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July 2013
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Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Opportunity of School Leaver Talent

Posted by: Celine Floyd, Managing Psychologist, Capp

 

Following on from our last blog by Helen and Nicky on the AGR theme of harnessing school leaver talent, we reflect on the real opportunities that this talent pool presents to our clients, and why.

 

Graduates bring some fundamental, unique, and significant skills and knowledge. This is well known and celebrated, across the world. And rightly so.

 

However, the social and economical face of our next working generation is changing and the traditional university route isn’t feasible or indeed appealing to some anymore. More and more of our clients are turning to School Leaver and Apprentice Programmes and seeing exceptional performance. We speculate as to why.

 

Is it because their ‘minds’ and ‘horizons’ are still relatively broad? Having not focused in on one particular subject for three or more years, their modes of thinking and analysing, and their perspectives, are still mouldable. From the perspective of organisational culture, this is interesting too.

 

Whilst a lack of work experience on paper may seem a disadvantage, could it in fact be a benefit for your organisation? School leavers’ ways of working with others, delivering outcomes, and presenting themselves will all be built around your needs and established ways of working. If we can assess properly for that raw potential, then those vital employability skills can be developed in a quicker and more aligned way.

 

If we look at sponsored degree programmes, may we anticipate a higher level of engagement, motivation and performance because of a stronger psychological contract? We know that helping people to grow and learn is worth more to most than pure monetary reward, so do these programmes play to that in a really powerful way? The potential to build organisational commitment and loyalty with School Leavers in this way is significant.

 

Finally, one can assume that working whilst studying has benefits in itself. Having the opportunity to put into practice academic thinking in real time with fantastic immediacy renders experimentation and quick learning agility. We know that the bite size format of our development programmes works well, so this would follow through to students who study while working.

 

We are not discounting in any way the value that graduates add, but we also encourage a more holistic view of the early career talent out there.

 

What are your thoughts? We would love to hear your experiences. What differences have you seen between your graduates and school leavers? Why do you think this is?

 

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50 Shades of Entry Level Talent

Posted by: Helen Dovey, Consulting Psychologist & Nicky Garcea, Director, Capp

 

Two weeks on from the Association of Graduate Recruiters Annual Conference, we’re continuing to reflect on some of the hot topics that grabbed the delegates’ attention.

 

A discussion panel led by a diverse mix of graduate recruiters explored the shades of grey involved in attracting and recruiting for entry level talent.

 

How do recruiters tap into this talent pool? Whose responsibility is it to create opportunities at an entry level rather than at graduate level? What is best practice for assessing entry level recruits fairly?

 

These were some of the questions addressed during and after the session.

 

What’s our take on this?

 

First, we support advising recruiters to consider “what other programmes do we offer that aren’t graduate level?” Of course, there are budgetary and practical considerations associated with this. Recruiters need to clarify where best to place entry level recruits in the business and manage the cost of designing and implementing programmes that are of mutual benefit to the individual and the employer.

 

This may sound like a taxing prospect for employers. However, an interesting revelation is that entry level recruitment isn’t worlds away from graduate recruitment. In fact, the entry level candidates we are seeing with our own clients are just as hungry, intellectually capable and in some cases, more commercially minded than their existing graduates.

 

Our advice to employers would be not to underestimate this talent pool. Look at your business needs, but we bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the calibre of this emerging talent pipeline!

 

Second, we recognise the joint responsibility of recruiters and schools in generating opportunities for entry level recruits. Schools need to promote entry level opportunities as an equally decent alternative to university, while recruiters need to engage proactively in making links with schools and colleges.

 

Finally: the assessment piece. How do you fairly assess a group of people with very little work experience? Competency-based recruitment focuses on past behavioural experience for which school leavers will struggle to provide examples.

 

Instead we want to look at potential. Strengths-based assessment provides the answer. Assessing candidates on their learning agility, energy and motivation provides a dynamic insight into their potential to excel.

 

To learn more about Capp’s work in entry level talent, please look out for our upcoming case study with Nestlé and their innovative Fast Start Programme, bringing great school leaver and apprentice talent into their business.

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Are You Doing the Same Thing and Expecting a Different Result?

Posted by: Celine Floyd, Managing Psychologist, Capp

 

‘Insanity is doing the same thing again and again, and expecting a different result’: Albert Einstein

 

What do you think of Einstein’s quote? What elements of your work does it make you reflect on, or rethink? Are you and your team victims of this insanity he describes?

 

We heard this quote at the AGR conference last week, and for one reason or another it stuck with the team here at Capp. Indeed, we felt that forward thinking, innovation and, in a sense, boldness, were themes running through the whole 2 days of the AGR Conference. We wondered what the world of graduate recruitment would look like through this lens.

 

The essence is that recruiters may be experiencing common recruitment challenges: an undifferentiated attraction pool and brand, difficulty identifying high performing candidates, high drop-out rates before or upon offer, disengaged assessors and interviewers, and the appointment of satisfactory, but not exemplary, graduates.

 

Even so, rather than experimenting with changes to the end-to-end process, we look to find the rationale in the economy, the graduates themselves, or another part of the business.

 

The motivational speaker at the end of the AGR left a powerful take away message: those who feel in control of, and accountable, for their life are happier. Again, can we extend this to recruitment? What stops you from changing things?

 

We understand the constraints: budget, historic processes that the business is not keen to change, difficult stakeholders, fear. To quote the motivational speaker again, what would happen if you stopped saying ‘I wish’?

 

We work with clients who have had realised the madness of this. What they are using at the moment isn’t working, and things need to change.

 

At Capp we also apply this thinking to ourselves – always questioning what we have done and why and not being afraid to change. We hope you get the chance this summer with colleagues and peers to do the same.

