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

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July 2013
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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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