Posted By: Nicky Garcea and Gurpal Minhas
2014 started well for graduates when the High Fliers Research reported that we could expect a 9% rise in graduate recruitment equating to around 1,400 extra jobs.
As the BBC have reported today there is a consensus emerging that early career and graduate recruitment is on the rise, and can only be a good thing when last year’s statistics suggested that one in every ten graduates was unemployed.
Stephen Isherwood, CEO for the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) reported at their AGM last Monday that employer members of the AGR were also reporting a significant rise in graduate recruitment in 2013 and this trend was predicted to continue well into 2014.
Stephen reported the following key trends from the survey:
• Graduate recruitment was up by 4.3% in 2013 and is expected to rise by 10.2% in 2014.
• Industries that were seeing the greatest rise in graduate vacancies include: IT/Telecom, Public Sector, Banking and Energy.
• London, South East and West Midlands are seeing the greatest growth in graduate vacancies.
• 50% of AGR members surveyed now have a school leaver programme and a further 15.4% expect to launch one in 2014.
• The number of applicants per vacancy varies between Graduates’s (85) and School Leavers (25).
The AGR data also echo’s the global graduate recruitment trends being reported out of the US from the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC). GMAC’s annual poll of employers conducted in 2013, covers 211 employers at 185 companies in 33 countries worldwide.
GMAC have recently reported:
• More than three-quarters of employers that plan to hire business school graduates in 2014 expect to maintain or increase their hiring levels compared with 2013.
• 87% of employers plan to maintain (43%) or increase (43%) headcounts for new MBA hires.
• Salaries in 2014 expected to increase for Business Graduates; a majority of employers seeking to hire business school graduates in 2014 (between 51% and 58%) plan to increase annual base salary levels for new hires at or above the rate of inflation.
These international shoots of early career recruitment recovery are good news for the many school leavers and graduates seeking to be employed.
The challenge for many recruiters right now is how to identify and assess the most exemplar apprentice and graduates to ensure they recruit the highest calibre of applicants whilst attending into increased candidate numbers. Many of our graduate recruiter clients saw their applications double in 2013.
Capp’s recruitment solution ‘Strengths Selector’ successfully supported Barclays Investment Bank, EY, Morrisons, Microsoft and Nestlé recruit diverse and socially mobile early career talent in 2013 and into 2014. If you would like to know more about our work and view our case studies with these clients please contact us at email@example.com Gurpal.firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on twitter @nickygarcea @gurpalminhas.
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Posted By: Nicky Garcea, Director, Capp
On October 10th 2013 Barclays Bank received a commended award for Recruiting Diverse Talent by Business in the Community’s diversity initiative Race for Opportunity. This achievement comes after Barclays had traditionally been positioned lower down some diversity league tables.
Barclays have taken a multi-faceted approach in achieving recruiting diverse talent, this has included:
- Greater integration and co-ordination with partner organisations
- Lifecycle Mentoring; students gain business knowledge, develop interview skills and build social capital
- Broadened Outreach; maximising outreach with mentoring programmes, targeting schools and continuing through every year of university
- Mentors build unbreakable relationships with mentees ensuring talented BAME candidates select Barclays above competitors and guide candidates to their most suitable departments based on personality and aspirations
- Improved size and variety of internships made available, with a focus on converting BAME candidates
- Reviewing the selection process to eliminate barriers: no specific mention of UCAS criteria and degree qualification; Strengths-based Interviewing and Unconscious Bias Training introduced to Senior Leaders.
Capp has been a proud partner of Barclays since 2011 when we first implemented the Capp strengths-based telephone and face-to-face interview across early year recruitment in the Investment and Private Bank. Since Barclays implemented their diversity programme they have seen the following results:
- Moved from the bottom of SEO and RARE’s League Tables to one of the leading BAME recruiters – with a 200% increase in intern offers accepted by SEO/RARE candidates within 2 years
- The most challenging division, Investment Banking, has seen a 9 – 12% increase in BAME from total candidates for Spring/Summer programmes
- A 36% increase in applications from black candidates and a 200% increase in offers accepted by black interns
- Expanded apprenticeship talent pipeline for 2013 from 6 to 19
- Initiated the 2.5 year Financial Apprenticeship with guaranteed roles for successful candidates, enlisting 12.
