The three best ways to use the StrengthsFinder assessment for hiring

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Q:
If I were recruiting for sales, could I use StrengthsFinder as a source to be sure a possible candidate would be a good fit?

A:
Yes.

I do recommend using the StrengthsFinder strengths as part of the hiring process. Here’s how:

1. First in the job description
Pick the strengths you’d like to add to the team. Look at the definitions of them and pick descriptive parts of the strength that are ideal. Don’t use the StrengthsFinder words; use the words in the description. For example, if you want WOO, don’t use that word. Use ‘loves the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over.’ People have no idea what the word ‘woo’ means in the StrengthsFinder context.

2. Second in the interview
Don’t trust the planned. Trust the spontaneous. The strengths part of recruiting and hiring is best done in the interview when you can see how they spontaneously answer questions. Imagine taking an assessment trying to second-guess what you imagine a potential employer is looking for and tweaking your answers so you get the results you hope.

However, in the interview process, you can see what the poet Alan Ginsburg called, ‘first thought best thought’ come into play. If you’re looking for someone with WOO ask them for an example of when they were able to win a skeptical person or a group over even though they didn’t know them. If you’re looking for someone with RELATOR to develop deep-ties to select long-standing clients, ask them for an example of them doing just that.

They will either have an example easily come to mind that is vivid, specific and true. Or they’ll fumble and genericize. Either way you’ll get your answer.

3. Once the person is hired

Have them take the StrengthsFinder assessment once they’ve been hired, making sure you tell them so you can best help them be their best sales self. They’ll self-assess more honestly now that a job isn’t on the line. Then have a discussion with them about how they can best use their top 5 strengths in the sales role they were hired for.

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