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Grasping the Nuances: Talent-Based Hiring, CliftonStrengths

Grasping the Nuances: Talent-Based Hiring, CliftonStrengths

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 7, Episode 38
  • Gain a more thorough understanding of Gallup's talent-based hiring tools and how they compare with CliftonStrengths in this Gallup Research for Coaches webcast.

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Kristin Barry, Portfolio Director for Talent-Based Hiring at Gallup, about Gallup's talent-based hiring (or selection) assessments and the CliftonStrengths assessment, including their history, the differences between them, and why Gallup doesn't recommend using CliftonStrengths as a hiring tool. Kristin discussed how Gallup's selection assessments are designed to measure talent intensity relative to the best in a specific role, while CliftonStrengths is an aid to understanding a person and to developing them in their career. She also fielded some great questions from the chat room.

Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio and video are posted above.

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison and live from the Gallup campus here in Omaha, Nebraska, this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on October 11, 2019. Called to Coach is a resource for those who want to help others discover and use their strengths. We have Gallup experts and independent strengths coaches share tactics, insights and strategies to help coaches maximize the talent of individuals, teams and organizations around the world. If you are listening live, we'd love to have you join us in our chat room -- link is above the video window there on the live page. Or if you're listening after the fact, and many of you will, you can always send us your questions: Kristin Barry is my guest today. Kristin is the Portfolio Director for Talent-Based Hiring here at Gallup and Kristin, welcome to Called to Coach.

Kristin Barry 0:51

Thanks so much, Jim. Really excited to be here.

Jim Collison 0:54

Super great to have you here. You sit down just the hall for me so I can see you every day and I've been looking forward to this time to talk about talent-based hiring. Well, let's get to know you a little bit, your Top 5. And give me a little bit more about your role here at Gallup.

Kristin Barry 1:06

Great. Well, thanks, Jim. I love that we get a chance to work together so frequently. So it's kind of fun to be on a podcast with you here now. So my role as Portfolio Director here at Gallup is really that I'm kind of the champion SME for our talent-based hiring work. So I work with our clients thinking about talent strategies for their organizations, creating candidate experiences that are engaging and really lead to great hires for their organizations, and thinking even more broadly about the employee experience. So how do we attract people to the types of roles that will be a great fit for them, get them suited to those roles, and then really develop them and make them great performers, help them to live out I think, you know, kind of their strengths and talents in a really maximized way? I also work on some pursuits -- talking to people that don't know Gallup or don't know we're in this business, helping educate them about talent-based hiring and the benefits of that, again, kind of linking back to employee experience. So, I've a lot of, like, like you, Jim, I have a few side jobs around here too -- help around it. Some other things I've done: coaching, I've been at Gallup for 12 years. So I've done a lot of work in selection, also a Certified Strengths Coach. I've done coaching for managers and leaders here at Gallup and for clients. And for those of you who maybe recognize my face or voice, I am on the ASC [Accelerated Strengths Coaching] videos. So I did a little stint around coaching for those videos when they were developed. So you're not having deja vu; it's me. So it's been a great ride. And, and it's crazy to think that it's been 12 years already.

Jim Collison 2:34

Yeah, I think actually you and I started maybe just a month or two apart, back in the day, and and have had different paths and careers. You said, I think every Gallup employee has kind of three, two or three different jobs, as they as they progress along. Tell us your Top 5.

Kristin Barry 2:50

Great. Woo, Strategic, Positivity, Relator and Communication.

Jim Collison 2:54

What do you think -- from a theme perspective, what do you think you lean on the most in your current role? I mean, what are you using In what you do?

Kristin Barry 3:01

Yeah, so for me, it's the combination of Strategic and Communication. I'm often really serving as kind of a translator of our science to our clients and prospects. And then also kind of translating back, creating that loop where I'm taking our clients' needs, what's out there in the industry, and what I'm hearing from prospects and bringing that back to our research and our operations groups to make sure that the products and the services we're offering really make sense for what we're putting out there.

Jim Collison 3:26

Super great. We want to get right to the heart of the matter. One of the most popular questions that we get it out there in social in the world is "Can I use CliftonStrengths for selection?" And maybe you can define a little bit of the talent-based selection idea first. Is it true that every single Gallup employee is hired this way, as well? But talk a little bit about that and why we don't necessarily want people using CliftonStrengths for selection.

