Strengths are the things that we do well and find energising, they are found in every person.
Strengths can be interpersonal – like Rapport Builder, they can be about how we think – like Creativity or how we are motivated – like Drive. They can also be about who we are as people, what we stand for or what we believe – like Gratitude or Humility.
So, with ‘The Great Resignation’ looming on many recruiters’ radars and the challenges of the past 18 months still present and many for us fighting to find the same ‘skills’ with talent shortages ever present, how can strengths help us solve some of our most pressing problems?
What is a strength?
People often think a strength is something that you’re good at, but really, that’s just half the answer. The other half is that strengths are also the things that you enjoy doing.
It’s this combination of being good at doing something and enjoying doing it, that makes strengths so special. This combination is at the heart of performance and productivity, of engagement and motivation.
When we’re good at something and we enjoy doing it, we’re naturally motivated to want to do it, and we do it better. This is the essence of why strengths work.
Studies of people using their strengths show that good things happen when you use your strengths. Strengths are not a panacea for all ills, and using your strengths is not going to solve every problem. Nonetheless, using our strengths does have positive impacts across many different areas.
People who use their strengths more are happier, more confident, and have higher self-esteem. They experience more vitality, they are more resilient, and they experience less stress. They learn faster, are more engaged, and perform better at work. They make more progress in achieving their goals. These are not opinions. They are the consistent results of peer-reviewed, empirical research.
Putting strengths to work
These are some of the many reasons why many more organisations are now putting strengths to work. They are using strengths-based recruitment to shape people’s work and roles so that they are using their strengths more.
Strengths-based recruitment is about identifying the strengths that will deliver success in a role, then recruiting and selecting the people who have those strengths. This is great for the individual doing work they love, and great for the employer to have team members who love what they do.
Strengths-based recruitment allows employers to have conversations with people about their strengths and how those strengths help them succeed at work. A strengths-based recruitment process can include online strengths assessment through scenarios or survey questions, and also work simulations or video interviews to test people’s strengths relative to the requirements of the role.
A strengths-based interview will ask questions that allow people to demonstrate whether they have the strengths that the employer is looking for. These questions naturally enable the person to show how they come to life with energy and examples when talking about their strengths.
Using strengths at work is a result of finding a role that is matched to your strengths, as well as working with others in complementary partnerships or strengths-based teamworking. None of us are good at everything. The strengths approach is about making the best of what each person has to offer in what they do best.
This is seen through sharing tasks and responsibilities according to what people do best and where their energies are. It’s about doing what needs to be done but finding ways to deliver that are sustainable for everyone. When we love what we’re doing, we’re more than happy to keep doing it.
Want to know more about strengths-based recruiting? Join Chris at the Talent Day Out in either Melbourne or Sydney in 2022 where he’ll be sharing the findings from Cappfinity’s 15 years’ experience helping companies recruit based on their candidate strengths.
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