What Is the Clifton Strengths Assessment, and Why Is It Worth Taking?

What Is the Clifton Strengths Assessment, and Why Is It Worth Taking?

People

8 min read

October 31, 2022

The Clifton Strengths Assessment is a test form and a performance-based tool, which will help you to build more self-awareness and profit from the strength of your natural talents. Find out how to benefit from it.

What Is the Clifton Strengths Assessment, and Why Is It Worth Taking?

Insights from the IT Recruiter

Working as an IT Recruiter, I have to deal with a significant number of candidates every day. What I look at first is if they are fulfilling the basic technical requirements for the position. But from there I know the dedicated team will follow with the technical interview, but there are more non-technical aspects, that I am looking for. I am trying to explore my candidates a bit more. Try to figure out what kind of people are they, and what secret skills and powers they hide under the first impression. And most importantly what talent do they bring with them and how those talents will contribute to our team? For this reason, I find The Gallup Test also known asClifton Strengths Assessment very helpful.

What is the Gallup / Clifton Strengths Test?

The Clifton Strengths Assessment is a test form and a performance-based tool, which will help you to build more self-awareness and profit from the strength of your natural talents. The Clifton Strengths was created by American psychologist Donald Clifton. He wanted to identify and study the variety of strengths presented by the top performers in different fields and investigate them.

Unlike personality tests, the Clifton StrengthsAssessment reaches beyond the genuine definitions of your skills, but instead digs deeper, into how specific strengths can be cultivated. It will allow you to understand, which activities are the most natural for you and easiest to perform at your top levels. Therefore, you will be able to understand better in which areas you probably should look for your potential.

The foundations on which the Clifton StrengthsAssessment is based on over 40 years of successful research conducted indifferent fields, from business to education in more than 50 countries. The whole theory is based on the teachings of Positive Psychology, the field of psychology which deals with human well-being and happiness.

What does “talent” mean?

The Gallup Institute, after more than 40 years of research, has compiled a list of 34 talents that we all share across the population. Those talents tend to show in our interests and behaviors. Each of us has all those talents but on different stages of their development meaning they are showing up in various intensities in each of us. Therefore, the top 5or top 10 of your talents are those which contribute the most to what you like, can, and should do and develop as a professional and a person. To discover yours you must do the test honestly by answering 177 questions.

What talents you can have?

All 34 talents are divided into 4 “themed” groups:strategic thinking, relationship building, influencing, and executing. You can see all 4 groups with talents corresponding to them below.  

STRATEGIC THINKING

Analytical

Context

Futuristic

Ideation

Input

Intellection

Learner

Strategic

RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

Adaptability

Connectedness

Developer

Empathy

Harmony

Includer

Individualization

Positivity

Relator

INFLUENCING

Activator

Command

Communication

Competition

Maximizer

Self-Assurance

Significance

Woo

EXECUTING

Achiever

Arranger

Belief

Consistency

Deliberative

Discipline

Focus

Responsibility

Restorative

As you can see, they cover a very wide range of possible skills and characteristics one may represent. I bet you are already at least a little bit curious about which ones might be your strongest. Aren’t you? 

Talents' “dark” and “bright” sides

Each talent has its own “dark” and “bright” side. So, by the time you already discover, which talents are your strongest you can start investigating them. How to understand the talents’ “dark” and “bright” sides.Imagine that one of your top talents is input. You are great at collecting and using data. It’s all in your head when you need it. But if you won’t put some discipline or system for your “information filing” it can all start being just a great mess, with loads of useless information just sitting in your mind and troubles in finding what you need on time. That’s the dark side. But when you learn how to manage this potent database - such a great library of knowledge you will have there. The same analogy comes with each talent. Getting to know yourself and your talents better simply makes your life and work easier! 

What are the benefits of knowing your talents?

Knowing your talents is just the beginning of your work. To make them your strengths you should work on them. But when correctly developed and used, they will benefit you, your team, your employer, and probably your loved ones too. Here are some of the benefits you could see by completing and implementing the Clifton Strengths assessment:

Benefits for you

You can understand your drivers and motivations better. It will help you to get easier on yourself and focus on getting things done better, by doing it your way. It will also help you identify the areas you are good at and improve your career. So many people are unsatisfied with their jobs. But when you understand what you are good at, you can focus on finding work that fully utilizes your unique skill set.

Benefits for your team

When knowing each-other talents you can learn how to work better with others. The Clifton Strengths Assessment can be incredibly beneficial for teamwork. According to Gallup studies, employees who receive strengths-based development training are being more productive and up to 23%more engaged in their work. This leads to building stronger team dynamics and better collaboration among all the team members.

Should you set for the top 5 or go all in with the full 34 talents test?

The Clifton Strengths Assessment can be performed in two variants: only your top 5 talents - covering only the 5 most important talents, or in the full variant of all 34 talents. What's the difference between the two tests, apart from the number of talents we learn? There is the price value. The top 5 are cheaper but at the same time, it still costs more than half the price of a full set of talents. So, the full version might be the better value-for-money solution. Remember, that even if you decide to buy only the basic top 5 version, you can later buy a complete test anyway. There is also one more risk. When you are buying a full package, you can fall into atrap that many people fall into, and instead of focusing on your strongest points, immediately look at the end of the list. Then, instead of going back to the top 5, they are trying to get better on what are their weakest talents. Whatever you do, I strongly recommend you start from the top of the list.

How do I benefit from Clifton Strengths Assessment as an IT Recruiter?

I usually introduce Clifton's Strengths topic in the job interviews I conduct. If the candidate had the test done, I ask him about his Top 5 talents, and how he or she uses them. If he or she has any tricks on developing them or using them for the benefit of the team. If I am searching for a certain role, I also know which talent can be more useful. I also check the team I am hiring too. If I think the team might be needing someone with the strong relationship-building talent I’d be keener to hire someone with talents such as relator, adaptability, or empathy.

If you work in HR, you can read more about it and start introducing it to your work pattern. I do recommend it!

We hope that this portion of knowledge at least has sharpened your appetite for more. If you have some thoughts about the mindfulness training at work, please do not hesitate to contact us, by clicking the link below.

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