Barclays are not alone in finding that Capp’s strengths-based products and solutions improve the diversity of their recruits. In a recent evaluation completed by Capp for Nestlé, the results of the first year of introducing the Capp strengths-based methodology across their early careers recruitment process highlighted that more school leavers from socially diverse backgrounds applied and 50% were the first in their family to attend University. In 2012 the number of women recruited into graduate technical roles rose from 22% to 66%.
In our experience it is a combination of the following six steps that will help ensure a reduction in bias in the application process and secure diverse and socially mobile recruits:
- Develop a balance of strengths that are gender and diversity neutral
- Ensure that all adverts and candidate communication is attractive to diverse groups
- Design candidate screening tools that are free from adverse impact
- Create interviews that are validated and scripted ensuring greater assessor consistency and reduction in unconscious bias
- Train all assessors thoroughly in how to mark accurately and differentiate high, average and low performance. On average 84% of assessors believe the Capp interviews and exercises are easier to score than competency interviews and exercises
- Evaluate continually and always be prepared to learn from every cohort and potential outlier.
We would love to know your thoughts on how you are improving the diversity or social mobility of your recruitment process, please join the conversation and connect with us on Twitter #RecruitingDiverseTalent @NickyGarcea @CappMarketing or to find out how Capp can help you improve ‘recruiting diverse talent’ across your organisation contact me directly on email@example.com or uk.linkedin.com/in/nickygarcea
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Ever wondered how you can differentiate yourself as graduate recruiter? Would you like to attract and retain the best early career talent? Then you should read our latest publication in this month’s Strategic HR Review, ‘Engaging graduates to recruit the best’.
This article explores how strengths-based recruitment is enabling graduate recruiters to engage, attract and select the best talent and draws on the example of major graduate recruiter, Ernst & Young, to show how strengths assessment can be used.
This article shows how the Capp Strengths-based Recruitment Methodology and the Situational Strengths Test engages candidates by providing them with a realistic job preview of the role. They help candidates to make informed decisions about their own fit. They help organisations to select the candidates who match their requirements more effectively from those who do not, delivering better outcomes for both parties.
If you would like to learn more about Ernst and Young’s journey, you can view the full article here.
If you would like to discuss the difference that our approach is making to the engagement, attraction and selection of earlier career talent, please contact Nicky Garcea at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect on uk.linkedin.com/in/nickygarcea
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Posted by: Nicky Garcea, Director, Capp
Last Friday, I had the fortunate experience of being a speaker at the Innovations in Recruitment event, hosted by The FIRM (The Forum for In-house Recruitment Managers) in Manchester. This was my first experience of The Firm, who prides itself as a leading membership for in-house recruiters run by in-house recruiters (set up by Gary Franklin).
The striking appeal of this event is the practical nature of the presentations. This is a truly ‘recruiter enabling’ membership. It also provides recruiters with the space and time to benchmark and learn from fellow professionals.
Listening to the delegates and learning from the overall themes, it is clear that many recruiters are offering their businesses exceptional, innovative and client-led solutions.
My five top tips from the day are:
- Take pride in insourcing – several of the delegates in the room highlighted that they had taken recruitment back in-house after poor retention rates were reached through recruiting via agencies and RPO solutions. Drivers for insourcing included the in-house recruiters’ ability to understand the business needs, knowing their stakeholders and being able to translate this into good attraction and selection practice. Businesses with newly insourced recruitment teams were reporting increases in quality of hire and improvements in retention.
- Have a video identity! – Barnaby Cook from Casual Films showcased the difference that hosting video on websites, YouTube and TV commercials had on application numbers and brand perception. Successful case studies showcased at the event included Teachfirst and SGOSS. One of my favourite parts of the day was the film on how to make a film.
- Be an informed buyer – Lisa Scales from TribePad and her client Rebecca Palmer from Speedy provided an enlightening presentation for all recruiters considering purchasing an ATS system. Lisa and Rebecca offered delegates key pointers on how to select an ATS provider. Tips included knowing functional priorities, being clear on non-negotiable requirements seeking live demonstrations in a pitch and asking sales people to perform irregular tasks.
- Manage your community – Serges Sergiou from SMRS highlighted that despite still being a minority activity, community management needs to become a priority for the informed recruiter. Serges’ tips to recruiters to ensure strong community management included: being a connector, having rules, knowing how to protect your herd, being multi-modal and always having something interesting to say.
