Wouldn’t life be simple if we could just treat the Clifton StrengthsFinder as a wonderful menu, from which to pick and choose our new recruits -- to work with, to be our friends or even our life partners? Surely it would be better to have a “reading” of someone’s strengths before we take a risk on getting to know them? Well, yes, it would -- but there are serious and dangerous pitfalls if we mistakenly use the Clifton StrengthsFinder as a selection tool.
Legal, Ethical and Fair: Development and Selection Are different Arts in a Similar Science
When you find yourself tempted to use StrengthsFinder for recruitment, ask yourself, “Can I defend my decision if someone challenges me and says, ‘How do you know someone with that strength [or combination of strengths] is more productive in the role?’ How objective am I really being? Have I even allowed the individual to have a say in how their strengths work for them? Am I truly being fair?”
Even if you think the answer to some of these questions is “yes,” one thing remains indisputable: the StrengthsFinder tool has not been validated as a predictive measure of success in a given role. It has amazing potential when it comes to starting conversations about strengths and helping people to achieve excellence in their roles -- once a fair and objective assessment system has been used to put them there in the first place.
Gallup’s work in talent-based hiring is grounded in more than 40 years of research. If you are interested in learning more about available resources for your business or organization, visit Gallup’s selection practice page.
Louisa Warren is a Senior Practice Consultant at Gallup; she joined the company in 1991. Her primary areas of expertise are in recruitment and development. She uses her understanding of individual talent to position employees correctly in roles and help them fulfill their potential. Prior to joining Gallup, Louisa taught French and German in the secondary sector and later served as Assistant Director of the British Atlantic Committee, a NATO-affiliated organisation. A native English speaker, she is fluent in French and German and provides consulting to Gallup’s clients in these languages.
Louisa's top five strengths: Context | Harmony | Individualization | Arranger | Maximizer.