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

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July 2018
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Celine Floyd

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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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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Nicky Garcea (Capp) and Fiona Miller (Nestle) co-present Strengths-based Recruitment at CIPD Recruitment Conference

Posted by: Celine Floyd, Managing Psychologist, Capp

 

This week, we attended and presented at the CIPD Recruitment Conference 2013, in London. On the hottest day of the year so far, it was a pleasure to see so many of our industry peers networking, debating and sharing experience and ideas.

 

Nicky Garcea, Capp Director, presented with Fiona Miller, Talent and Resourcing Specialist at Nestlé. We have worked with Fiona, and the Nestlé team for over a year now, implementing end-to-end strengths based assessment for their graduate and intern intakes. It was a pleasure to co-present on the transformational journey Nestlé have made, and continue to make, in pursuit of more effective and impactful attraction, selection and on-boarding.

 

Nicky and Fiona talked through the drivers behind the move to strengths-based recruitment, the strengths-based assessments used, the evaluation data from Year 1, the challenges and learning, and plans for 2013.

 

The session was well attended, and we had some insightful questions from the audience around the hot topics of diversity and social mobility, as captured in this Recruiter article.

 

We will be commenting further on these hot topics over the next few weeks.

 

We thank attendees for throwing their energy behind our interactive exercise and hope that everyone enjoyed it, and maybe learnt something about their own strengths!

 

If you have any questions about our presentation, the Nestlé partnership or strengths-based recruitment please do contact us at Nicky.Garcea@cappeu.com or Celine.Floyd@cappeu.com

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What is a Strengths-based Interview (SBI)?

Posted by: Celine Floyd, Managing Psychologist, Capp

 

So you’re an interviewer and it’s your 8th interview of the day. Your 8th ‘probe’ into generic ‘communication’ and ‘team work’. Your 8th ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ example. The candidates’ answers have been ‘reeled off’, and you just can’t tell if you really ‘believe it’. They looked good on paper, and they sound good.

 

But ARE they good? You still can’t tell if they are the right fit for your organisation. You would love to know what they are really passionate about, and what is really special about them. You look at your interview script and feel that sense of despair – you know that with these questions you are never going to really get to know the candidate in front of you.

 

A sad story, for you, and for them.

 

We feel your pain. In fact many of Capp’s consultants started life in the design, training and delivery of competency-based interviews. Until we saw the opportunities of the strengths-based interview (SBI)!

 

Used by major employers including Nestle, Ernst & Young, Barclays, Standard Chartered Bank, Harris + Hoole, Birmingham City Council and Thomson Reuters, strengths-based interviews are changing the face of interviewing for the better. But what actually is an SBI?

 

An SBI is an interview that is all about understanding what someone LOVES to do, as well as CAN do. It’s not just the assessment of what a candidate is competent at, but ALSO, looks to understand what they are passionate about, which activities and working environments give them energy, and what they are motivated by.

 

Essentially it is the rigorous assessment of  the candidate’s strengths and thereby their fit with the role. Capp are the developers of the SBI, and it can take many forms: 20 mins to 2 hours;  face-to-face, telephone or video; delivered and managed by us, or we can train you directly.

 

Whatever the format though, the following is always true:

 

  • The SBI involves more questions than a competency-based interview. In a 20 minute interview you might easily cover 8-10 questions, and in a typical hour long interview, you might ask up to 30 questions.
  • The questions are more ‘rapid fire’; asked in quick succession one after the other around a variety of different areas.
  • There is no probing into the candidate’s answers – how much they tell you is up to the candidate, and this in itself is one of the strongest signals of whether something is a strength for someone.
  • The questions will be a mixture of open, closed, hypothetical, and past.
  • You assess for ‘how’ someone answers a question (the body language, and tone of voice), as well as the ‘what’ someone is telling you.

 

So yes, you can throw out that competency interview rule book! It may sound ‘left field’ but when our SBI delivers results like a 50% drop in attrition, a 39% reduction in cost per hire, a 15% increase in de-selection, a customer satisfaction increase by 14.5% and a sickness absence reduction by 4.1% it is difficult to argue.

 

You can see why so many organisations are making the move to using the SBI. Join them and make pre-prepared answers and frustrating interviews a thing of the past.

 

The best way to really understand what an SBI is all about, is to see it in action – if you are a major employer, please contact us at capp@cappeu.com to experience a free demonstration.

 

In the meantime, though, look out for our next two blogs which will share what an SBI feels like from the perspective of both the interviewer and the candidate.

