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

Click here to find out more about how Strengths Selector can solve your recruitment challenges...

Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:


 Subscribe in a reader

November 2012
M T W T F S S
« Oct   Dec »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Monthly Archives: November 2012

Are You Feeling Positive Today? Positive Emotions Survey Launched

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

We are delighted to launch our survey on The Experience of Positive Emotions, where we are trying to understand more about the positive emotions that people experience and how they feel about them.

 

With an eye on Christmas (less than a month away!), we’d like to start spreading the festive cheer…

 

If you can spare us less than 10 minutes of your time to complete The Experience of Positive Emotions survey, we’ll be delighted to send you a £10 gift voucher for amazon.co.uk – to spend as you wish, in whichever way does the most for your own positive emotions.

 

To receive your £10 amazon.co.uk gift voucher, simply complete The Experience of Positive Emotions survey.

 

And if you’d like to spread the word and share the festive cheer, please do so. This survey is only open to the first 500 people who complete it though, so act fast!

 

 

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

HmmmMovember

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

Here as promised are the Capp Mo Bros, who – quite frankly – are all struggling to keep up with the following that the Mo Sistas have established for themselves:

 

 

From left to right, we have Alex Linley, Ryan Bodinnar, Tony Andrews and Gurpal Minhas, all enduring the tickles, scratches and quizzical looks that accompany virgin moustache growing throughout the month of Movember.

 

Movember is about raising awareness of mens cancer and funds for men’s cancer charities. We are all delighted to be playing our part.

 

You can track our progress at our Capp Team Movember page – and if you wish, you can also sponsor an individual or the team as a whole. Any and all donations gratefully received – thank you.

 

With 20 of the 30 days of Movember already past, the end is in sight for the moustache growers. We’ll keep you posted next week with the final look of the team before we all surrender to the Grand Shaving on 1st December…

 

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

It’s Movember and the Moustaches are Growing

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

Led by Software Developer, Ryan Bodinnar, the Capp team is embracing Movember and growing our moustaches.

 

For those of you new to Movember (like me), it’s a global initiative to raise awareness and funds for men’s cancer charities, harnessing the moustache as a visible sign of commitment to the cause.

 

Not to be outdone, our Mo Sistas (as they are called) have also been doing their part for the cause, as you can see Emma Mason, Kissa and Celine doing here, inspirations to us all:

Pictures of the Mo Bros will follow, but we fully expect them to get fewer clicks…

 

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Being Inspired by Female Role Models

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

Saturday morning reinforced for me just how much the world is changing for women.

 

I was getting my 10-year old daughter, Sophie, ready for a school football match.

 

Ten years ago, maybe five years ago, well – let’s be honest, maybe even five months ago, before the Olympics – there would have been very few of us who had any idea about women’s football, and even less idea about who the role models of women’s football might be.

 

Not anymore.

 

I asked Sophie which position she wanted to play. “I want to be the goal shooter like Kelly Smith,” she said.

 

Ten years old, and already she has a female football role model. How fantastic is that!

 

Kelly Smith, I salute you for what you have done to inspire a new generation of women. You can read more about Kelly in her autobiography.

 

This experience was all the more salient to me since for the last few weeks I have been immersing myself in books like The End of Men, by Hanna Rosin, The Richer Sex, by Liza Mundy, and Little Miss Geek, by Belinda Parmar.

 

The message of the first two, loud and clear, is that the time for women is coming, due to trends in education, work and family life that are about to reach a tipping point. In contrast, Belinda Parmar is on a mission to get more women interested in and working in the technology field – a hugely laudable goal.

 

I’ll write more on all of these topics in future blogs. For now, though, I thought it was salient that one of the points in Belinda’s 10-point Lady Geek Manifesto to increase the number of women in technology was to provide and celebrate female technology role models – a Female Heroes Programme.

 

As Sophie’s experience attests, this matters. Kelly Smith is already doing this for football, inspiring young girls like Sophie.

 

It’s time to celebrate great women across every field of endeavour, as we have started to do in previous posts on The Capp Blog, including The 21 Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising, Here are (some of) the Women in Tech, Where are the Women Conference Speakers? and Celebrating Women’s Strengths on International Women’s Day.

