How to know if you found the right match on the job market

Every office has its own personality. So does every company, every team, and every manager. If you want to know if a candidate is right for your organization, their CV is a good place to start – but it isn’t the whole story.

One of the reasons recruitment agencies are much better than regular employers at finding appropriate candidates is because we make a special effort to look beyond the CV. We learn about the goals and interests of job applicants, as well as those of the employers themselves, before making a recommendation. One of the most useful tools available in our line of work is personality testing – in particular, DiSC.

DiSC, published by Wiley, uses a multiple-choice questionnaire to determine the personality type of any individual who takes the assessment. The letters stand for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. The usefulness of the test quickly becomes apparent when you consider the consequences of two or more ‘Dominance’ personalities working together on a task, without ‘Steadiness’ or ‘Conscientiousness’ types to balance out the team and keep the focus on bringing about a high-quality result.

An ideal office will have a healthy balance of these four main attributes. The ‘Dominance’ instinct will move confidently toward new challenges, while the ‘Influence’ trait will help keep the team functioning properly and in good spirits. ‘Steadiness’ can then work to meet deadlines, while ‘Conscientiousness’ can focus on quality control.

We recommend the DiSC test for employers as well as for job candidates. Any office will benefit from the realization that its pendulum has swung too far in one direction. A counterbalancing force can protect the team from its blind spots and potentially harmful instincts, as well as provide the strengths that can be found in the ingredients it’s currently missing.

For candidates, an independent evaluation can come in handy as a general guide, revealing which aspects of your personality are too overbearing and which are underdeveloped. A personality test can also help indicate which types of office environments are right for you, and whether you really are suitable for the type of position you are applying for. A DiSC assessment can also be helpful information to include in a job interview, helping a recruiter match you with the kind of company culture that would be best suited for your personality.

Personality testing is one of many areas where many corporate human resources departments fall short of ideal recruitment practices. HR departments often find themselves too busy to get to know individual candidates beyond reading their CVs and conducting standardized interviews. It is even rarer for HR departments to do detailed analyses of the other employees in their own company, to determine which personality types the office already has enough of, and the ones it desperately needs more of.

A CV can give a useful snapshot of a candidate’s professional history, but it does a poor job of indicating whether that candidate will get along well with the other employees in any particular office or company. Only by taking into account the whole of their personality, and matching it with that of the wider office environment, can predictions be made, and effective teams be reliably put together.