 

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‘Graduate Success: The HEAR and Now’ – A Capp Reflection

Posted by: Celine Floyd, Managing Psychologist, Capp

 

The AGR, in collaboration with the AGCAS, and BIS, published last week a summary of their recent research on the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) and supporting social mobility in graduate recruitment. In today’s blog, we reflect on the findings of this report and share Capp’s insights and thinking on some of the key points raised.

 

Social mobility has been on our clients’ agenda for some time, and we have seen for ourselves that whilst ‘social mobility [is] on everyone’s radar, many [do] not know how to tackle it’.

 

At Capp, we empathise with our clients’ challenge of sifting high volume applications, and understand the attraction and efficiency of selecting on the basis of University degree classification, and even university itself. However, our mission is to encourage alternative methodologies.

 

As pioneers in strengths-based assessment, our vision is to help organisations assess and identify those graduates that are the right fit – on both a competence level, but also in relation to their energy and motivation level.

 

To do this effectively, but in a quick and resource-friendly way, is a challenge – and one Ernst & Young, and Nestle, use our Situational Strengths Test, to solve.

 

In line with our drive for data here at Capp, we are collecting social mobility data  for our graduate recruitment clients as we speak. Our data gathering is in line with government recommendations, and our hope is to explicitly use this data to inform attraction campaigns in the future. The AGR report was a fascinating lens on our attraction work, and indeed our work with University Careers Services.

 

To read that ‘Many graduates leave higher education with few clear career ideas, [and] lack awareness of the wider job market and how to access it’ really resonated with us.

 

We have supported our clients to have a presence on campus, and for this presence to be of a generous, and giving nature. By this, we don’t mean free pens and paperweights – we mean real, meaningful, and life lasting giveaways.

 

Helping students to understand their strengths, and then what this means for their career choice, we see as a powerful win-win situation. Candidates learn more about which industries and organisations suit them, and organisations encourage applications that are genuine and thought-through.

 

It was a pleasure to read the summary report, and we thank the AGR, AGCAS, and BIS for their research and dissemination of findings. Economic climate, university fees, unemployment, Generation Z and the digital age all conspire to make the industry of graduate recruitment the most challenging we have ever seen, but also the most exciting.

 

We feel privileged to be able to support our clients, including Nestle, Ernst & Young, Barclays Wealth and Morrisons, to help all students, including the disadvantaged, reach their full potential through deploying their strengths to deliver results for their organisations. We look forward to what we can all achieve together.

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How to Prepare for a Strengths-based Interview

Posted by: Celine Jacques, Managing Psychologist, Capp

 

Many job candidates ask, ‘How can I prepare for a strengths-based interview?’ They want to know:

  • What is a strengths-based interview?
  • What will I be asked?
  • How can I make sure I do well?

 

The answer is simple, albeit something of a cliché: Just be yourself.

 

A strengths-based interview is all about understanding what energises and motivates you, as well as what you do well.

 

Organisations use strengths-based interviews to find out what candidates love to do and do well. They are focused on making sure that the people they select are the right people for the right role, who will enjoy their jobs, perform well and stay with the organisation.

 

Another reason that organisations use strengths-based interviews is because it is difficult for candidates to over-prepare for them. As a result, the strengths-based interview is a lot more difficult to fake, and the organisation gets to see the ‘real’ candidate coming through.

 

To help prepare for a strengths-based interview, be prepared for:

  • More questions that are delivered more quickly
  • Little or no probing
  • Some closed questions
  • The chance to express how you feel in relation to a task or activity
  • A request to provide several short examples.

 

Before having a strengths-based interview, there are a few simple things you can think about that will help you show the best of yourself on the day. As you prepare for your strengths-based interview, think about:

 

  • What your friends and family know you for - how would they describe you to a stranger?
  • What you enjoy doing, and what you are like at your best
  • The achievements you have made and how you made them
  • What a ‘great’ day looks like for you - when did you last go home energised, and why was that?
  • Activities that you do not particularly enjoy, and why.

 

When the day comes for your strengths-based interview, stay calm and be yourself. Let your individuality shine though. Use the interview as an opportunity to understand more about the company and the role – as they assess you, make sure you assess them.

 

Do you think this organisation is right for you? Do you think the role will play to your strengths? How will you fit in with the culture here?

 

And last but not least, enjoy it! A strengths-based interview is a genuine two-way process. The interviewer is interested in getting to know you, but you can also take the opportunity to show yourself at your best, demonstrating if you’re the type of person they’re looking for.

 

Strengths-based interviewing is part of Strengths Selector, Capp’s five steps to strengths-based recruitment.

 

Read more about the strengths-based interview here.