Kristin Barry 3:51

Yeah, so I'll just get to the point. So if you don't listen to the rest of the cast here, you get your answer you're looking for. But the reality of why we really put it out there is that the CliftonStrengths assessment was calibrated for development. That was very intentional. It's a very intentional decision that we've made for the positioning of it the way that we've developed it, and also the way that we're continuing to research and kind of grow materials and content around it. And so that's the reason. It really is that it was developed, and it's been calibrated for that. And therefore, Gallup really doesn't encourage or support or defend its use in a selection context. For those of you who have worked in employee selection or in HR, you know that the assessments that are able to utilize for employee selection need to be validated for that purpose. And we have an offering for that. So we really want people to understand that while CliftonStrengths absolutely has some great science behind it, for those of you who have not read through the tech report, I think that's a great thing. I'm sure Jim has a great link to that -- easy way to access it. But there's a lot of deep science behind CliftonStrengths, but it's not calibrated for selection. So Gallup as an organization wants you to utilize our tools in a way that makes sense for you -- the way that you can defend them, and certainly the way that, in partnership, we can help come alongside and support you. And so we want you to use it in that way and and really to help people grow by by knowing their themes and really building them into strengths.

Jim Collison 5:13

What do you recommend? So a coach comes across an organization that may have gone that path?

Kristin Barry 5:18


Jim Collison 5:18

What's what's the recommended -- and when you say, "Defend," I mean, that's kind of in some cases, that's serious. That's a legal defense, right? So what kind of recommendations we would give of a coach or they hear about -- they hear about this happening? How would they approach that kind of properly, so to speak?

Kristin Barry 5:32

Absolutely. I think education is key. So in most of the cases where this is happening, I think organizations just aren't aware that CliftonStrengths isn't calibrated. I think there's so much excitement when you uncover what this assessment is and what it tells you about a person that people go, I need to know this about a person before I hire them. Knowing this about them might help me hire them for the right role and align that role to who they are. And while we can kind of understand that thinking, the reality is is that's not how the assessment was designed and not how we've calibrated its use. And so what I think we want to start with is always a point of education, not of judgment, to say, Hey, were you aware that this really is a tool designed for development? And that's how Gallup supports its use, and kind of explaining that perspective to say, Why don't we have people go through this after they're hired and use that understanding to do something like job crafting, making sure that the expectations and the responsibilities of the role are really aligned to who that person is. Furthermore, I think most of these coaches are probably aware that that we do have validated tools for employee selection. And so I would encourage them to either look to Gallup or look to some of the other opportunities and offers in this space where people do have tools that are specifically built and utilized for that purpose.

Jim Collison 6:46

If an organization was doing that, would we just encourage them to contact us to maybe get some clarification on that, to maybe work them -- help work them through that process in a little education?

Kristin Barry 6:57

Sure, absolutely. That's something we can help out with. And there are other things you can utilize and other tools. We certainly have resources and consulting available to help people make good hiring decisions, even without using validated assessment tools. There are other things, and other questioning that you can utilize to understand a person in their fit for a role without specifically using CliftonStrengths.

Jim Collison 7:18

Yeah, and I think that idea of being fit for the role is the most important, a lot of research, a lot of work, a lot of questions get answered around that. Let's back it up a little bit. Think about the history of this. So it's been a long history. And I think -- and a history we don't spend a lot of time talking about, I wanted you to come and and give our coaches so they can be smarter about this -- some background. So where did this come from? How long have we been doing this? Give us a little bit of history.

Kristin Barry 7:42

Yeah. So I think the thing that sort of adds to the confusion is that both of these assessments are really based in a very similar science. And we've just intentionally sort of separated the methodologies from there. So those of you who are familiar with Don Clifton's work, when we think about the selection work that was happening in the '60s and '70s and early '80s, he was really uncovering what are those patterns or themes of success for people in lots of different kinds of roles? So he was studying people in insurance roles, studying nurses, studying teachers, and really learning about what makes somebody great at a particular job? And are there any patterns between exceptional performance and leaders in a particular space? So that work really led to what now are our talent-based hiring assessments. At that time, they were sort of unstructured and free -- free-flowing, and the people that conducted them were kind of all trained in a group by Don. But there weren't as many kind of rules and procedures and certainly not a technology solution like we have today. So they were in-person assessments where somebody was asking questions and kind of coding them live in the administration of them. So that really led, once Gallup joined -- SRI bought Gallup in the late '80s that we started to kind of refine our practice and put into place some predictive validity studies to show, scientifically and statistically, is there a correlation to performance when you hire someone based on these particular patterns of productive behavior?