- Improve assessment quality – I presented on Capp’s work highlighting the importance of improving assessment quality to aid performance predictors. I demonstrated how strengths-based assessments implemented across adverts, facebook games, situational judgement tests, video screening, and assessment centres can have cumulative effect of improving: retention, brand perception, diversity and on the job performance.
It was an enlightening day to hear from so many passionate individuals and how in-house recruiters are reclaiming their power and demonstrating the difference their skills and expertise can bring to their business. This was my first experience of The Firm and I would urge any in-house recruiter not affiliated with them to sign up!
If you would like to see how strengths-based assessments can improve the quality and predictive nature of your recruitment process then contact me on email@example.com or get in touch on www.linkedin.com/in/nickygarcea
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Posted by: Gurpal Minhas, Consulting Psychologist and Celine Floyd, Managing Psychologist, Capp
Mahatma Gandhi, on values:
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Beliefs through to actions, values through to destiny. But if values become our destiny, what does this mean for the world of work? How can we harness this in recruitment, and assessment?
Many organisations aim to embed their core values into the recruitment process – and are keen to ensure that candidates fit with these values before making a hiring decision. Here at Capp, we partner with organisations who want to ensure they hire talent who will not only perform, but will do so in the right way – aligned to their key values. Below we reflect on this concept of values-based recruitment.
When we behave in line with our values we feel comfortable, energised and draw satisfaction from what we are doing, while if we are required to act against the grain of our values we lose energy and can become de-motivated. This carries with it considerable implications for any recruitment process. We also know that when you assess against values, you assess against the organisational culture. When you get this right and hire talent which shares your organisational values, people stay in post longer, are more engaged, and more productive.
Contrast this with competencies – we know people have the capacity to demonstrate competencies not consistent with their values; and that developing competencies is easier – one can practice over time for example. Developing values and strengths is different; values are deeply embedded for an individual, often depending on one’s background and experience, but not specific to a work environment.
Many of our clients, such as Barclays, make a clear link between their values and the strengths we empower them to assess in their talent selection process. A robust strengths-based approach provides real evidence of ‘behaviours driven by values’. The strengths-based selection process frees candidates from being assessed only what they have done, or can do, and instead allows them to demonstrate what they really want to do – and what they really want to is live and work according to their values.
Do you recruit based on values? Are you confident that your values link to performance? Would you like us to demonstrate how we can empower your organisation to drive selection and development based on your core values? We would love to hear from you. If you would like to hear more about how Capp deliver Values-Based Recruitment please contact Gurpal.Minhas@cappeu.com
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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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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.
- Institutional change
- 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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Posted by: Nicky Garcea & Alex Linley
This International Women’s Day, we believe that there’s no better time than now to explore the role that we can all play in encouraging and supporting young women to find their way in the world of work.
Here are our five top tips for how you can do so:
1. Help young women to identify their strengths – after many years at school, young women can be forgiven for thinking of their achievements only in terms of academic grades. Helping them early on to see that their strengths are more varied than this is key. Knowing their strengths will help them develop their authenticity and build their confidence as they start to explore the world of work.
2. Talk about work – at Capp, we see a marked difference in the graduates and school leavers that we meet. There are some whose parents or family members have spoken to them about work and the jobs that they do, and others who haven’t had so much of this exposure. Developing a level of commercial awareness at an early age can be a real differentiator when it comes to a first interview.
3. Make connections – the chances for business-focused work experience are becoming more rare, as are the opportunities for weekend work. Never before has it been more key that we offer young people – and particularly young women – the chance to get into business and build their network. What a difference it would make if we could each make five work connections for a female school leaver so she can start building her career network and contacts now.
4. Mock interviews and assessment centres – it is often the case that women can feel alienated and perform less well during the selection process. Creating familiarity with different types of assessments can be valuable. Find examples of psychometrics on line, share interview questions you have been asked, and encourage the reading of financial papers and the business press.
5. Prepare the ‘work mindset’ – with a growing global emphasis on employability skills, it is clear that many school leavers and graduates lack the vital business skills they need for their work experience or in their first job. Describing the attributes of the people you work with who are highly engaged and productive can help job seekers hear what the best employees are like. Share how these people manage their profiles at work, what they do, and what they don’t. In particular, prepping young women to be prepared to work hard and learn from everything they do, and the mistakes that they make, will create a solid foundation for them to build on.
We urge you today - and for the weeks, months and years that follow – to consider how you might help a young woman that you know to realise her full career potential. We hope our five top tips for doing so provide a useful starting point.