 

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Technology, Innovation and Your End-to-End Candidate Experience

Posted by: Celine Jacques

 

Earlier this week we shared more detail around the Situational Strengths Test, our new online volume sifting tool. So, here we are, combining our thought leadership in strengths with the eternal limit-pushing world of technology. How exciting!

 

On Tuesday evening, I attended a recruitment event in London, where practitioners discussed the likes of using LinkedIn for headhunting, and video interviewing. It was a fascinating session, and there was some great debate.

 

The combination and balance of technology, theoretical breakthroughs, rigour, fairness, legal defensibility, cost, and internal buy-in is what continues to make recruitment and selection an exciting and challenging area to work in.

 

Innovation and the use of technology is great for an early selection stage such as the volume sift of the Situational Strengths Test. It is important, though, for this to link with the rest of the candidate journey. So how does the Situational Strengths Test fit with our end-to-end process for strengths-based recruitment solutions? This is where the Strengths Selector comes in.

 

The Situational Strengths Test is the second step in Strengths Selector, Capp’s five steps to strengths-based recruitment, which also includes Strengths Attraction, Strengths Based Interview, Strengths Assessment Centres and Strengths On-boarding.

 

Recruitment is an end-to-end process, and your candidates experience some or all of this process with you, which is a direct experience of your organisation, brand and culture.

 

Ensuring that there is a consistent ‘feel’ and ‘message’ is key – recognising that each stage is great on its own is important, but really, the whole is a lot more than the sum of its parts. If a process feels disjointed, so will candidates’ experience of your organisation.

 

In next week’s blogs, we look at the broader recruitment journey through the lens of Capp’s Strengths Selector, incorporating the Situational Strengths Test, and share our latest insights.

 

We will discuss the challenges we see across different stages recruitment, and across different industry sectors, and show you how the five steps of strengths-based recruitment in the Strengths Selector are delivering value and making a difference to talent assessment and selection.

 

 

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Launching our New Situational Strengths Test

Posted by: Celine Jacques & Alex Linley

 

Capp has always been a thought-leader in strengths-based recruitment. We see selection as a really critical process for our clients; the point at which the future make up of an organisation is decided.

 

Your brand, your performance, your very survival is dependent on those appointments and we feel privileged to be able to help our clients make effective, predictive and legally defensible decisions.

 

We understand the challenges facing recruiters and this year we have harnessed our innovation and thought leadership to bring you the latest in strengths-based recruitment, with a solution for online volume sifting for candidates based on their strengths – the Capp Situational Strengths Test.

 

This week sees the formal launch of the Situational Strengths Test, which is already being used by Ernst & Young and a major UK-based FMCG company as part of their strengths-based graduate recruitment processes, supported by Capp.

 

Over the next three weeks we will be posting a series of blogs all about the challenges of recruitment and how strengths-based recruitment, and the Situational Strengths Test in particular, are addressing these challenges.

 

Through these blogs, we will share our latest thinking around:

 

  • The current challenges faced by those attracting, assessing and selecting talent

 

  • The impact of our economic climate, and the changing profile of high volume roles

 

  • The need for innovation combined with exceptional science and rigour

 

  • The specific challenge of high volume applications, and the market and place for online sifting tools

 

  • The organisational outcomes and candidate benefits delivered by the Situational Strengths Test, our strengths-based sifting tool

 

  • The link between attraction, online sifting, further assessment and on-boarding

 

  • A look to the future in relation to what we all need to do better in order to spot talent more effectively and efficiently.

 

We hope you enjoy exploring this new frontier in strengths-based recruitment, and that you will be as excited and inspired as we are by the possibilities that this offers.

 

And by all means, if you can’t wait for the blog series, please check out the Situational Strengths Test website, which should answer many of the questions you may have.

 

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Strengths-based Recruitment and the Differentiation of ‘Brand’ – HR Magazine

Posted by: Celine Jacques

 

How can your selection process differentiate your brand?

 

Reena Jamnadas and I recently wrote for HR Magazine about the implementation of strengths-based recruitment being not just a way of better selecting talent, but of differentiating brand.

 

Organisations leading the way in attracting top talent have recognised that the selection process in itself is an opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

 

In fact, it actually plays a major role in transforming their brand. Growing  research on Generation Y shows they are eager to learn, to gain insight and to feel recognised as individuals.

 

In this article, we share our three top tips for making sure your organisation has the competitive edge:

 

1. Identify what makes your organisation unique

 

2. Make the competition irrelevant

 

3. Develop a strengths-based recruitment process.

 

See our article in HR Magazine to read more…

 

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