Kristin Barry 9:08

And certainly, I think that led us down the road where where we decided to kind of standardize this process and create some more systems and operationalization around it internally here at Gallup so that we could sell this more effectively to our clients, CliftonStrengths then was kind of formalized, we'll say, in about 2000. And that's when we really see kind of the split here where these were sort of one science and then we created two methodologies. And we said, Is there a vocabulary and a taxonomy of themes that can help people develop? And then how do we study really specific productive behaviors in roles and how can we create interviews around those? So the split we'll call kind of was in the early 2000s, and our meta-analysis of 380 individual studies was in 2004. So I think that's kind of a pinpoint there in the timeline that says we really put our stake in the ground about what we're doing around talent-based hiring in these particular assessments. Now today we've completed over -- I'd say we're at least at 14 million completes. So not quite sure the CliftonStrengths number there, but still a huge, huge database in terms of across roles and industries across the globe of people who have been through these assessments.

Jim Collison 10:19

Are those assessment questions similar? Different? How do they -- how do we separate the two? I, I feel like you've taken one and you take the other and they kind of feel the same. So how do we how do we express the difference between the two of those?

Kristin Barry 10:32

Yeah, so knowing that that they're they're sort of both based in the same history is helpful because when you do read some of the questions, you feel like, Wow, this is sort of a talent question. Is this a CliftonStrengths question or a question for an assessment? Some of them do feel similar. We do have some paired comparison-style questions like you found on the CliftonStrengths assessment. We -- We also do have some additional types of questions on our web-based assessments. And we also offer a phone-based option in particular for leadership selection, where we're asking open-ended questions giving people opportunity to really describe their talents in action. So there's they're they're based in the same science, there are similarities, but certainly some important differences.

Jim Collison 11:10

You had mentioned the beginning of the program, the importance of the validity of these because they need to be defendable. When we -- can you talk a little bit more about, go just a little more depth and when we talk about the validation process, you just mentioned 14 million, but what else do we do? What else do we have to do, do we need to do that's different on the strengths side, because we don't have to necessarily defend the CliftonStrengths assessment, right? If we were to go to court. So can we talk a little bit more or give a little more on the validity piece? How do we go about that?

Kristin Barry 11:38

You bet, you bet. So the two things that we're focused on when we're showing the validity of the assessment is is really showing that it's relevant to the role and that it's a true measure of what what it purports to measure. So in addition to that, particularly here in the United States of America, we also have to show that the assessment is fair and unbiased, that it does not create any adverse impact for a protected class. So this is something we take very seriously. This is high-stakes testing as far as we're concerned and Gallup, really, I would say, from a research and a science perspective, this will be no surprise to those of you who know us well. But we take this part of the business very seriously and spend time annually kind of reviewing our assessments and reviewing those metrics on it. So we're studying not only the items, but the actual scores at the theme, dimension and overall assessment level, to ensure that there's a correlation of performance, meaning if you respond to these questions in a certain way, and your score reaches that threshold, that we can show statistically that you are more likely to be an excellent performer in that particular role. So we have to show that this assessment does, in fact, you know, measure what it purports to measure, and that it's a reliable measure over time. That if you take it over time, much like CliftonStrengths, are these talents sort of crystallized or is this something that would change drastically based on your feeling that day? So these are all studies that we've conducted over time and that meta-analysis really shows just how we think, think the stability of this, that it wasn't a one-time kind of thing where we found and struck gold, but that we continually see that people's patterns of productive behavior -- thought, feeling and behavior that can be productively applied, that's how we define talent -- that those things really are stable and are predictive of their performance in the role.

Jim Collison 13:20

Kristin, is it, is it a one-size-fits-all? In other words, when we find kind of an assessment that works, do we deploy that through all organizations? Or do we also spend time working with the organizations to see how that culture fit is for them? And so can you talk a little bit about that? How is that -- is it completely custom? Is it completely standard? Or how does that work?

Kristin Barry 13:39

Yeah, so we actually have both options, Jim, and the beauty of the fact that Gallup's been doing this for 60+ years means that we have a tremendous amount of knowledge. We have a huge item bank, and we have many assessments we built over the years. So if you can imagine this, the history of our selection-assessment development was all custom assessments. We studied people in individual roles and individual companies each time to understand what talent made them successful. And as you can imagine, if we're studying teachers across the United States, teachers in San Francisco, teachers in Chicago and teachers in Omaha, that we learned a lot about what makes a great teacher, no matter where you're at. And there are definitely some of those themes and talents that lead to success, no matter what environment you're in, or what state, what country, or what industry even in some cases, so we've been able to use that -- those kind of individual custom studies to develop standard offerings for many of the positions that exist in organizations today. In addition to that, we still do custom work for clients where they have very specific roles that they're trying to narrowly define. And with the appropriate sample size and study metrics, we're able to develop a custom assessment for them.

