Strengths-based recruitment

Successful companies put the Right People In the Right Jobs and they acknowledge the fact that each person has their our own unique talents. With Strengths-based recruitment we not only assess whether a candidate is suited for the job but also what they are naturally good at, are ENERGIZED by and if they really WANT the job, would love it and thrive in it. Whereas competency based interviewing only provides an answer to the question if the candidate CAN do the job.

A strengths-based selection using Strengthscope explores with candidates their natural fit with the role in terms of strengths best suited to the role, and how they have used these strengths positively in the past.

FACT: When an organisation focuses on strengths, employee engagement can increase from 9% to 73% [Rath and Conchie 2008]
FACT: People who use their strengths every day are six times more engaged [Gallup]
FACT: Leaders focusing on the team members’ performance strengths effect a 36% improvement in performance [Corporate Leadership Council 2002]



Candidates experiencing this approach report far higher levels of satisfaction with the process, as it results in a more positive candidate experience with a developmental component.


Clients using the approach report a better natural fit of candidates to the target role as candidates’ natural energies are aligned with the requirements of the role.
competency-based interview approaches have become the norm in most large companies today. Although they’re simple and relatively able to predict the performance of job applicants, they’re also based in the flawed assumption that all high-performers use the same (or similar) qualities and behaviours, when in fact recent research highlights the wide diversity of underlying personality strengths in people doing similar jobs, with similar skills and domain knowledge.

Another problem with this approach is that it encourages mediocrity and well-rounded performance rather than excellence because
competencies don’t fully capture the person’s strengths and true sources of energy and excellence at work. Just because the candidate has given great answers to the several tricky competency based questions, it unfortunately does not mean that they will love the job.

Many recruiters today still rely on competency-based interviews to identify best fit candidates. However, we are now seeing an increasing proportion of candidates who are highly skilled in the competency-based interview, arriving with a wealth of handy competency-linked work examples to improve their performance at interview. Our view is that it is crucial to identify genuine energy and strengths candidates have for a role, that way you can ensure that they will turn up to work enthusiastic every day, rather than seeing the job as a grind. Using a strengths-based assessment approach will help with this.
  • Strengths are argued to lead to higher performance than competencies and are easier to spot.
  • Strengths are innate: talking about strengths gives candidates energy and real authenticity.
  • With “strengths-focused interviewing”, you have a more accurate and in-depth understanding of the key drivers of exceptional performance than with traditional interviews.
This approach also improves the overall candidate experience, enhancing an organisation’s employer brand and attractiveness to top talent.


So how do you assess whether someone is really energised by the job they have applied to do?  Strengths-based assessments and interviewing can provide the missing piece of the jigsaw when it comes to recruiting. Strengths are the things that we are likely to be good at, because we are really energised by them. So if we align the strengths to the key requirements of the role, it stands to reason that if we recruit against these, we will have a much higher degree of success in finding the right people. We are not suggesting by the way that we throw competency based interviewing out with the bath water, not at all, the ability to do the job is equally important, but by measuring what a candidate loves to do, can provide crucial additional information, and lead to decisions that are right in the long-term for the company and the employee.
Try and get to the ‘real person’ in interview: ask what energises them about work, and what excites them about the role and the culture of your organisation; ask what kind of culture they will thrive in, to get a sense of ‘
cultural fit’ with your organisation. Most job candidates today are keen to find roles that provide work that is meaningful to them, and aligned to their interests, values and strengths.

Strengths-based recruitment (SBR) has a very simple goal: to find out a candidate's interests. It's still about finding someone who can do the job, but also who will enjoy the role and organisation, and therefore perform better and be more likely to stay in the job. This is a win-win situation for your job satisfaction and it saves time, while getting better results.

Strengths-based interviews are becoming increasingly common among employers wishing to move away from the competency based interview, where candidates tend to have scripted and well-rehearsed answers. Employers who use strengths-based interviews include Aviva, Nestle, Barclays, Standard Chartered Bank, Royal Mail, Royal Bank of Scotland, EY, Cisco, Reckitt Benckiser, BAE Systems, Unilever and Thomson Reuters.

An HR business consultant at Aviva, said of the move:

The approach shifted the emphasis from assessing people’s past performance to evaluating their future potential.
Therefore, it helped the firm to find the right people “who’ll be motivated and energized in their work”. Since going down this path, Aviva has seen staff productivity levels increase by 21%, call average delays fall by 54%, quality rise by 14.5% and customer satisfaction jump by 12%.
  • You get fewer plastic pre-prepared answers from candidates
  • You get a genuine insight into candidates
  • Increases engagement and interest from interviewers
  • Candidates enjoy the interview more, so are attracted to the organisation
  • Rejected candidates understand why and may realise they wouldn't be happy in the role and so don't feel they've failed. A better candidate experience
  • Identifies successful candidates who have better performance as they are built for the role rather than adapting to fit the role
  • Those employed are more likely to stay in the job and will perform at their best and learn new information faster

Our talent assessment solutions improve hiring, promotion, succession and development decisions by providing accurate and in-depth understanding of strengths, skills and risk areas for leaders, managers and key talent.

Our solutions also ensure a more engaging and insightful candidate experience, building the client’s reputation and attractiveness with top talent. 

They enable candidates to showcase their natural strengths, abilities and skills in a challenging but non-threatening environment. We also measure performance risks – overdone strengths, weaknesses and cultural fit issues – and the likelihood these will undermine performance at work.

Interested to know more about a strengths assessments, the strengths-based approach? Check the possibilities on our website and/or please contact us for more information.

Please note that although we are based in Amsterdam, our services can be delivered in other countries (depending on your needs), feel free to discuss the possibilities.

Strengthscope Assessments and Talent Reports are available in English and Dutch

Your partner in Recruitment Solutions is Kitty Schaap,
she holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Sciences and MSc in Management with specialisation Strategic Human Resource Management. Besides a strong theoretical background she has had a varied career in HR and gained broad HRM and recruitment experience in international fast paced environments, some companies she worked for are: Shell, Sotheby's, Amoco BP, Sony, Merck Millipore. She is Strengthscope®Accredited and authorised to deliver Strengthscope® Assessment and Coaching to individuals and leaders. 


Door op Verzenden te klikken gaat u akkoord met onze Privacyverklaring (AVG)

Share our website