good as the answers that candidates give and fail to reveal what kind of employee they’ll actually make once they join your team
  • DISC assessments are easy to understand but a well performed interview combined with proper DISC index diagnosis is crucial in helping to find the proper person

Don’t just consider experience and education when hiring new employees. Using behavioral assessments show how someone will perform on the job.

When you’re hiring for a new position, it’s important to consider more than just the candidate’s education and experience. DISC assessments can give you valuable insight into how an applicant will actually perform on the job.

A behavioral assessment is a survey that measures personality traits. There are many different types of assessments available, but all share some common traits:

  • They measure four dimensions of personality
  • They use a questionnaire format that takes about 10 minutes to complete
  • They provide feedback on how individual traits contribute to overall success in various roles


The Myth of Strengths and Weaknesses

Each of these four personality styles –  Decisive, Interactive, Stabilizing and Cautious, has their own set of strengths and weaknesses – but only if you’re aware they exist. For example:

  • People who are high on Decisiveness tend to be more vocal and assertive but they can also come across as overly aggressive or pushy.
  • People who are high on Interactive tend to be good at building relationships with others but they can also be seen as being too agreeable or people pleasers which may inhibit them from taking risks or standing up for themselves when needed.
  • People who are high on Stabilizing tend to have great attention spans but this could also mean that they lack creativity which may put a damper on innovation in organizations where creativity is important for success (e.g., tech companies).
  • Finally, people with higher Cautiousness levels tend to do well when it comes time for details like following schedules but this can also lead them being less flexible than other types so keep that in mind when hiring someone based solely off their personality type assessment results.

Although it would be easy to take these high and low scores at face-value, it’s stressed here that proper diagnostic evaluation combined with a proper interview is crucial for assessment success. Interviews paired with other types of assessments like the Values Index or Attribute Index can further help to develop a deeper understanding of your employee or candidates What, How, and Why within the workplace.

When paired with proper interview questions, we have an even stronger method of hiring good employees.

 Choosing the right questions to ask during the interview process can provide optimal results when combined with your DISC assessment scores.

For example, if you have a candidate who is an S, they will likely be very good working in a team environment but may not thrive when asked to perform individual tasks. 

If you ask questions like “How do you handle working alone on projects?” or “What is your favorite part of being on a team?” during the interview process, then you might be missing out on important information that could have helped determine whether or not this person would be right for your company. 

Instead, try asking questions that focus more on how they prefer to work with others instead of considering what they don’t like about it (like “When working with team members…what types of things are most important to you?”). This way, we can get an idea of how they will perform in both situations and make sure all bases are covered before making your final decision.


Sign up for your Business Discovery Session with one of our DISC assessment specialists.