Capp’s five-step approach to strengths-based recruitment

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December 2016
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EY Remove Academic Barriers to Application for Student Careers in Drive to Improve Social Mobility

Posted by: Alex Linley, Capp

 

We are delighted that EY have today opened their student recruitment process for 2015/16, with the headline-grabbing announcement that they have dropped academic screening criteria from their recruitment process. This has been made possible through our work with EY over the last 7 years, in which we have been able to demonstrate that strengths-based recruitment is better able to predict success in role than academic screening criteria such as degree class or UCAS points.

 

This announcement generated a lot of positive media coverage, including this from BBC News – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-33759238

 

The intention of EY in making this change is to level the playing field in order to attract talent from across a more even and fair playing field, enabling opportunity for all and promoting social mobility as a result.

 

This is one of EY’s many demonstrations of commitment to social mobility under their Champion status of the Social Mobility Business Compact, of which Capp are also signatories. As part of the recruitment process, EY are also partnering with Capp and Jobmi to monitor social mobility in the most comprehensive way that has been attempted to date in student recruitment.

 

We look forward to further announcements, insights and results as this progresses.

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Downward mobility, opportunity hoarding and the ‘glass floor’: Latest SMCP Commission Report

Posted by: Alex Linley, CEO, Capp

 

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission just released their latest report – ‘Downward mobility, opportunity hoarding and the ‘glass floor” – https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/447575/Downward_mobility_opportunity_hoarding_and_the_glass_floor.pdf.

 

This report examines the relationships between family background, childhood cognitive skills and adult success in the labour market, using a sample of several thousand people from the British Birth Cohort Study 1970, who have been tracked since their births over the course of a single week in 1970, and were aged 42 at the time of the latest data collection.

 

The study set out to compare and contrast the outcomes and trajectories of distinct groups on a two-by-two matrix within the Birth Cohort Study 1970. First, participants were classified as high attainers or low attainers in relation to labour market success, and second, they were classified as coming from high or low socioeconomic and educational backgrounds. The focus of the research was to understand how people achieved high attainer status in their labour market outcomes, and if this was different for people from low or high socioeconomic backgrounds respectively.

 

The findings were clear and consistent. People from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were less likely to achieve higher labour market outcomes (that is, high level jobs) than people from higher socioeconomic backgrounds, even when controlling for their childhood cognitive ability. This is believed to be related to the wider network of factors that influence labour market success, so-called ‘signalling’ effects that have been identified by economists, and include confidence, self-presentation and conduct in social settings.

 

The research indicated that having better-educated parents, who were in higher level jobs themselves, and could therefore provide more resources, as well as more access to opportunities, served to protect their less able children and young people from higher socioeconomic backgrounds (so-called ‘opportunity hoarding’). As a result, whether deliberately intended or otherwise, this also served to restrict access to more able children and young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, who did not have access to these resources (so-called ‘glass floor’ effects).

 

The SMCPC report calls for changes in recruitment processes to address these biases, something which Capp has been delivering consistently through our work in strengths-based recruitment for a number of years. Strengths-based recruitment assesses a person’s innate ability and potential, depending far less on their ability to give examples that can only have been honed through their access to opportunity to that point (e.g., a typical competency question such as, “Tell me about a time when you have held a position of responsibility?”)

 

This levelling of the playing field, providing access to opportunity for all, enabling talent, drive and meritocracy, rather than rewarding privilege and connection, is also core to Jobmi, the job matching place. Jobmi provides free access to online assessments, developmental feedback and practice tests, while also enabling people from all backgrounds to complete assessments and be matched to job opportunities on the basis of the profile that Jobmi builds up about them. The Jobmi approach, using this insightful assessment of talent and ability, overcomes the biases inherent in ‘signalling’ effects, and provides more equal access to opportunity for all.

 

With these improvements in talent assessment, the measurement of potential, and job matching technology, it truly is possible to do a lot more that addresses the challenges, and also the opportunities, of promoting and enabling greater social mobility across Britain. In doing so, we benefit individuals, the economy and society as a whole.

 

 

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BBC News – Elite firms ‘exclude bright working class’

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

Today’s BBC News article - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-33109052 – simply serves to confirm what we have known at Capp and been working to address for a long time – that many recruitment processes are unfairly discriminating against candidates from diverse social backgrounds, simply by virtue of how these recruitment processes are designed.

 

My presentation to the Association of Graduate Recruiters Student Recruitment Trade Show in January this year showed exactly how. In reality, it’s pretty simple to introduce systematic bias into your recruitment process, even when you don’t mean to – just by using arbitrary screening criteria.