Jim Collison 14:49

That's good clarification. We've got some questions coming in, and I think it appropriate. Let me throw this in there. Patricia says Gallup uses the same word "talent," right, both in CliftonStrengths and and talent-based assessment. What makes -- this makes it confusing. How are these assessments different and connected?

Kristin Barry 15:05

Jim, I thought you were only going to let the easy questions come through. So next time, give it give me a heads up. No, this is a great question, Patricia, really appreciate that. And it's, it's even confusing for people who start at Gallup. They go talent, talent -- but they're different, but they're the same. What is it? And so again, I think when when we think of talent in its raw form, we're looking at sort of something very similar. Again, it's those patterns of behavior, characteristics about people. Where it separates is that in CliftonStrengths, we're looking at talent themes, and thinking about their development into strengths very specifically. So again, that near-perfect performance of a very specific theme, and and there's 34 that we have named and kind of claimed and stated, those are the use for CliftonStrengths. So our selection assessments very intentionally use different nomenclature and kind of a different taxonomy. Because what I would say, and this is sort of my perspective as both a coach and an expert in this space, is that we're kind of defining sort of narrow aspects of what are sort of the broader CliftonStrengths themes. That those are broad and widely applicable to your life. And when we're selecting someone for a particular position, we're trying to get at what parts of those themes are necessary for success in that job, and defining them even more narrowly. And so we name them something else. We study them very specifically. And there's kind of a really clear definition for that. But if you work in both spaces, you know that there's a lot of dancing between these two that we do, where we're helping organizations hire people on for talent, and then understanding that talent from a CliftonStrengths lens and growing them into strengths.

Jim Collison 16:39

Dan asks the question, Could there be a way for a coach to take the hiring tool assessment so we could better describe what it's like, what the results are like? What kind of advice would you give there?

Kristin Barry 16:49

Absolutely. So Dan, if this is something you're you're interested in, we certainly have a group of people here that are very knowledgeable about talent-based hiring and can talk to you more about our offerings in this space. As part of the sales process, we do have offerings that allow for a demo. So you can kind of understand the assessment and the report. It's not something we post broadly without a conversation, because I think there's a lot of understanding we want people to have before we just kind of throw a number out there or report without any context. It can be really misinterpreted or misunderstood in this space. But we'd love to start a conversation to get you that information.

Jim Collison 17:23

And then Andrea asks, Would you please share more on your thoughts on nonassessment tools and strategies for hiring?

Kristin Barry 17:29

You bet. Andrea, so this is something that we almost could have a whole separate Called to Coach on because I think this is where we kind of get in the world where talent-based hiring and CliftonStrengths and the foundations of talent really intermingle. But I think about, for hiring managers I'm coaching and consulting with that aren't already using our tools, I think the key is helping them get focused on who they're hiring. And and part of it is are you a fit for the job and do you have the skills and the experience and do you kind of meet those minimum qualifications? But I think what happens is most hiring managers sort of forget the people aspect of it, that they're hiring personnel and not people. They're hiring for resume fit to a job and not a person fit to a job. So I talk to them and kind of educate them on the principles of talent, things like flow and yearning, and help them craft questions that get at a person's way of being. Just asking them, when do you feel like you're at your best? Tell me about a recent success you had and why that was a success? What do you see as your two or three, you know, greatest strengths or attributes? And tell me about how those have helped you in your previous work experience? So helping them craft questions that kind of get at talents or get at people's natural patterns of behavior, and then helping them kind of think about what are those -- if you want to call them "listen-fors" or concepts to hear, what are they really looking to hear? And how does that align to the role or, in some cases, not aligned to a role where you know there's not a fit?

Jim Collison 18:59

Kristin, we might, as an example, I was hired into a team of managers. We have a management index that we have a tool that we send folks through. Many of us have different -- on the CliftonStrengths side, many of us have different themes, right? Wouldn't a talent-based hiring tool tend to hire the same kind of people? Kind of based on CliftonStrengths? Can you talk about why that might be a little bit different?

Kristin Barry 19:24

Yeah, absolutely. So I get a lot of questions about are we hiring robots or clones? When you go through this assessment, do you just get exactly the same people out of it? And the reality is that you don't, and I love that about this. For those of you who are coaches and know our strengths well, you'll know that you're hearing Individualization here; it hides right under right about No. 7 for me. But I really value the fact that these assessments are designed where we can assess your your potential for success relative to the best in a role, but but it's not a one-size-fits-all. So there is sort of a threshold or a level of talent intensity that you need to reach in order to be a fit for the role, if that makes sense from an assessment perspective. But also that the combination of talents that you bring doesn't have to be exactly the same. So if you can imagine, we're sort of measuring all the possible things that would make you successful in the role and expecting that you have 50%, 60% or 70% of those, but the makeup of your 50%, Jim, and my 50% can be really different. And so I think that's where we see people, you know, have 5 software developers in a hall sitting next to each other, and they have completely different Top 5s.

