How to Hire Right the First Time

How to Use the DISC Behavioral Profile to Hire Right the First Time

Have you ever made a bad hire for your company or culture? Wasn’t it frustrating and expensive? When you add up all the time and money it takes to hire someone, making a bad hire will cost you upwards of 5 times their salary if they don’t work out. So how can you improve your odds of making the right hire the first time? The first thing you should think about is this: “If the job could talk, what would it say”? What are some of the behaviors, motivators or values, and competencies needed to be successful in that role,  and how can we measure those in a way that is reliable? The Answer: DISC!

DISC Assessments aren’t really anything new. In fact, you have probably taken one at some point in your life. If you haven’t, click here to try a FREE DISC Assessment.  But what many people don’t realize is how valuable of a tool it can be in your business during the hiring process. That is, as long as you use it correctly.

So let’s start with what DISC does NOT measure. Contrary to popular belief, DISC does not measure:







What is does measure is the HOW and WHY you do the things you do.

By definition, DISC is the Universal Language of Observable Behavior and it is based on the work of Harvard-educated Lawyer and Psychologist William Moulton Marston.

Fun fact as if being a lawyer and psychologist weren’t an odd enough combination for you, Marston was also the creator of wonder woman and the inventor of the lie detector test.

Marston concluded that people can be categorized into groups based on these four factors styles:

  • Dominance: How you address problems and challenges
  • Influence: How you handle situations involving people and contacts
  • Steadiness:  How you demonstrate pace and consistency
  • Compliance: How you react to procedures and constraints
Want a breakdown of the four styles of DISC? Check out Dr. Tony Alessandra’s explanation.

So when you are looking to hire, how can you use DISC to ensure you are getting the best candidate?

Step 1: Job Benchmarking

Job Benchmarking is done when you work one on one with your Recruitment or Staffing Consultant to determine the essential functions and competencies of the job. This is not just a discussion of the responsibilities and duties of the position but rather a deeper discussion to understand why the job exists and what part it plays in the company.

Step 2: Understanding the Behavioral Report

The first part of DISC measures behaviors, or the HOW of what we do. It is important to remember that it is isn’t about what style you are or what the candidate is, it is about what you do with the style that you are. The are no good or bad styles.

The Behavioral Report will also include two graphs. The first Graph is a person’s Natural style, who they are at heart. The second Graph shows a person’s Adapted Style and how they act in a work environment. If you are only using the Behavioral Report, your odds of getting the Right Hire are increased by 60%!

Step 3: Know What Motivates

In October of 2013, Gallup released a study in which they found that in the U.S., nearly 54% of the workforce is Not Engaged. This means that roughly half of our workforce is psychologically not committed to their jobs and most likely not making the many contributions to their organizations.

Part Two of DISC measures a person’s motivations or values. It is the WHY of what we do. This part often gets ignored but is VITAL to understanding what a candidate is truly looking for in a work environment. Are they motivated by helping others succeed? Are they just looking out for their own careers? Are they motivated by financial gain or increased responsibility?

What ever the motivation a candidate may have, knowing this information will help you decide whether a candidate is going to have a sense of loyalty and stay for as long as you’ll employ them, or are going to jump ship the first chance they get.

One final bonus of using DISC for hiring: Combining both DISC Behaviors and Motivators Reports in the hiring process will increase your odds of making a better hire by 80%!

This article was written by a former team member, Jenn O’brien. As an Account Manager with PRO R.E.A Staffing, Jenn worked hand-in-hand with clients to deliver quality candidates who fit their needs and office culture.

Jenn also holds professional certifications as a certified diversity recruiter and is a PHR certified member of the Society for Human Resources Management. In addition, she holds a M.S. Degree in Social Psychology.


Jenn’s specialty is working collaboratively with businesses through a unique job benchmarking process that helps save time and money by finding candidates who are a strategic match to their company.

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