 

These arbitrary screening criteria include things like requiring a certain number of UCAS points (e.g., 300 UCAS points), a certain degree class (e.g., 2.1 or above), or attendance at a certain university (e.g., a Russell Group university).

 

In some recruitment processes, if you fall down on any of these criteria, you’re automatically screened out. This is how talent is wasted and opportunities are missed.

 

Capp are proud signatories of the Social Mobility Business Compact, set up by the previous coalition government to promote social mobility in organisations. For years we have been working to address precisely these issues. The way we do this is pretty simple: Data and analytics.

 

Traditional recruitment processes introduced arbitrary screening criteria as a way of managing recruitment volumes. That is entirely understandable, if not entirely defensible in the modern day. With what we know now about assessment, and with insights from assessment data and analytics, there is no need for organisations to rely on arbitrary screening to manage candidate volumes any more.

 

Instead, organisations should embrace social mobility and discover hidden talent through assessing what really matters in the people they recruit, rather than depending on arbitrary information about the person’s background to date. As Capp defines it, social mobility is where your background doesn’t define your future opportunities. You do.

 

Working with Nestlé and using our platform Jobmi, the job matching place, we were able to remove the traditional screening criteria and use a comprehensive assessment suite that measured candidates’ fit with Nestlé as an organisation, their match with the role, their potential and future capability. The results? Of their 2015 hiring intake, Nestlé found that 21% of their candidates would not even have passed their previous screening criteria.

 

That’s right, 1 in 5 people of those who were actually hired would have been missed under the previous recruitment process. This is the peril of depending on arbitrary selection criteria, but also the opportunity of moving to embrace assessment by data and analytics insights.

 

Further, Nestlé gave every single applicant to them a second opportunity if they were unsuccessful, by signing up to Decline to Jobmi – http://www.capp.co/decline-to-jobmi . Decline to Jobmi invites every candidate who isn’t a match for your organisation to join Jobmi, the job matching place, where they have new opportunities to be matched to their perfect job.

 

Nestlé candidates loved this, and thought it spoke volumes about Nestlé’s commitment to social mobility and corporate social responsibility.

 

Congratulations to BBC News for highlighting a longstanding and insidious challenge to the opportunities of talented people from all walks of life. The good news is that innovative and forward-thinking organisations are already doing things differently to solve this problem and find hidden talent.

 

 

 

 

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Developing Business Critical Capabilities in Early Talent

Posted by: Dr Reena Jamnadas

 

Today I spoke to a candidate (let’s call her Subo) to discuss feedback on the strengths that enabled her to be successful in an assessment centre for an apprenticeship scheme. Subo was excited to receive feedback and brainstormed all the ways she imagined growing and developing within her first few months – she almost had to hold herself back once reality hit that she hadn’t actually started the apprenticeship yet!

 

Set against the backdrop of politicians pledging to create opportunities for young people to get into work through apprenticeships, this paints a promising picture about how eager young talent are to apply their skills in the workplace.

 

On the flip side, last week, the CIPD published an article emphasising the need for learning and development in organisations to deliver outcomes that are more acutely aligned to business strategy. Developing apprentices, graduates and ‘emerging leaders’ to develop capabilities that will deliver future business requirements is a critical challenge; yet it’s this very population of talent that are a force for culture change.

 

For early talent like Subo, whilst making an impact from ‘day one’ matters, being equipped to develop a rich career is equally important.  Doing both through developing the capabilities that the business needs is absolutely essential.

 

Often, this means building capabilities for future roles that negotiate unchartered territory. With many new roles, e.g., in digital and technology, evolving at pace, the key is to develop both core capabilities and an understanding of what a diverse range of career pathways would look like.

 

At Capp, we recognise the need to enable apprentices, graduates and emerging leaders to assess their own current and future capabilities so that they can strategise about their next leap. We do this by providing emerging talent and managers with assessment data about their current capability, future capacity and how these could map to potential career pathways.

 

The good news for young people is that organisations such as Lloyds Banking Group and Standard Chartered Bank are already using such assessments to develop ‘next level’ capabilities amongst apprentices and graduates. This means that young people like Subo can take responsibility for directing their own growth and careers – and managers have the data to support them in the right ways. We also support organisations to develop talent through action-focused interventions, workshop based learning, and high impact talent centres.

 

For more information about Capp’s approach to talent management, please contact the development solutions team on +44 (0) 2476 323363.