Jim Collison 20:33

Yeah, and it's it is interesting. It is a question we get quite a lot. There's another question in the chat room. Is there a location where we can access the roles for the generic assignments and then a follow-up question, as well: And is there a hiring for talent tool if we're looking to recruit new strengths coaches for our team? Talk a little bit about that.

Kristin Barry 20:52

Great. So I think, Jim, one thing we can do as a follow-up is kind of post a link to our talent-based hiring section of, to kind of direct people there to our key kind of offerings and content in the area. We've released several articles about this particular part of our business as well that you can search for. And certainly for anyone who has very specific questions, we do have a list of standard tools and roles that those tools cover. And we're happy to field those specifically talk to you more about that. And then there was a second question, Jim, what was that one?

Jim Collison 21:22

Is there -- Is there a hiring tool, talent tool for looking to recruit new strengths coaches for our team? That's great.

Kristin Barry 21:29

That's a great question. I love I love your thinking on that. So we do not have a specific hiring tool for hiring coaches. We have developed some things in kind of in concert with our learning and design teams for helping organizations to develop or to select and develop strengths champions within their organizations. So Gallup does offer that to organizations who are working in partnership with us to become strengths-based. But I think if I was kind of giving you advice outside of using a specific standardized tool, I think what you want to do is start by just really listing out, What are the expectations you have of a coach? If you're looking to hire a new coach to your team, what are you going to expect them to do? So I always start with the "do's." They have to do this, do this, do this. What are the tasks of the job? The expectations? Are there any key performance metrics that you want them to be able to meet? How would you define success? And then for all of you here, here on the line, you're coaches, so you know a lot about talent and about people's behaviors. So then I think you want to really spell out, Who do you need that person to be in order to do those things? And and that's really kind of if I supersimplify the research process that goes into developing these assessments, it's really that we first define the "do" -- what do they have to do? And then we understand who do they have to be in order to do that really successfully? And and so it's not literally saying you have to have this CliftonStrengths theme No. 1, 2 or 3, but it's in general, what kind of themes are we looking for in a person? And then you're looking for those types of responses in the questions you're asking.

Jim Collison 22:57

Yeah, and success is the key. You've said that several times and that you may have a set of CliftonStrengths themes that lead one person to an outcome. And there might be a completely different set that can lead someone to the same successful outcome, just coming at it from a different perspective.

Kristin Barry 23:12


Jim Collison 23:13

And so that's why, right, that's why you may end up with a team selected to be together, but they may have very different themes. I think some digging on that would show that the outcomes -- because this is really where this talent-based hiring is is talking about outcomes. And we, we talk a lot about that on the strengths side as well. It's really about success and performance success that we're having, right? Sometimes we get stuck on the labels and forget the whole thing is really about kind of success in that. Um, let's talk a little bit about -- well, let me clarify one more thing too. If you're listening to this, you don't have to come over to -- you can just go to our website, so go to and search talent-based hiring, you can find it. That's probably -- pretty much the easiest way to find it. We've also written articles, have resources, there's a whole bunch out there around this for you. So you can start your homework there. There's a contact form on that page, you can fill that out, that will come in, somebody will pick that up and get right back to you. Let's talk a little bit about the future. We've got some things coming in the future that may be a little bit different than we did in the past. Can you kind of tease that out a little bit? And if people wanted to start thinking about, as coaches, think about, How can I get involved in this or take advantage of it? What what will be available to them?

Kristin Barry 24:23

Yeah, absolutely. So I think, Jim, just a couple of things as as we kind of wrap up this notion, and you talked about two people can get to the same outcome with different Top 5s and I want to really reiterate that -- that the selection assessments are really designed to measure a person's talent intensity relative to the best in that very specific role. And so they're really calibrated to be sort of an aid in decision-making. Whereas I see CliftonStrengths as helping you understand a person and to be an aid in developing -- in developing that person and to developing their career and, and the way they're going to live it out. So our assessments are kind of saying, Can they do this job? Are they a fit relative to the best that we've studied in this narrow, specific role? Versus how are they going to do the job? And so there really is, we spend a lot of time kind of comparing these one against the other. But I think the way to look at them is to look at them in partnership with each other; that having CliftonStrengths without, you know, thinking about that right fit for the role is a "miss"; and putting someone in the role and making sure it's the right fit, and then not taking time to develop them is really a "miss" as well. And so so it's a marriage between these two -- that you get the role-specific, you know, really kind of differentiating scoring and language for the selection assessment. And then you introduce that really highly developed mental common vocabulary to help people understand who they are and understand who the people around them are; that universal language of CliftonStrengths that I think is such a beautiful way for people to not only understand themselves, but to be able to communicate with each other effectively.