 

For the “little Sophies” all around the world, we should seize every opportunity we can to inform and inspire them with the possibilities and potential of women.

 

The future is going to be female, after all.

 

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Update from The Strengths Project, Kolkata, India – October 2012

Posted by: Avirupa Bhaduri & Alex Linley

 

This month Avirupa provides us with an update on the outcomes from the Sewing Exhibition, as well as sharing her experiences of using strengths and strengthspotting in leadership development training with a group of rural Muslim women in Hasnabad, located 4 hours from Kolkata. This was on behalf of another NGO, partered by Action Aid.

 

On reading Avirupa’s blog I was struck once again by how the issue of gender preconceptions about leadership are prevalent. See below – and also see how Rabindranath Tagore, the poet of Kolkata and the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, describes the importance of strengths in one of his songs…

 

“October is the month of festivities for India, especially for Bengal, and more specifically for Kolkata. Durga Puja the greatest hindu religious festival takes place around October. Although the days are calculated by Bengali calendar, most of the times it falls in October. Durga Puja is closely followed by Eid, Lakshmi Puja, Muharram, and finally Kali puja & Diwali. So the fiesta lasts till mid November.

 

This is the time when people try to buy new clothes for children, give gifts to friends & family and spend much of their income for related activities. The main puja is for 6 days, but preparations are a month long, even more.

 

So when we met in the first week of October, it was pretty much decided that we will get to meet again only after Kali puja. However we thought of giving ourselves a little bonus. The women suggested that the remuneration for volunteering in the exhibition will be Rs.50 per day, per person plus conveyance.

 

It seemed only fair enough, so Arpita was awarded with Rs. 150, for being present on all 3 days, and Mousumi and Sharmila Rs. 100 each. This money was deducted from our total sale worth around Rs. 1100. The women vowed to prepare for next year much in advance.

 

Meanwhile unexpectedly I found quite a new opportunity. A friend of mine recommended my name for a project of another NGO partnered by Action Aid. The objective of the programme is to make the marginalized community realise their basic human rights, by capacity building through competent trainers.

 

My session was on Leadership training, and the target audience was a group of muslim women from the suburb. Naturally I was quite excited with the idea. I boarded a local train and reached Hasnabad, a small township, 4 hrs from Kolkata, at noon.

 

I met with about 25 women, who had come from villages near Hasnabad. They were very different from the women of Shiriti group. The first visible difference was that all of them were veiled, as is common for rural muslim women. For some, coming to Hasnabad was the biggest step they have taken outside their village, without being accompanied by men.

 

I began with an ice breaker, by asking them to think of a leader, and then announced that by magic I knew that most of them have thought about someone who 1. Is a man 2. lives in a big city, far away and 3. that he is most likely to be a political leader.

 

Then I subverted their preconceived notion of leadership by giving the example of their community leader, Afsa, a girl in her mid-twenties, herself a co-worker of the NGO and who is from the same village as them, and one who has been instrumental in bringing them to the workshop.

 

The earlier session was a lecture on the relationship of power and marginalisation, so I referred to that and then started talking about strengths. Incidentally strength and power have similar words in Bengali, shakti, khomota. The idea was to make them realise their own strengths and use them to their benefit, to change power equation.

 

The task was harder than I imagined. I started with the strengths story of Ashok Shah (from The Strengths Book), with a slight twist. I made Shah a factory worker, who lost his job, to make them relate to him. They listened with rapt attention and reacted positively to the perceived happy ending.

 

Then I started a strengths spotting exercise. Here again the biggest hurdle was to make them speak about their own strengths. I think the phenomenon may be cultural, because people, (the more marginalized, the worse), often find the idea of talking about one’s own strengths contradicting with ideals of humility.

 

It takes a lot of coaxing to get it out from them, as a matter of fact I had to explain as many as 10 strengths from the CAPP inventory, and talk at length about all of my own strengths before I could build enough confidence in them to spot even one in themselves.

 

Also I emphasised the fact that strength is inherent in all of us, that we are all born with one or other strength/s. Then I tried to shift the focus from self to others. This worked much better, women giggled and started to talk about the strengths of their friends, who in turn giggled even more and complimented back by strengths spotting for the appreciators.