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AGR Graduate Development Conference 2015

Posted by Emma Trenier

 

It was great to attend this year’s AGR Graduate Development conference yesterday and meet with graduate development professionals from a wide range of businesses. Representatives from Transport for London, Thomson Reuters, Morrisons, John Lewis, Fujitsu, and the Bank of England were there, amongst over 200 others, and it was great to hear about both best practice and challenges from these experienced development professionals.

 

Francesca Campalani (Senior HR and Brand Manager at Lloyds Banking Group) and I ran a session called ‘Test the Strength of your graduate development’ where we shared the graduate development journey that we are currently delivering in partnership.

 

Following the morning’s challenge by Marcus Orlovsky for organisations to take the risk of allowing greater complexity and less support, we discussed how LBG have built gaming principles into their programme- allowing for high challenge and opportunity, lots of freedom and fun, and the potential to win prizes.

 

We also shared why LBG now both recruit for and develop strengths rather than competencies for their early talent. The top reasons include a desire to differentiate themselves as an employer of choice, reduce the recruitment of company clones (!), and provide recognition to every new recruit.

 

Finally, we discussed the role of managers in developing early talent potential. With strong research evidence suggesting that strengths focused conversations lead to increased performance, we shared how we have engaged with line managers- through graduate led conversations, good communication, and supporting information and tools.  This engagement has led to 97% of managers having strengths conversations with their graduates and apprentices.

 

To view our presentation, please click here

 

To view a case study describing the Graduate and Apprentice Journey at Lloyds Banking Group, please click here

 

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Five Steps to Building a Winning Team

Posted By: Emma Trenier

 

Last month we spent the day with 280 Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) graduates at the spectacular launch of this year’s Responsible Business Challenge.

 

Sponsored by HR Director Stephen Smith, along with many other representatives from the emerging talent team and the business, this event prepared the graduates for their challenge of collectively raising at least £250k for Children in Need.

 

With last year’s graduates bringing in at least £200k more than that, the bar is set high. So, to start the teams off on the right foot, Capp brought the teams through the first five steps of building high performing teams, learning from last year’s winners at every stage.

 

Here is the essence of what we shared:

 

1.      Rules of engagement

The first step to building a winning team is to be clear on your team rules of engagement. These are the rules that every team member must stick to at all costs, e.g., must attend all meetings, must be on time, must contribute the actions promised, must be respectful of other team members, must stay on topic.

 

It is always helpful to include a rule which outlines the reasons a non- contributor can be kicked out of the group. This way, you won’t fall into the trap of being hindered by some people’s poor performance.

 

2.      Begin with the end in mind

Next we spoke about the ‘Duvet Shove’, the principle that every team needs to have a shared purpose and vision that will (hypothetically) drag them out of bed in the morning (shove the duvet off!), or help them focus on the challenge when everyday priorities get in the way.

 

The graduates’ next challenge was to define their vision- for some this was to promote what Children in Need do, for others it was to run an event or activity every single week of the challenge.

 

3.      The right group

The third step to building a high performing team is to define the team roles that are necessary at each stage of the project, bearing in mind that these will change many times. Understanding the strengths and passions of each team member helps to give every person the opportunity to contribute their best.

 

The graduates considered their strengths and the roles they would most like to take- referring to the Lloyds Banking Group strengths definitions for ideas.

 

4.      Set the pace and structure

Meetings! We discussed the pain that comes from meetings with no purpose or no outcomes. For all meetings we shared the importance of considering:

 

-          TYPE- what is the meeting for?

-          STRUCTURE- how much structure is needed?

-          OBJECTIVES- what are they?

-          AGENDA- what were our agreed actions from the last meeting and what do we need to decide today?

-          ADVANCE- what should be done in advance?

-          ON TIME- Start, stay, finish on time

-          MOMENTUM- never cancel a meeting without rearranging

 

5.      Generate ideas

Finally, we shared tools for idea generation that will help every team think of winning ideas. Through methods of divergent thinking (do this first), and then methods of convergent thinking (do this after a coffee), the teams were able to select their best ‘first burst’ ideas. The graduates also learnt that an IDEA is different from a THOUGHT. For a thought to become an idea it needs to be developed into an actionable suggestion that somebody who did not think of it could deliver.

 

For LBG, the principles of gamification are central to making the graduate journey impactful- learning socially, through fun, and winning prizes is all part of what makes their development approach stand out. The Responsible Business Challenge is the first of a series of competitive and stretching ‘games’ still to come this year!