Kristin Barry 25:57

So I think there's a great partnership there. And there's a lot of nuance in that, but, you know, someone with a certain Top 5, if you were to select them on your Top 5 against Gallup's recommendations here, is that it might not play out as you thought, right? There's an element of a person's themes are raw and sort of undeveloped, and you thought you were getting one thing, and the way it plays out is totally different. And furthermore, I think we don't know the intensities behind it. And so there's a lot of that that I think people need to be aware of. And we kind of talked about that the answer is the calibration and validity component about why Gallup does not encourage the use. But I think there's a lot of nuance here that we want you to use both; we want people to be in the right fit, so that their talents can be utilized, and then to develop them in a way that they really reach their maximum potential. So I think it's a marriage there.

Kristin Barry 26:46

So I took us off base there but but wanted to mention that. And I'll talk about the future to is something we're really excited about. For those of you who've been close to Gallup for a lot of years, as Jim said, maybe our selection work in the past has felt like it's been veiled a little bit and it's sort of a "black box." I think, as an organization, maybe it even feels like this with CliftonStrengths, we've continued to try to reach out to our clients or prospects and our wider audience and say, What do you want to know? And and let's be in partnership in this and we want to share more about our science and research. So I think part of it is, we've been more involved in the CliftonStrengths Summit -- now, again, the Gallup at Work Summit. We've spent more time on things like this -- getting on Called to Coach; getting in front of other audiences to help them understand our selection science, our talent-based hiring offerings. And for the future, I think there's some exciting things to come with regards to Gallup moving to Access and kind of really centralizing all of our platforms where these parts of our business may have felt, sort of siloed in the past, we have an opportunity here to bring them together. So I think there are really exciting things on the horizon. Without saying too much about that, there's more to come there and I think you'll see an opportunity where we're trying to make these offerings. really relevant and available to a wider market, to different-sized organizations that have different needs. And so, as Jim said, I really appreciate that the reach-out on the page, fill out one of those contact forms. If you have questions, we'll get the right person in touch with you, and really want to partner with you on that.

Jim Collison 28:18

Kristin, anything, anything we missed, as we think and I'll throw this out to the audience as well, by the way, sorry, I forgot I had my system sounds button turned on. So you guys maybe been hearing some strange noises like, What is that? on Facebook and OK, sorry. Anyways, apologize for that.

Kristin Barry 28:34

So pay attention.

Jim Collison 28:35

Well, I know I've got about 1,000 buttons over here to push. Any -- anything that we missed or anything else that you would say to a coach as we kind of think about selection, and maybe we should have you back on on a little more regular basis as we get ready to roll things for 2020. But anything that we missed?

Kristin Barry 28:53

Yeah, I think this group asks some great questions and that just does not surprise me at all. Anytime I've interacted with our groups of coaches here at the Gallup campus, at the summits and other avenues, it just feels like this is a very insightful and knowledgeable group, and we really appreciate that. I think I'll I'll just add one more thing you know kind of about the partnership between selection and development. To me, if you're focusing only on that right fit, you kind of can get it in that "set it and forget it" mode, where you get someone into the right role, it's a good fit for them, it's well-suited to their talents, their skills and experience, but then you don't spend any time with them. And and certainly we all know that that is not aligned with a growth mindset and does not help people really reach their full potential; that you can't just set them and expect them to grow themselves. And so I think coaching, understanding their strengths and building appropriate developmental opportunities really does help them reach their potential; but but on the flip side, that only kind of having that that growth mindset and not getting the right person in the right role to start means that your efforts aren't reaching their full potential. I think about when you're growing someone and developing someone, and you're doing it in a space that they're already starting out ahead because they have those natural talents, their way of being is really aligned to the job, your potential's really unlimited. And I truly believe that for every job, there's someone that loves to do it. There are a lot of jobs out there that sound like a horrible day to me, and I think about -- but there's someone that wakes up every morning and thinks that is the coolest job on the face of the earth and, and this is how I'm living out my purpose and mission. Right? And so I think it's about -- selection sometimes can feel a little bit, I don't know, exclusive and that we're not letting people in. But I really see it as our opportunity to align that person with a role that has the best potential to utilize their strengths and talents, and then growing them in a way that that really feeds them and allows them to live out their their purpose.

Jim Collison 30:53

Kristin, in the time I've been here and the 12 years you've been here as well, we have seen our assessments go through changes. How often, when we think about how we evaluate, how we change, how we update things, how often would you say on a regular basis, we're reevaluating for change on our assessments?

