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

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December 2017
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Alex Linley

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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Jobmi Partners with Lloyds Banking Group and The Telegraph for The 2015 Employability Survey

Posted by: Alex Linley, Capp

 

We’re delighted to announce that Jobmi has partnered with Lloyds Banking Group and The Telegraph to launch The 2015 Employability Survey, as featured on page W12 of the Education section in Telegraph Weekend.

 

Jobmi worked with Lloyds and The Telegraph to design the survey questions that will be presented to thousands of young people, parents and teachers over the coming months.

 

The survey includes questions about perceptions of current careers advice, what would be most helpful in careers advice, the role of strengths in careers, and how young people make career decisions today.

 

The results will be shared with all respondents, as well as being published in The Telegraph when analysis is complete.

 

Take part in The 2015 Employability Survey at www.telegraph.co.uk/discoverwhatmatters

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Use Your Strengths to Achieve Your Goals and Be Happy

Posted by: Alex Linley, Capp

 

It seems a truism to say that using your strengths will help you to achieve your goals, and yet still nowhere near enough people treat their strengths as their starting point for how they will achieve their goals.

 

The link between strengths and goals is something that has intrigued us for many years at Capp, since it is the fundamental philosophy underpinning everything that we do in our work, from strengths-based recruitment, through strengths-based development, to delivering strengths-based performance.

 

A wealth of evidence shows the links between strengths and happiness, but until we started our work, there wasn’t really much that said WHY there was this link between strengths and happiness. In 2010, colleagues and I published a paper in the International Coaching Psychology Review showing that people who used their strengths more were more likely to achieve their goals, and in doing so, they were likely to be happier.

 

In this paper in the International Coaching Psychology Review, we proposed that this was reflective of the self-concordance model of healthy goal attainment. This is basically a posh way of saying that when your goals are things that fit with you and matter to you, and your strengths are, by definition, an authentic part of you that you enjoy using, then using your strengths to achieve your goals will help you to be happier and experience higher well-being.

 

This is fundamental to the whole strengths philosophy, and explains why we see better results in recruitment, development and performance when working from people’s strengths. In short, because it FITS. We are working with the grain, rather than against the grain.

 

That’s why we’re running the Realise2 promotion throughout the month of January, helping all of our clients, and their clients in turn, to link their strengths to their New Year’s Resolutions, thereby increasing their chances of achieving those resolutions and being happier. Throughout January, if you buy 4 Realise2 codes, you will receive a 5th code FREE!

 

Simply go to www.realise2.com and enter GOALS2015 at the checkout to make the most of this offer.

 

Advancing knowledge about strengths and goals is also why we’re supporting Josh Gladwin, a third year undergraduate psychology student at the University of Warwick, with his third year project. Josh is looking in more detail at the relationships between strengths and goal attainment, and he would love your help.

 

If you can spare 5 minutes, please help advance our knowledge and support his research by completing Josh’s questionnaire here -

https://warwickpsych.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3dsnQxvUCUFKamF

 

Thank you for your continued support, and don’t give up on those New Year Resolutions!

 

(P.S. – You’re less likely to if you’re using your strengths!)

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Capp Become Signatories of the Social Mobility Business Compact

Posted by: Alex Linley, Capp

 

I am delighted to announce that in December Capp became signatories of the Social Mobility Business Compact -  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-employers-set-a-new-benchmark-for-social-mobility

 

Social mobility and equality of opportunity is at the heart of our work in strengths-based recruitment and through the Jobmi platform. This is evidenced by the successes we have achieved in delivering improved recruitment outcomes for gender balance, ethnic balance, and balance of social background across a wide range of our clients across a wide range of industries and sectors.

 

With Jobmi, we set out to level the playing field of social mobility by enabling candidates to be assessed on the data about their fit to the role, rather than otherwise largely arbitrary screening criteria about the number of UCAS points a person has, or the degree classification they might have achieved.

 

In supporting the Social Mobility Business Compact, we are publicly stating our commitment to improve social mobility and equality of opportunity, of course through our own recruitment practices, where this is a given, but also through the work we do with many of our clients to achieve these same aims.

 

Longstanding Capp client EY is a Social Mobility Business Compact Champion, and having delivered strengths-based graduate recruitment for EY for the last 7 years, we are delighted to be extending our work with them to improve outcomes in social mobility through their recruitment processes as well.

 

The biggest challenge faced by every Head of Recruitment in changing their recruitment practices to improve social mobility and equality of opportunity is doing so in a pragmatic and practical way that continues to ensure quality of hire, is efficient and affordable, and is defensible across all stakeholder groups.

 

With Jobmi we have achieved this.