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The Four Secrets of Making an Impact

Posted By:  Reena Jamnadas

 

As we are partnering with Lloyds Banking Group to deliver their Graduate and Apprentice Development Journeys, we recently ran a session with 40 incredible apprentices about how to create an amazing personal impact.

 

The apprentices enjoyed the four secrets to making an impact- here’s a snapshot of what we shared:

 

Creating a positive impression can be the difference between starting a relationship on the right foot or the wrong foot. This is never truer than in the workplace. Whether you’re the CEO or a new member of a team, it’s as the saying goes: ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’

 

What do you want to be known for? What impression do you want to leave on others? How can you create a lasting impression on the people that you work with?

 

Secret 1: It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it

Have you ever met someone for the first time, and although they said ‘Great to meet you’, their body language didn’t quite match up? When you speak to others, it’s important that you are authentic and confident in the way that you come across. This might be in the way that you give a genuine smile, give a firm handshake, or have strong eye-contact.

 

Action: Think about what you would say if you had 60 seconds with a senior colleague in a lift who asked you what you most enjoy about your work.

 

Secret 2: Deliver quick wins

Quick wins allow you to show others what you can do – a small action that makes a big difference and helps you to stand out. Think about how you can make somebody else’s job easier. You can deliver a quick win by thinking about what you can improve, fix, or resolve quickly.

 

Action: What immediate opportunity do you have to volunteer for something? Think about who you will approach and how you can help.

 

Secret 3: Build your network

Knowing who you have in your network can help you identify people that can help you achieve your goals. Write down people you can go to for support, knowledge, to make connections in or outside of school – it may be colleagues, teachers, relatives, or friends. Remember, it’s important to practice giving as well as taking from people you know.

 

Action: Draw a map of people in your network. Write down how you can strengthen these connections through ways such as offering your help, connecting on LinkedIn, or sharing knowledge.

 

Secret 4: Excel at being a learner

Successful people never stop taking their growth seriously. This is a perfect time in your life to think about new talents or knowledge that you want to gain – think about what new things you need to learn to help reach your goals. Which sources of information will help you? Who can you approach?

 

Action: Brainstorm a ‘wish list’ of what you would like to learn over the next three months. Create an action plan of how you will make it happen: sources of information, people to approach, resources you need.

 

Which of these secrets will you apply today or share with an apprentice you work with?  

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Happy Mother’s Day

Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Strengths Consultant

 

Talking to my Mum about strengths is often a little challenging. She is far from negative, but her motto in life is “You just have to get on with it.”

 

I was making strengths videos some time back, when I asked her to pick out her top strength and talk to me about what this looked like in action. She struggled and found it hard to resonate with many of the 60 strengths from Realise2 that I showed her, despite Dad and I easily being able to identify many in her.

 

I recall over the years her saying that others had real talents that you could see and that she felt somewhat inadequate to those around her.

 

Eventually, she chose Service and was fairly comfortable with it, but muttering nonetheless that it was just something she just did, she just got on with it and it didn’t feel like a strength. She has spent her 67 years supporting others in various careers and community work and she thrives on it.

 

She has always ‘simply’ attended to others who have bigger needs; from birth as a trained nursery nurse up to the very elderly as a companion for the blind.

 

Service, along with her Moral Compass and Mission, are Being strengths and refer to the way we are, our values. So, when something comes this naturally to us, we often don’t recognise the true value or impact we have on others, and even on the world around us.

 

So, Mum might not have created or won something evident ,but she will leave the hearts and places she touches better off with her time, patience, humour and devotion to making others’ lives easier.

 

Thank you, Mum, for showing me your strengths over the years. You are immensely proud of me, but I wonder if you can see so much of you in me, and stop to appreciate that some of my successes are down to you ‘just’ being you?

 

What are your Mum’s strengths? When was the last time you pointed them out to her and the impact they have had on you? Don’t forget to draw on the more subtle ones and also to be specific about events and naming the particular strengths you see in her.

 

If you want to say thank you to your Mum, and you’re an accredited Realise2 Practitioner, we are giving away one free Realise2 Strengths assessment for your Mum for Mother’s Day. Email capp@capp.co before 12.00 midday GMT on Friday 13 March, quoting ‘Mum’ and stating when you were accredited as a Realise2 Practitioner, to receive your special Mother’s Day Realise2 Gift Certificate.

 

Recognising your strengths can help you become more engaged, happier and productive. So, whatever life stage your Mum is at, this will be a truly rewarding Mother’s Day gift.