Kristin Barry 31:12

Great question, Jim. So the the thing about this is that, in the world today, we sort of expect things to be updated on the daily. When something's wrong, you know, in a world of technology, that fixes are coming out, are -- I think I got a new operating system pushed to my phone last night, right. So we're used to kind of those constant small tweaks. What we find in selection is that we're -- this is sort of the long game, and and so we absolutely are reviewing our assessments on a regular basis. But if you're looking for kind of monthly or yearly updates to every single one, that's just not really how this research practice works. What we're doing is watching those patterns and certainly watching the statistical correlation to outcomes over time, and then adjusting where we see fit and where we see there's a need. So sometimes it's a little bit smaller and, and occasionally, what we do is we find that an aspect of this particular role has significantly changed over time. And so for those of you who have ever worked at a client of Gallup's or if you're engaged with Gallup in a in a talent-based hiring capacity right now, you know that we've done that over time. We've said, Hey, we have a new interview for this particular role because there's some really fundamental changes in what success means in this role. And I think you guys could probably make some assumptions about what those are. But certainly, as as technology has changed, as the world has changed, things like the ability to be agile, be flexible and accommodating to change; you know, really working with a higher sense of purpose and mission is more important than ever before. And so when we see those big shifts and see them really sustainably existing in a role, we do make some some broader changes to our assessments to accommodate those. So we do see those at times as well.

Jim Collison 32:50

Well, one more final question for me and this will be the last call for the chat room. When we think about the world we live in now, where everything is social. Like every question, you know, you take a question here, somewhere, somebody copies it and puts it online, right? How do we -- how does that get accounted for if somebody goes in there and, you know, strips these questions out and tries to make them available, which I'm sure has happened, probably, how do we how do we account for that?

Kristin Barry 33:17

Great question, Jim. So so the "gaming" question always comes up when I'm talking to prospects. They're like, "I know it works. But how do you not fake it? I mean, we don't have a video on the person. How do we know it's the person responding to the questions?" So there's several things we do, and some which we'll reveal and some which we won't, of course. But in general, I mean, I think, first of all, just so you know, we are always kind of combing and scraping the internet. The questions are our intellectual property, and we do not appreciate those being posted, for a lot of reasons. I think we want candidates to come into this, the whole idea of capturing your talent is about getting at who you are, and, and sort of studying and rehearsing responses to questions doesn't allow us to get to know you, and doesn't allow you to get aligned to the job that's best for you. So, so ultimately, I think that's our purpose in making sure that these aren't kind of posted broadly. But furthermore, I think there's some ways that we structure the interviews, the ways that we sequence the interviews; the ways, technologically, that the interviews are administered, that ensure that if you and I are both taking the assessment today that the screens that we're seeing aren't exactly the same. So it'd be very hard for us to kind of sit and cheat off each other or give the same responses in hopes that we both, you know, get the job. But additionally, we also have some research in terms of response patterns in the way that we're getting out a particular theme, such that we can really tell when the results are valid, or we're more getting a set of results that are are likely invalid, and we call that and bring that to the client's attention. So certainly some things that we've built in there. And I think at the end of the day, what I always tell people too is, this would be a crazy thing to "game" because you're only going to end up in a job you hate. So spending time figuring out how to "game" the assessments only leads you to having a really frustrating work experience, which isn't ideal for you. So we want you to be honest and respond top-of-mind so that we can get you aligned with a role that utilizes your strengths.

Jim Collison 35:07

Or you could have been right fit to begin with and you would have made it -- you would have made it in anyways.

Kristin Barry 35:12

Totally. Yeah. You might have messed up your chance.

Jim Collison 35:13

No. Right on. One more question: Is there much of a difference between hiring for "fit" -- you've said that a couple times -- in an organization, mission, purpose, values, versus hiring for the "fit" of a role? What are the difference between those two?

Kristin Barry 35:25

Yeah, great question. So the assessments that we've developed are very specifically hiring for fit to a role. So we study the role, we study excellence in the role, studying the job demands, and so the Gallup assessments are very much intended for that. Then what we do is partner with our clients to understand those other components that you brought up, kind of the mission, the values, culture, team fit. There's a lot of other components that go into ultimate fit for the job. And so we do consult with our clients on that to help them understand the best ways to uncover those things. And if that should be an integral part of their selection process and at what stage of the candidate experience that should be addressed. So in most cases that's happening, whether it's a recruiter kind of screening call, a hiring manager in-person interview, but it's them usually using some questions to really assess for fit in those other components.