 

One woman said she has strength of competitiveness, and can make 100 bidis (small local cheap cigars) in 15 minutes, more than anyone in her neighbourhood. She has even given a demonstration in front of Govt. Officials in the local municipal township office, in order to obtain a Govt. Aid for health insurance.

 

A woman said that to be present in this training workshop away from home without men is a proof of her strength of adventure. A group of women pointed out to an elderly woman, and said she has wonderful strength of counselling, and is very compassionate.

 

Another smart widow stood up and said that she is full of drive, as a proof she cited the example that she always attends social welfare workshops and conference, and once have even travelled to Siliguri (a town in north Bengal, which is about 20 hours journey by train from Hasnabad).

 

We then talked about collective strength and how powerful tool it can be, and roughly introduced the idea of the Realise2 quadrant model, to describe how it can be used to the fullest advantage.

 

The session ended in song of Rabindranath Tagore mukto karo bhoy, apona majhe shakti dhoro, nijere koro joy” (break free from the shackles of fear, realise your own strength to be a winner) wherein some of the women joined me.

 

I ended the session by asking them to make a promise, to be alert about their own strengths, look out for strengths in others, and to make strengths part of their vocabulary.

 

The group looked visibly happy and hopeful and cheered me in chorus to assure me that they will keep their promise.”

 

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Beyond Induction: How Ineffective On-boarding Harms Business Performance

Posted by: Jamie Betts

 

In this final blog introducing Capp’s Strengths Selector, Jamie Betts explores how Strengths On-boarding, the fifth and final step of Strengths Selector, ensures that new joiners are more productive in their new organisation from day one, week one and month one

 

Many of us have been there. We start a new job, we’re excited, we’re ready to perform, and we want to deliver great results. Then reality hits – the organisation has no idea how to harness our potential, and we feel a sense of low-level frustration. Stagnation follows. And a resignation follows some time after that.

 

Perhaps the worst thing about this cycle of events is how rarely it’s picked up. People don’t want to burn bridges, and it’s not like their organisation is… bad. It’s just not for them. They’ll do their job, meander along, cause no problems, and then move onto pastures new. It happens all the time, as any organisation with a robust exit survey process can attest.

 

This isn’t how businesses will achieve optimum performance. By failing to understand their individual behavioural preferences and potential, we greatly reduce the chances of people attaining peak performance. Multiply this by several key hires, and you’re left with an organisation which won’t realise it’s own potential.

 

This impacts quickly on organisational performance – service delivery, profit, reputation… all can be damaged.

 

It needn’t be like this. Though straightforward interventions, such as identifying an individual’s strengths prior to them joining, we’re able to help them map out their pathway to optimal performance.

 

Effective on-boarding isn’t just about an induction and a mobile phone, but also the harnessing of an individual’s true potential, helping them align their strengths to how they will deliver success in role.

 

After all, their strengths are what you recruited them for – and it is these strengths which will lead to engaged, motivated employees, and an organisation primed for peak performance.

 

Strengths On-boarding is the fifth step in Strengths Selector, Capp’s five-step approach to strengths-based recruitment. Read more about Strengths Selector and Strengths On-boarding here.

 

Jamie Betts is a Principal Consultant at Capp.

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Why Do ‘Bespoke’ Assessment Centres Always Feel the Same?

Posted by: Jamie Betts

 

In this third blog introducing Capp’s Strengths Selector, Jamie Betts explores how the Strengths Assessment Centre, the fourth step of Strengths Selector, serves to differentiate the Assessment Centre experience for candidates, helping organisations identify and select the right talent

 

It’s perplexing. Assessment and development experts will all agree about the importance of bespoke assessment centres, which measure the unique behaviours required for success in a given role. And yet, as any graduate doing the assessment centres ’rounds’ will tell you, most assessment centres tend to feel the same.

 

One of the reasons for this homogeneity seems to be rooted in the weaknesses of the competency-based approach. For all the talk of organisations having unique cultures, the same 4 or 5 generic competencies are measured again and again: customer focus, collaboration/teamwork, results orientation, and planning/organising almost always crop up in one form or another.

 

And yet, despite the striking similarities between these assessment centres, design consultancies sell these competency-based assessment centres as entirely ‘bespoke’. This is not entirely untrue, since each assessment centre will often be designed from scratch.

