| Apr 20, 2021

How To Use DISC and Other Personality Tests To Set Your Employees Up for Success

Ensuring a potential hire's skills match the job description is important -- but making sure their personality matches is vital, too.
happy female employee scaled

If you’re serious as an entrepreneur or business leader, then assessing workers in terms of skills should be second nature. The internal makeup or inherent personalities of your candidates and current employees, however, aren’t cookie cutter. Evaluating people in this area in addition to skills can ensure that everyone on your team is positioned in the right job for great success.

Which Personality Assessment Should I Use?

The only real rule when choosing a personality test for your company is that you want to pick one that’s got some scientific verification and reliability behind it. Some of the more widely used and trusted tests are Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), DISC, and Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation Behavior (FIRO-B).

Compared to Myers-Briggs, DISC divides people into fewer personality categories (dominant, inspiring, supportive, and cautious). It’s shorter and focuses more on external behaviors than internal thinking. So, some people see it as simpler to apply or more relevant to the office. FIRO-B is concerned with external behaviors, too, but it hones in on the interpersonal aspects.

How the Assessments Work in the Real World

Going a little more in depth, the four personalities of the DISC test break down like this:


  • Very confident
  • Driven by the bottom line
  • Numbers/results-oriented
  • e.g., Steve Jobs


  • Open
  • Puts emphasis on relationships and persuading others
  • Doesn’t like to rock the boat; goes with the flow


  • Dependable
  • Likes cooperation, sincerity, and positive reinforcement


  • Concerned with competency, expertise, and quality; detail-oriented
  • Wants information to be super accurate

Most people are actually a mix of these categories. But they’re predominantly one of the four.

Let’s say you’re looking for a manager. A “D” may be a good choice because they are driven by bottom-line results; however, they might be too straightforward in many situations where a relationship is really important. If you need somebody in your customer service call center, an S personality might struggle, because they’re focused on cooperation and sincerity in a place that may be bombarded with complaints and questions. They’d probably be a better fit in a job like reception or on the floor restocking. A “C” personality would do great in jobs like accounting or science, but they can also make fantastic bosses because they do well ensuring all the details are in order (though their own shortfall may be getting too bogged down in the details). And “I” personalities might be a good fit for HR, marketing, or sales because they excel at making connections with others.

With a FIRO-B test, you can get a sense of how people might behave in different situations together. The FIRO-B assesses how one behaves in the presence of other people. This is beneficial because you then can offer actionable strategies for how to communicate better and head off misunderstandings. The clearer people are with each other and the better they get along, the higher your productivity and morale will generally be. You can also apply FIRO-B to the way people on the team might interact with your clients so you give the best possible impression.


For an Uplifting, Customer-Oriented Company, Make Knowing Personality a Priority

No matter what industry you’re in, the product or service your business is providing is incredibly important. But unless you’ve got the right personality in the right job, all that effort and value can be undone. If the person you’ve got at the front desk answers questions with zero excitement, for example, or if their tone is just blah, that’s going to come across like whatever you’re offering isn’t really that great or important. If they’re just answering “yes” or “no” like an information storage container and not really conversing with the client or customer in a tailored way, that conveys something, too. It can flat out kill great deals and make unfavorable first impressions.

So, make it a point to know the inherent personality of the people you work with and how they’re going to act with others. Your aim should be to have everybody able to identify the benefits that everybody else brings. They should be able to work well with their fellow employees by understanding what they need, based on their personalities, as well as express those benefits to clients (e.g. “Linda is so kind and sincere, she’ll ensure you’re well taken care of!”). If everybody can grasp individual preferences and tendencies while showing that they really believe in each other, then you’ll develop a truly positive culture that makes your business thrive.

Dr. Steven Ghim
Executive Author

Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Steven Ghim Charlotte Dentist

Dr. Steven Ghim is a cosmetic dentist who also provides general and comprehensive dental care. view profile


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