 

 

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AGR Conference 2013: Capp and Barclays Strengths-based Recruitment

Posted by: Celine Floyd, Managing Psychologist, Capp

 

As described in our latest blog, the Capp team were very excited to have attended the AGR Conference this week. We were especially pleased and proud to be able to present with Barclays on our 3-year partnership together.

 

Nicky Garcea, Director at Capp, and Charlotte Hart, Head of Infrastructure Recruitment EMEA at Barclays, delivered two interactive sessions on the first day of the conference, to full capacity audiences each time.

 

Nicky and Charlotte described:

 

  • Why Barclays integrated strengths-based assessments into their graduate selection processes
  • Why and how ‘strengths’ is now being rolled out across the business and regions
  • The differences and similarities between competencies and strengths
  • Tips for using strengths-based graduate assessment
  • Evaluation data including that 67% of candidates had a more positive view of the Barclays brand as a result of strengths.

 

Attendees were then put through their paces with a mock strengths-based interview, done in pairs. As you can imagine this created a real buzz in the room and many people told us it was great to see the strengths-based interview in action!

 

If you would like to see the slides from our session and hear more, please email Celine.Floyd@cappeu.com or Nicky.Garcea@cappeu.com – and if you would like to experience a strengths-based interview for yourself then please let us know!

 

We won’t be too challenging, we promise…

 

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Back to the Future at the AGR Annual Conference

Posted by: Nicky Garcea, Director & Helen Dovey, Consulting Psychologist, Capp

 

Capp are proud sponsors of the Association of Graduate Recruiters Annual Conference, 8-9 July 2013.

 

Over the last two days, Capp have attended and presented at this year’s AGR conference.

 

We launched our ‘I love strengths’ campaign at this year’s AGR event. It was incredible to see 500 delegates all spreading the strengths message from the bags they carried on their shoulders:

 

 

The theme of this year’s AGR conference was ‘Back to the Future’, and yes – there was a DeLorean time machine –  but no sign of Marty or Doc.

 

The opening key note was given by Dean Van Leeuwen, a founder of Tomorrow Today. Dean laid out the TIDES for change that are facing all early career recruiters:

 

  • Technology
  • Institutional change
  • Demographics
  • Environment
  • Social values

 

A key theme from Dean’s key note and across the whole conference was the positively disruptive role technology and ‘Big Data’ will play in the future of recruitment.

 

The generational divide was also highlighted between recruiters and applicants, with recruiters being ‘digital immigrants’ and Gen Y and Z being ‘digital natives’.

 

Simone Sellar, from EE, showcased the role that technology plays in the seamless recruitment of volume candidates. Simone showcased eArcu’s 2nd generation ATS platform, as well as hybrid situational judgement and personality tests, in-store assessments and online onboarding.

 

Delegates also discussed breaking away from traditional screening methods and adopting online inboxes.

 

Gamification featured in presentations and the exhibition hall.  Mars’ ‘Tweet for sweets’ campaign demonstrated how graduates can be used as your best graduate recruiter, rewarding graduates with chocolate who retweeted the Mars job site tweets.

 

It is clear reflecting on this year’s AGR that we are entering a time as recruiters that has no blue print. Generations Y and Z are going to expect us to engage with them earlier in their careers, in ways that haven’t yet been created and on platforms which haven’t yet been coded!

 

It is an exciting time to be a graduate recruiter. With 98% of Generation Z wanting to use their strengths at work, we know that employers who embrace the strengths approach – like Ernst & Young, Nestlé, and Barclays – will be ahead of the game.

 

To learn more about Capp’s presentation with Barclays at the AGR Conference, please watch out for our forthcoming blog that will cover this…

 

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Two Perspectives on Graduate Jobs and Career Prospects

Posted by: Alex Linley, Director, Capp

 

Two recent articles on the outlook for graduate jobs and career prospects caught my eye, for different reasons.

 

Yesterday, the BBC News website covered the latest High Fliers research, suggesting that graduate vacancies are at a 5-year high, with 4.6% more jobs for new graduates than in 2012, according to the 100 ‘leading graduate employers’ in the UK. With this trend set to continue next year, the High Fliers research suggests a lot of good news for the Class of 2013 and the Class of 2014.

 

An article in The Sunday Times (30 June 2013), however, ‘Graduate jobs go to rivals from overseas’, painted a slightly different picture. According to the article, one third of graduate jobs in London are held by people born overseas. Whether this is reflective of globalization trends and multinational businesses or economic migration from struggling economies, it is clear that London is a magnet attracting international graduate talent.

 

What can new graduates learn from this?

 

First, it’s critical to recognise that we are now operating in a truly global marketplace. A couple of weeks back, I was delivering a client engagement in Bangkok, Thailand, for the top talent of a UK-headquartered company. Of the 25 or so delegates on the programme, not one of them was from the UK. Instead, they were drawn from across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

 

Second, in this global marketplace, having a global mindset is essential for sustainable success. One of the big attractions of graduates who come to London from overseas is that they are very likely to speak at least two languages and to have experience of at least two different cultures.

 

This makes them geographically mobile and far more likely to want to pursue an international career. This is a very attractive combination for global companies requiring globally mobile managers and leaders.  Indeed, my co-facilitator was Italian, had lived and worked extensively in the UK, and was now based in Singapore. A perfect example of global mobility.

 

Overall, it’s great to see graduate recruitment numbers increasing, but we should also be clear that there is no room for complacency. We are in a global competition to attract, develop, retain and harness the best talent – from wherever that talent originates.

 

As a result, British graduates will need to work hard to develop the global mindset that their international colleagues bring with them more naturally as they move to London. In doing so, they’ll harvest richer perspectives that enhance them, their organisations, and our society as a whole. Welcome to the global village.

 

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