 

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Saying Yes and Making it Happen – Celebrating International Women’s Day

Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Strengths Consultant

 

International Women’s Day is celebrated again on the 8th March.

 

Are you a woman who is successful in her career and making it happen? Do you really enjoy your job? We would love to learn from the secrets of your success!

 

As a successful woman myself who runs Capp’s female leadership development programmes, it never ceases to amaze me how the same stories are told worldwide. I can share many of them through my own learning – the hard way!

 

One of these stories is about saying yes. We ask for role models who come onto the programme to share their journey with the emerging female leaders: what has worked well, their journey, their strengths and also their top tips for the future growth of these remarkable women. 

 

One of the most common tips shared by these global leaders is “Take a risk and say yes”.  Even so, I have a slight problem with this.

 

We are probably all familiar with the research that women, unlike men, are not likely to ask for pay rises, and will only seek promotions when they can do everything that’s required. Unlike men, who will go for promotion if there is even a small part of the job that they can do!

 

Often, women have become successful through their relentless hard work, and eventually being recognised by managers who put them forward for promotion or recommend their next post.

 

One of the core aspects of our female leaders training is teaching women to recognise their strengths. It may sound obvious, but we can be so busy running a successful career and home that we haven’t stopped to appreciate what we love to do and do well – our strengths.

 

Of our latest 10 programmes, 97% thought Realise2, our strengths identification tool, was an insightful beginning to the programme, and 95% said it helped them maximise their strengths, thereby enabling high performance.

 

So back to this ‘saying yes’.  I am all for taking risks and challenging ourselves in a big way, as this can be when you can really grow, take ownership of something big and expand your reputation.

 

But, next time you are asked to take on extra responsibility, a new role or lead a project, go back to your strengths. Where do you get real energy from? What would you love to do more of? Where do you get your best feedback? If you could carve out your dream job, what would it be? 

 

Take risks by all means, but your confidence and performance comes from your strengths. Success will come if you take a step back and work with your best assets. Sometimes it might be worth a side step to play to your strengths, since you will quickly be able to show off your capabilities.

 

I wouldn’t be here today without stepping into a colleague’s shoes a few years ago when they had broken their foot! I had no idea how to do it, but knew I had the passion and motivation to find out and make it happen!

 

Find out more about our female leadership programmes at capp.co

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Early Talent Development Survey- Take part now!

Early Talent Development Survey- Take part now!

 

We are pleased to inform you that the Capp Early Talent Development Survey is now live, ready for you and your organisation to take part in!

 

Existing research reveals that 98% of young employees* believe they are responsible for driving their own development. The fact that young employees- our apprentices, interns and graduates- believe in ‘driving their own development’ is phenomenal. It suggests a generation crammed full of initiative, personal responsibility and growth orientation- strengths that we see in bucket loads amongst the apprentices and graduates we recruit and develop.

 

The question, however, is which direction are they driving their development?

 

We have created the Early Talent survey to provide direction for organisations that employ apprentices, interns and graduates. We want to reveal which development activities are most important for developing core capabilities and how early talent, their managers and the business can prioritise the activities that matter most.

 

We want to reveal how development priorities differ for apprentices, interns and graduates and identify the areas where expectations differ most from common experience.

 

Why? To help early talent drive their own development in the right direction- knowing where to focus their energies.

 

Take part now!

 

By inviting your apprentices, graduates, graduate alumni and early talent managers to take part, you will receive the following benefits:

  • Early access to our survey findings, describing trends in early talent development behaviour across industries and sectors (all organisations will be anonymous within our published results)
  • Survey results for your own organisation- sharing both high level themes and full survey data and crucially what to do next
  • Analysis of the impact of your development approach on your early talent’s engagement, loyalty, and perception of you as an employer
  • Your data benchmarked against other organisations- giving you a rating of how well your organisation is meeting the needs and preferences of your early talent.

 

To encourage completion of the survey, every person who takes part will enter into a draw to win a £150 cash prize.

 

What to do next?

If you think your organisation might like to take part, drop Emma Trenier or Gurpal Minhas a line at emma.trenier@capp.co or gurpal.minhas@capp.co  – we can tell you more and discuss the best way of sharing the survey with your employees and collating your business results.

 

Alternatively, if you would like to personally take part:  

 

  1. Follow this link if you are an apprentice,  intern, graduate or ex- graduate
  2. Follow this link you directly or indirectly manage early talent employees

 

We look forward to sharing our results with you in the coming months.

 

*aged 16- 22

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