Use the DISC Model to Write Your Next Job Posting

Many organizations use DISC in their hiring process when selecting candidates for job interviews. If your organization is committed to using DISC, you will want to consider the DISC model when writing your job post to attract suitable candidates for your open positions.

An organization recently asked me how they could recruit employees that would stay with their organization for longer than one year. While compensation, culture, and leadership are certainly factors, I did something unheard of by their recruitment and leadership teams. I incorporated DISC model methodology into the hiring framework, starting with the job posting. If you search the internet, you will find that many articles share the best way to retain your employees. Organizations need to have better interview questions, look for passion in the candidates, and offer career growth, fair pay, and exciting, challenging work. While this may be true, one fundamental solution or action is overlooked. My answer to the question was to review the job posting to see who is being attracted to the position and if it's written to attract the right behavioral style.

A significant amount of time is put into creating a job posting. However, time and time again, many job postings include requirements a manager or HR professional would like to see rather than the actual requirements of the job. A good job posting is important because your interview questions can be created using this document.

Let’s break down the components of a job posting and look at how you can apply DISC theory methodologies to improve your next post:

Job Responsibilities and Duties

Begin each bullet point under the job responsibilities and duties section with a verb to clarify the action an employee would take in the workplace if you hired them. For example, if a position is team-based, you might write, “Assists to prepare …” If the role is not leading or managing a person or process, you would refrain from using words such as lead, manage, oversee, or develop. Job responsibilities and duties should have no more than ten (10) bullet points. Anything more, and the candidate may wonder how much time will be required to be effective in the position.

Job Requirements

Job requirements need a little more thought and include two key areas: qualifications and skills. Desired qualifications should be those qualifications that are required for the position. It should not be a wish list of degrees and experiences the organization is looking for a candidate to possess. Include only the qualifications that would allow a person to receive a “solid” rating on a performance review.

Articulating technical skills, academic credentials, and industry knowledge are valuable; however, hiring managers also need to pay attention to behaviors such as how someone works. These workplace behaviors need to be outlined in the second area of job requirements (sometimes called required skills or competencies).

Skills and Competencies

Approach the skills and competency section by looking at a list of DISC personality style traits that apply to the position. Ask yourself, "What am I looking for in a candidate to fill this role?" Am I looking for someone good at solving problems (D), influencing and interacting with people (I), handling pace or processes (S), or someone who follows the rules and procedures (C)? While every role typically requires more than one of these traits, one trait will be dominant. Focus on the dominant "D," "I," "S," or "C" traits when writing your job post.

For example, suppose you have a busy customer service position that requires attention to detail and processes that must be followed. In that case, you might mention the behaviors you would see in a high "C" style employee. You might say, “We are looking for someone who is systems-oriented, conscientious, and detailed.” Job requirements should have no more than eight (8) bullet points. When you get to the interview process, look for evidence that the behaviors you listed in the job posting exist in the candidates’ responses. You can also provide the candidate with a DISC assessment prior to the interview so you can be prepared with behaviorally-based interview questions in advance.

There is much controversy about using DISC assessments during the pre-employment hiring process because many organizations eliminate candidates based solely on the results. Alternatively, using the DISC methodology to create a better job posting is the first step to changing your hiring practices and, more importantly, changing who applies to your open positions.

Learn more about using DISC profile results during the interview process.

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Posted By: Colleen Winston, MA, C.B.C.

Colleen is an Executive Coach, Leadership, and HR Consultant. With a Master’s Degree in Leadership, she has over 15 years' experience in HR and 10 years’ experience coaching senior leaders using DISC methodology. DISC Style: ID

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