Can I use Insights Discovery in Recruitment and Selection?


Can I use Insights Discovery in Recruitment and Selection?

7 minute read | By Colin | Insights Discovery

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Using the Insights Discovery System for Selection and Recruitment 

One of the questions that we are often asked is “can I use Insights Discovery in recruitment?” Our answer is always “yes but with great care”. It is important to recognise that degrees of skill, or interests, are not identifiable merely from the Insights Discovery personal profile. Based on Insights Discovery type alone, people should not be persuaded that they would be good at a specific job and neither should they be persuaded that they would not be able to do a specific job. Based on Insights Discovery type alone, an employer should not be led to believe that a person may or may not do a job well. Neither Type theory nor Trait theory claims to explain all of human behaviour. As a theory, it is only part of the complexity of personality.

The Discovery Preference Evaluator measures exactly what it says – preference. It does not measure how ‘mature’ the use of the colour energies is by the individual completing the evaluator, it does not measure how competently the individual uses the colour energies, it does not measure an individual’s motivation or learned skills – it provides an accurate reflection of an individual’s preference. A person may be, for example, dominant in sunshine yellow energy, though continually over-stressed and using it in a negative way.  A person may have a least preference for fiery red energy, though may be extremely skilled at using their fiery red energy.  What the Discovery Profile offers the individual is a framework for understanding self and others, an understanding of the ‘energetic expense’, the opportunity to assess whether if this is good or not, whether this is an area of development or not. 

Would it ever be appropriate to use Insights Discovery in a Selection, Recruitment or Placement?

If an applicant and potential employer were to use their Insights Discovery profile as a means to understanding how the individual may approach the job, or specific tasks in the job; what factors would contribute to creating an ideal environment, etc, this could be of great benefit to the interview process.  Additionally, knowing appropriate questions to ask an applicant regarding their personal style and how they interact with others would also be a benefit.

Every day managers are faced with challenges when trying to match candidates to an employment role.  Employment law requires them to ensure that the selection process is fair, equitable and legal however human nature often leads them to select in their own image.  The selection process can become a somewhat hit and miss affair. The hiring manager will have a range of information available about the candidate – CV, employment record, qualifications, reference checks, etc. – and should have a good understanding of the technicalities of the role, both the range of tasks, and the complexity of the key relationships.

Insights Learning & Development Ltd believes that if the Insights Discovery profile is to be used in the selection process, an Insights Discovery Accredited Practitioner should administer the profile. Occasionally it may be reasonable that a hiring manager under significant guidance from the Accredited Practitioner could administer and use the Insights Discovery profile in the selection process. In these cases, hiring managers that are not Accredited would not be permitted to provide a ‘debrief’ of the full Discovery profile, including the graphs; they can utilize specific pages for use in the Interview process as identified.  It is expected, as best practice, that the Applicant, should they desire a more thorough debrief of their Discovery profile (for example, they would like to understand what the Discovery graphs ‘mean’), would be offered time with the Accredited Practitioner.

In all cases, it is mandatory that the Applicant whose Insights Discovery Profile it is:

  • Have given prior permission to the Hiring Manager/Accredited Practitioner to review their Discovery Profile
  • Understands the  confidential nature of their Discovery Profile (e.g. it is their information to own & share);
  • Is made aware of the purpose of using the Discovery Profile in the interview process; and,
  • Receives a printed copy of their Discovery Profile to take away if requested.

Please note that it is assumed the hiring manager and/or the client organization have investigated the legality of their overall hiring process, including the use of the Discovery Profile as an element, with their own legal counsel. Insights Learning & Development nor Iridium HRD Consulting Limited is not responsible for any potential misuse of the Discovery Profile.


The Insights Discovery profile can be used to help the hiring manager and their selection panel understand the interaction between the candidate’s preferences and their capabilities.

A pre-requisite to this, is having a clear definition of the capabilities required for a given employment role.  Once these capabilities have been identified, the Insights Discovery profile can be used, if effectively implemented, as a catalyst for creating probing questions.  These questions can help the hiring manager/panel explore how:

  • The candidate expresses their natural ‘good day’ colour energy preferences in support of the capabilities required by the role
  • They temper the ‘bad day’ use of their colour energy preferences that would otherwise undermine their capability to do the role well
  • Self-aware they are –  in particular, have they developed good strategies for dealing with any blind spots that could impact the capabilities required for the role

The precise process implemented will depend on the context.  However, key resources to be used include the following pages in the Discovery profile:

  • Suggestions for development
  • Blind spots
  • Interview questions

One option is to explore these issues with the candidate at the interview using relevant chapters of the candidate’s Discovery Personal Profile.

Effective use of the Insights Discovery profile in the selection arena requires that the employment role being recruited into has clear capability definitions.  These definitions should include the desired behaviours that a candidate should demonstrate, in addition to the technical skills required for success in the employment role.

A good capability framework applied in this way will remove the risk of “cloning”.

How NOT to Use the Insights Discovery Profile in Selection 

The Insights Discovery profile may complement any selection process if used effectively. It should not be the starting point in recruiting and it should never be used as a stand alone recruitment tool.

The profile should never be used as a mass screening vehicle to makes decisions about candidates without the organisation meeting them face to face. It was not designed for this purpose, and it is not appropriate or ethical to screen – or select – candidates based on their Discovery Profile.

The profile does not assess skills or capabilities.  The Discovery Profile focuses on the behavioural aspects of an individual; typically this information is used in personal, team and organizational development.  To use it in the selection process, the information can be ethically used to assist the Hiring Manager gain an appreciation for and an understanding of the potential behavioural responses of the individual to the employment role.

For more information on using Insights Discovery in recruitment and selection contact Colin Graves (an Insights Discovery Licensed Practitioner and Distributor) now on 07881 636538 or via the contact page.

We also provide a wide range of Insights Discovery based workshops for leaders, managers, teams, sales and individuals.

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