 

We look forward to transforming the social mobility landscape through improving equality of access and opportunity for people from all backgrounds and walks of life. We are doing this through harnessing the power of assessment insights, predictive data analytics and Internet platform network effects, all of which we combine within Jobmi.

 

Practical and pragmatic approaches to transforming social mobility through recruitment are now here.

 

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Capp Partner with the Telegraph on Apprenticeships App

Posted by: Alex Linley, Capp

 

We are delighted to announce another element of our ongoing partnership with the Telegraph.

 

Through our Jobmi employability and recruitment platform (www.jobmi.com), Capp are providing the Strengths Questionnaire that is delivered as part of the Telegraph Apprenticeships App, supporting young people to discover their strengths and explore apprenticeships throughout England.

 

Read more about the Telegraph Apprenticeships App here – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/further-education/11225353/Telegraph-Apprenticeship-App.html

 

The App is available for free on iPhone and Android.

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Bright Futures – Employability Conference Report 2014

Posted by: Alex Linley, Capp

 

I was privileged to be a keynote speaker for the Bright Futures Employability Conference, held at Aston Villa Football Club in November 2014.

 

Bright Futures have today released their Employability Conference Report 2014, which includes a summary of all the presentations and the panel feedback from the discussions.

 

You can get your free copy of the Bright Futures Employability Conference Report 2014 here – www.brightfutures.co.uk/student-voice-conf-report

 

The highlights include:

 

Overview of the Graduate Job Market – by Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters

 

How to Lead, Starting with Myself – by Nigel Linacre, Co-Founder of LeadNow!

 

Employability or Professional Identity – by Francesca Campalani, Senior Emerging Talent Manager, Lloyds Banking Group

 

Top Networking Tips – by Raj Patel, Career Development Service, University of Leicester

 

And finally my presentation:

 

Signposts for Strengths and Success – by Alex Linley, CEO, Capp & Jobmi

 

I hope you find many things in the Bright Futures Employability Conference Report 2014, that will inspire you to bigger and better things in 2015!

 

For more information about Bright Futures and their Student Societies at universities across the country, see www.brightfutures.co.uk

 

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Reflections from the Bright Futures Employability Conference

Posted by: Rachel Roberts, Capp

 

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Bright Futures Employability event in Birmingham, which featured employers, students and school pupils all sharing ideas on the theme of youth employability. There were some fantastic speakers, including Francesca Campalani from Lloyds Banking Group who gave a passionate talk sharing her vision for employability and how this has changed over the years. Another of the keynote speakers was Capp’s CEO, Alex Linley, whose talk explored strengths and the vital importance of knowing and deploying your strengths to full effect. In the world of modern recruitment it has never been so important to have solid self-awareness , so that when young people are applying for roles they can share their strengths in a confident and passionate manner.

 

One of the other main themes I took from the event was about technology and innovation, as we see the rise of fresh approaches in the recruitment space, including the move to video interviewing by a number of large organisations. To really maximise the use of new technology when moving through the recruitment process, we heard a lot about the importance of self-awareness in young people. Knowing their strengths and skills means that young people are able to be more effective and confident when showcasing themselves. This will undoubtedly lead to them having a higher degree of employability and enable them to get the best role possible.

 

Bright Futures has committees across the UK and in over 60 universities their members are currently using the Jobmi platform (www.jobmi.com) to identify and understand their strengths, as a result of the partnership between Bright Futures and Capp. Jobmi is Capp’s free to use employability platform that acts as a career companion by offering free assessments which identify strengths and give feedback on how best to deploy those strengths both when searching for positions and in role. By really harnessing their strengths and skills, young people can really improve their employability factor and find the right role in the right organisation. This is what it is really all about in the end; getting the job that fits you and finding an organisation that reflects your own values. The Bright Futures event gave people lots of help and guidance on how they can and should do this.

 

 

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Celebrating 5 years of Realise2

Posted by: Alex Linley, CEO, Capp

 

It’s now 5 years since we launched Realise2, our strengths identification and development tool.

 

Realise2 was one of the key solutions we developed in service of our Capp purpose of Strengthening the World. We had then, and still have now, the desire for everyone in the world to know what their strengths are and to be able to use them every day.

 

We’re making progress, but there’s still a way to go. At the time of writing, through Realise2 and our other tools based on Realise2, more than 250,000 people around the world have been given a language and a framework to understand and use their strengths.

 

And this matters.

 

As the research has consistently shown, when we use our strengths, we are:

More likely to achieve our goals

More likely to be engaged at work

More likely to be happy

More likely to be confident

More likely to be resilient

Less likely to get stressed

 

Through our work, and your support, there are now at least a quarter of million more people who are experiencing these powerful lessons for themselves.

 

Here’s to reaching 1,000,000 more people – at least – in the next five years!

 

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