I’m sometimes invited to test out people’s recruiting tools that make use of the Enneagram based on, for instance, trawling through people’s social profiles, CV’s, LinkedIn or other data that is already out there. But I don’t think that the Enneagram should be used in the first stages of recruiting and here’s why:

1. The Enneagram is first and foremost a self-discovery tool. By taking the “self” out of this, it becomes a tool where you only get half the results – if that much- because you don’t make the effort to include the person.

2. A person is so much more than his Enneagram type. By reducing a person to a type who would or would not fit to a certain job, you will not get the experience, the knowledge, the very character of this person and you would miss out on a great opportunity. As would a potential candidate.

3. You’re putting an algorithm on top of a person but you do not know if it fits. Then characteristics and features might be applied to a person to make him or her fit into a box that suits your requirements. And to me that is the opposite of what the Enneagram is about.

Using the Enneagram when you’re down to 2-3 candidates for a position and then ask them to take a test to help determine type, makes much more sense. This is the time when you will have conversation with the candidate and receive feedback. During this process the candidates have the option of confirming, denying and expanding on their Enneagram type and, very importantly, they have a voice in the matter.

I know that we’re bound to see more and more “automation” of the Enneagram – we already have several very useful online Enneagram tests. I encourage people to use it in an interaction rather than a screening.