 

But given how similar the assessment centres feel, and what they measure, it could also be regarded as intellectually dishonest.

 

This is just one reason why at Capp we have moved away from competency-based assessment centres, and instead are innovating in the field of strength-based assessment. Not only does strengths assessment allow for a greater range behaviours to be measured, it also provides a more natural and positive environment for candidates to express their natural behavioural preferences.

 

Strengths-based assessment helps break the cycle of overly similar assessment centres for volume and graduate recruitment/development, moving away from the tendency of measuring the same narrow range of core behaviours.

 

Not only is this good news for candidates, it’s great news for organisations looking to measure an individual’s true behavioural potential and to spot who has the talent to succeed.

 

Strengths Assessment Centres are the fourth step in Strengths Selector, Capp’s five step approach to strengths-based recruitment. Read more about Strengths Selector  and Strengths Assessment Centres here.

 

Jamie Betts is a Principal Consultant at Capp.

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Does Your Interview Approach Force Candidates to Lie?

Posted by: Jamie Betts

 

In this second blog introducing Capp’s Strengths Selector, Jamie Betts explores how the Strengths Based Interview, the third step of Strengths Selector after the Situational Strengths Test, avoids the need to force candidates to lie

 

The question may sound a little provocative – why would anyone force candidates to lie in an interview? But it’s more common than you might imagine. The crux of the issue is competency-based past-behavioural questions, i.e., “give me an example of when you have…”, followed by detailed probes.

 

This interviewing approach is always assumptive and often specific. This isn’t a healthy combination where encouraging honesty is concerned. The questions are assumptive because you are telling a candidate to give you an example of something which may or may not have occurred.

 

A real-life example a large healthcare firm used was “give me an example of a time when you’ve managed a challenging individual during a period of considerable organisational change”.

 

The problem with past-behavioural questions is that, if candidates have no experience of the example you request, they are likely to make something up – it’s that, or sit there in silence and fail the interview. Asking detailed probes is essentially ordering a candidate to ‘flesh out’ their lie against their own will.

 

This isn’t to say that all candidates lie, some may indeed respond that they have never encountered such a scenario – but those that do, only do so because you’ve forced their hand with an assumptive past-behavioural question.

 

This is one of many reasons why we’ve abandoned the classic competency-based approach to interviewing and seek instead to understand a candidate’s strengths. We believe that candidates shouldn’t be directed to speak at length about behaviours they have no interest in, and are unlikely to display in the workplace.

 

Our unique approach to strengths-based interviewing represents a positive step-change in how an interview feels to both candidates and assessors alike – and as an added bonus, we don’t force people to lie.

 

The Strengths Based Interview is the fourth stage of Strengths Selector, Capp’s five-step approach to strengths-based recruitment. Read more about Strengths Selector and the Strengths Based Interview here.

 

Jamie Betts is a Principal Consultant at Capp.

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Attraction and Assessment: What’s the Missing Link?

Posted by: Jamie Betts & Celine Jacques

 

In the first of four blog posts this week that preview Strengths Selector, Capp’s five-step approach to strengths-based recruitment, Jamie Betts and Celine Jacques look at Strengths Attraction, the first step in the candidate funnel.

 

Expectations. They matter – and as anyone who has lost a new starter due to mismatched expectations will tell you, there is a genuine business cost associated with not meeting them.

 

It’s interesting, then, that many organisations don’t link their attraction and assessment strategies. This applies even in cases where organisations use a sophisticated and integrated direct hiring model (e.g., for graduate or volume campaigns).

 

In addition, for experienced hires, many organisations effectively outsource their attraction message to recruitment agencies. This will be the case for any organisation that has at least a partial reliance on agencies for their experienced hire recruitment.

 

This is perhaps unintended cause-and-effect. Organisations are not intentionally failing to link attraction and assessment, it’s just that the advertising agencies who develop the attraction message rarely link this to the requirements and realities of the job itself.

 

Further to this, recruitment agencies who engage with experienced hires on LinkedIn, and advertise on job boards, have their own message to ‘hook’ candidates. This means you lose control, and any attempt to effectively link attraction and assessment would be lost too.