Jim Collison 36:15

Okay, good. Kristin, thank you for taking the time this afternoon to walk us through this. Again, if you want more information, we've got a lot information on our website about it. You can also schedule a demo with us, so if you want to see this in action. Do we use the same tool for strengths that we use for for the talent? In other words, does it look -- physically does it look similar, if I'm taking it, or do we do it on the same platform?

Kristin Barry 36:40

It's not the exact same platform, but it's gonna feel familiar.

Jim Collison 36:44

OK. And so that's -- some people get a little confused there as well. Sometimes this happens on the road when I'm recruiting. I'll have somebody say, encouraging them to go through the assessment and then we'll give them or a book or a code or whatever and say, we also want you to take strengths. We always have them do the hiring tool first. So go through the hiring tool. Take some time apart from that, because they do -- I think they do feel similar but they are different in the way we ask those questions as well. Oh, Andrea's got one more good question too.

Kristin Barry 37:14


Jim Collison 37:14

So she says, How does Gallup design hiring assessments that eliminates bias against gender, race, age, etc? There's been a lot of conversations around hiring bias, right. Can you talk about that?

Kristin Barry 37:26

Absolutely, Andrea, way to get that one in right before this is, again, sort of a calling of itself when we think about diversity and hiring. So I think a couple of things here are certainly just the introduction of a scientifically valid tool, in and of itself, does help to reduce bias in hiring. This is a tool that does not know who you are, as you're going through it, doesn't know your age, or race or gender, anything else about you. So the responses you're giving are really what are dictating the results and the report out of that particular assessment. So I think, in and of itself, that's kind of the first step. The other thing, Andrea, is that we -- as I mentioned, we are constantly evaluating these tools, all the way down to an item level to watch the trends of these items over time. So we're looking at an item and at all of the kind of in the modules and the levels that we score a particular instrument. We're evaluating those and their correlation to the outcomes in protected classes to ensure that there is not bias. There are times where we see certain types of wording or phrasing no longer being relevant, or, or creating an issue, and we're able to adjust that. And really, I guess, I would say, kind of update our assessments accordingly. So it's something that we're able to actually track and watch statistically, which I think gives me a lot more confidence than some of the other practices that I that I've heard our clients honestly talk about, about the kinds of questions their managers or recruiters are asking, or the things that they're basing their hiring decisions on, which are just so subjective and and very much open to not only conscious bias, but subconscious bias. And so I think that knowing there's a research team that's really devoted to ensuring these assessments are fair and valid, to me, gives me a lot of confidence in their use.

Jim Collison 39:14

Yeah, that's why I would suggest you don't try to come up with your own. Like there's tons of research. I, I didn't realize this until I made the move from IT over into recruiting. And then I watched what you guys did in was in the meetings where we talk about these things. And I'm like, Holy smoke, there's like a whole team of just validating these to make sure and then you guys would spend weeks, months in cycles, really poring over the data, arguing about it, talking about it, you know, validating it, and I was like, Wow, this is this is some serious business. I would hate to see one or two people get together and say, Hey, let's come up with some questions that we think are talent-based. Because there's so much work that goes into them. I have the -- because you work down the hall, I've had some questions that I've asked in in my -- when I have interns coming in, or we're hiring, and I've ran those by you. That's super great to be able to say, hey, Kristin, can you look at these? Can you make sure like I'm not introducing that in as well? And so a great benefit to be able to work with you and folks to be able to work with us to do similar things along those lines to make sure you're eliminating those out of it. Well, Kristin, thank you for taking the time again today. Hopefully you've found this helpful. I think we'll probably have you back on here in maybe first part of the year and and go over some more things. If you have questions on us, you can let us know as well. Thanks for doing this.

Kristin Barry 40:33

Thanks, everyone.

Jim Collison 40:34

Appreciate it. Well, with that, I'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available now on the Gallup Access platform. You can access that just Send us your questions or comments, you can send those to us via email: You can also catch the catch the recorded audio and video of this program as well as all the past ones on YouTube, our YouTube channel, just search CliftonStrengths. That's our main channel there. We do have a live webcast channel. If you want to subscribe to both of those, you'll never miss anything. If you're interested in becoming a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach or getting more training or education from us, you can view our courses page; everything we have available is out there: There is a contact form on that page; if you want to get more information on that, someone will call you back. If you'd like to sign up for future webcasts: -- I'm sorry, And if you want to join us in our Facebook group, that's super easy: Want to thank you for joining us today. We'll be back with more next week. Dean Jones next Friday, coming in. You don't want to miss Dean. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody!

Kristin Barry's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Woo, Strategic, Positivity, Relator and Communication.

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