 

When it comes to attracting the best possible talent, this matters. Even organisations with a robust direct hiring model, who are firmly in control of their employer brand and external positioning, only rarely link this message to the behaviours, or strengths, which will drive success in the role.

 

This is the missing link between attraction and assessment – an attraction strategy informed not only by your employer brand, but a message which is more likely to speak to those who will genuinely excel at the job.

 

Linking attraction with assessment is a logical step forward. Think of it as a head start in your screening process – and an opportunity to define a truly differential message to the marketplace. This is what the Strengths Attraction step of Strengths Selector is designed to do.

 

Find out more about Strengths Selector, Capp’s five-step approach to strengths-based recruitment, here.

 

Jamie Betts is a Principal Consultant, and Celine Jacques is a Managing Psychologist, both at Capp.

 

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Preventing Fireworks and Creating Sparklers: A Positive Approach to Remedial Management

Posted by: Sue Harrington & Emma Trenier

 

It’s a telling coincidence that the number one reported reason that people leave their jobs is problems with their manager – and the number one issue that managers dread dealing with is problems with their people. Many managers would rather deal with angry customers or chase challenging sales targets than manage people problems.

 

One particular area where an escalating vicious cycle of fireworks often exists is managing underperformance and the responsibility for managing this typically falls at the feet of managers.

 

Research with managers, human resources practitioners and employees has shown that:

  • Dealing with underperformance can be a lengthy and time-consuming process, and managers often feel that it conflicts with their ability to deliver their business objectives.
  • Managers often feel ‘dumped on’ – they feel that they lack the training to handle complex personal issues, and feel ill prepared to tackle the difficult conversations around underperformance necessary for effective performance management.
  • Feeling a lack of confidence or willingness to tackle underperformance can result in managers feeling isolated and unsupported in their roles.
  • Communication around underperformance tends to be reactive and too late – conflict has already occurred between the employee and their manager, and these clashing perspectives can cause fireworks: the manager’s, sometimes bungled, attempts to manage underperformance can feel like bullying to the employee, which can then worsen any underperformance.
  • Consequently, many grievance and disciplinary issues arise from performance management situations, often from the miscommunication associated with these situations. The worry of this happening can often stop managers from dealing with performance issues early and openly.

 

So what are the dangerous fireworks to look out for?

  • First spark- Cases of underperformance can often be traced back to a specific incident, or a series of incidents that were not addressed at the time – perhaps the manager was too busy, perhaps they didn’t feel comfortable tackling the issue, or perhaps there had never been an on-going process of providing feedback, both good and bad – and it’s hard to start with the bad.
  • The slow-burning fizzle – These unresolved issues can then fester, like a Roman Candle – never quite coming to a head like a Rocket, but creating an undercurrent of conflict and miscommunication.
  • Big Bang – The longer it is left, the harder the issue is to confront. Conflict can often escalate in these situations, clouding the perceptions of both parties – both the manager and the employee are expecting the other to behave negatively, so that’s what they see. The manager becomes frustrated and angry, the employee feels harassed and may withdraw effort – it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and one that is very hard to break.

 

Here are Capp’s 5 steps to creating sparklers and avoiding those fireworks:

  • First of all, understand your own strengths – how do they help you deliver timely feedback to your team? How do they help you to tackle more difficult conversations?
  • Develop your strengths spotting skills: know what makes each of your team tick, what motivates them, and where their strengths lie. Use this understanding to help your employees recognise and maximize their own strengths.
  • Set each individual clear and measureable goals that are aligned to their strengths, goals that will help to unleash potential and maximize performance
  • Have regular performance conversations with each of your team. Provide proactive feedback on their performance – give each person examples of what they are doing well.
  • Catch any issues early – be honest and clear about areas of potential underperformance and help individuals to think about how they can use their strengths to address any areas of weakness – and always provide examples.

 

When managers understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and those of their employees, they are better able to flex and personalise their management approach to proactively prevent performance-related conflicts. Capp’s 8-step Performance Manager Programme enables managers to do just this – equipping managers with the skills to manage through strengths, delivering enhanced performance through their people.

 

Download Capp’s Performance Manager White Paper to find out more about what people want from their managers.

 

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS