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November 2017
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Entrepreneurship

The Rise of the ‘Mumpreneur’

Posted by: Alex Linley, Director, Capp

 

Entrepreneurs see opportunities where other people see problems. It’s therefore both hugely exciting, and also no surprise, to read regularly about the rise of the ‘mumpreneur’, female entrepreneurs who are mothers. See, for example, this article from The Sunday Times.

 

With a business mindset, combined with a mother’s instinct and first hand experience of the perennial challenges, unmet needs and hence market opportunities that raising children presents, so-called Mumpreneurs bring their capabilities and personal experiences to the fore in meeting needs that they and the people like them face every day.

 

If ever there was a case for diversity in business, this is it. Imagine trying to design a product for mothers if you had no understanding of what it was like to be a mother.

 

I once heard an apocryphal story of a retailer that wasn’t selling as many children’s coats as they thought they should. Nobody sat around the table had any idea why. Then they asked a colleague who had young children.

 

“Because they don’t have hoods” came back the immediate reply. “Mums want to buy coats with hoods for their children, to keep them warm.”

 

How much wasted investment could have been saved, and how many more hooded coats sold, if this perspective had been part of the discussion from the outset?

 

The great thing for me about this story is that it illustrates the fundamental essence of entrepreneurship:

 

That anyone, anywhere can spot unmet needs through their own experience. Then, as long as you have the wherewithal to do something about it, anyone can be an entrepreneur.

 

Unlike being a lawyer, doctor or accountant, there are no qualification requirements to entrepreneurship. Just aptitude and appetite.

 

Go on – what’s stopping you!

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You’re An Entrepreneur? You Must Be Mad!

Posted by: Alex Linley, Director, Capp

 

When we started Capp, we got a lot of responses along the same lines of this blog post title. Tens of thousands of strengths-based interviews and tens of thousands of completions of Realise2 later, people now take a different view. It’s always easy to see success after the event; far harder to predict it ahead of time.

 

It’s this that Global Entrepreneurship Week is all about supporting. The people who see things differently, who are prepared to take a chance, who believe in themselves and their ideas even when almost everyone else around them is doubting.

 

These perspectives are the theme of one of the best books on entrepreneurship I have read in a while. Worthless, Impossible and Stupid (by Daniel Isenberg) describes the perspectives of the people who don’t see the opportunity for the product (Worthless), who overestimate the challenge to bring it to market (Impossible), and who criticise and doubt the people who dare to think differently and give it a go (Stupid).

 

Thankfully for us all and for society as a whole, entrepreneurs fall for none of these traps. Instead, they see value where others don’t. They match their skills and strengths to the challenges and opportunities they face. And they take the right judgement calls to make it all happen to deliver success.

 

There’s a great line in Oliver Stone’s 1987 film Wall Street that sums this up brilliantly. It’s not the “Greed is good” quote for which Gordon Gekko became famous. Instead, it’s this almost throwaway line that describes the entrepreneurial process in a sentence:

 

“Money isn’t lost or made. It’s simply transferred from one perception to another.”

 

This is the entrepreneur’s gift and raison d’etre. To see inefficiencies in opportunities and markets – and to fix them. When the entrepreneur succeeds, we all benefit – by definition, since if the entrepreneur was not creating value, they would not have customers, they would not be succeeding.

 

So, especially here in Global Entrepreneurship Week, let’s raise a salute to the outliers, the weird ones, the people who see things differently.

 

But above all, here’s to the people who not only see, but do; to those who feel the risk but take it anyway.

 

Here’s to the entrepreneurs. Your country needs you!

 

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Innovations in Graduate Recruitment at The FIRM’s Winter Conference

Posted by: Gurpal Minhas, Senior Business Psychologist, Capp

 

Capp at The FIRM's Winter Conference 2013

 

Last Friday (15th November), the Capp team attended and presented at The FIRM’s Winter Conference 2013. As proud gold sponsors, it was a joy to be part of an event that drives such thought provoking and inspirational conversation and knowledge sharing.

 

“An absolute buzz for me, it was a privilege to be there’’
Vernon Bryce, Director, Capp

 

The FIRM (Forum for In-house Recruitment Managers), is a network with over 6,300 members, it was setup as a platform for in-house recruitment managers to discuss best practice, hear innovations in the latest selection methodologies and how to source the best candidates. This in-turn enables recruitment managers to grow more efficiently, effectively and easily.

 

The fast-paced and engaging, multi-streamed day was introduced by Gary Franklin and Emma Mirrington. The opening session, hosted by Guardian Jobs, was a panel discussion exploring the definition of the future of employability; a current undergraduate student, a careers advisor (both from Leicester University) and a graduate recruiter (Mars Chocolate, UK) took to the stage. The discussion had a specific focus on:

  • The responsibility of Careers Services, Students and Employers in the development of ‘employment skills’ versus technical capability at university
  • The opportunity for students to differentiate themselves within an overpopulated workforce
  • The future of employability and the different approaches students are taking to showcase their ability.

Jutta Kremer, from Gartner, shared the role that technology plays in candidate care. Jutta showcased that across 20 recruiters they’ve selected over 1,500 employees with 35% coming via in-house through referrals.

 

Delegates also discussed different routes of reaching out to potential new candidates through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook breaking away from traditional job boards. Simon Hallard from Lloyds Banking Group shared his leading approach in relation to creating a direct sourcing model for their banking business.

 

After lunch, Nicky Garcea, Capp Director, delivered a lively interactive and engaging session to share the latest innovations in graduate recruitment; Nicky described how trusted Capp clients such as Nestlé, Barclays and EY have embedded strengths-based assessments throughout their graduate, intern and school leaver programmes.

 

Attendees were provided with a business case of taking a strengths-based approach to recruitment and put through their paces with a mock strengths-based interview (SBI), done in pairs. As interviews were conducted, the room erupted with energy and vigour – a real practical opportunity for delegates to understand the way in which an SBI works.

 

For more information on the conference, Nicky’s presentation slides or a demonstration of the interview, please contact gurpal.minhas@capp.co or alternatively call 02476 323 363.

 

 

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Engaging graduates to recruit the best – an EY journey

Posted By: Alex Linley, Director, Capp and Nicky Garcea, Director, Capp
 

 

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 nicky.garcea@capp.co or connect on uk.linkedin.com/in/nickygarcea

 

 

 

 

 

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Insourcing – Power to in-house recruiters

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 buyerLisa 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 communitySerges 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 nicky.garcea@cappeu.com or get in touch on www.linkedin.com/in/nickygarcea

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s Recruitment, but ‘Not as We Know It’

Posted by: Nicky Garcea

 

 

 

Last Thursday, 12 September, I was an invited speaker at the eArcu client event at the Grange City Hotel, London. eArcu is a 2nd generation recruitment platform provider and Capp’s chosen applicant tracking partner. The event was expertly compered by CAThr3e’s Ben Jackson. It was attended by over 50 of eArcu’s clients and fellow speakers included:

 

 

 

There was a genuine buzz at this event, with speakers and delegates enthused by the impact that technology can have in assisting the in-house recruiter to:

 

  • Recruit through multiple devices – Andy demonstrated how the eArcu responsive grid technology ensures that application sites adapt across all handheld or tablet devices. Andy highlighted how this technology has been implemented in Capp’s work with Nestlé as they seek to attract both school leavers and graduates.

 

  • Gather accurate data – Andrew shared Macmillan’s journey from outsourcing to insourcing, showing how gathering data can drive better attraction decisions, budget allocation, and stakeholder engagement. Andrew also provided a preview of the Macmillan’s new attraction video which supports the charity’s ‘you are not alone’ brand message.

 

  • Create candidate pipelines – Alastair highlighted how Ingenium People help to empower inhouse recruiters to use social media to build their own candidate pipelines. Alastair also showed how revolutionary sites such as ‘Facebook graph search’ is allowing recruiters to find people within set locations and sharing similar skills. Despite these online developments Alastair was quick also to acknowledge the importance of still picking up the phone to connect with exceptional candidates.

 

  • Create consistent candidate experiences – Damien from Daesign blew the audience away with demonstrations of ‘serious games’. Damien provided insights into how clients like EE have harnessed avatars to deliver introductions to assessment days and how Renault has delivered online sales training through their sales manager games.

 

  • Select for Strengths – My presentation demonstrated how strengths (measuring performance, energy and experience) can be assessed online through Capp’s Situational Strengths Test (SST). I provided examples of how clients like EY, Nestlé and Morrisons use the SST to provide candidates with a cost effective, realistic job preview as well as online strengths-based volume screening.  I also demonstrated the ways in which strengths can be integrated within an organisation’s capability framework and the difference between strengths and competency-based interviewing.

 

The event concluded with a panel discussion, reviewing how handheld mobile solutions for both candidates and inhouse recruiters could make attraction and recruitment accessible anytime, all the time, for all.

 

 

If you would like to know more about how Capp harnesses technology to deliver our end-to-end recruitment solutions, please contact me, nicky.garcea@capp.co

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Despair: Why Your Planned Career Path isn’t the “Be All and End All”

Posted by: Alex Linley, as part of School Leavers’ Fortnight

 

With A-level results just around the corner, and Scottish Highers results released yesterday, there’s a big, pervasive myth that we need to dispel:

 

It isn’t the end of the world if you didn’t get the grades you need. In fact, it might just be the best thing that ever happened to you.

 

I didn’t make the grade when I applied to Oxford University while doing my A-levels. In fact, I didn’t even want to go to university at that point, but I reached an agreement with my dad (who hadn’t gone to university, and so was desperate for me to do so), that I would go for one year and see how I got on…

 

So, off I duly went to the University of Leeds to start a four-year Russian and Philosophy degree, with the first year being entirely Russian to bring us all up to A-level standard in that year. And guess what – after one year, just as agreed – I left (albeit with a 2:1 and a Fail in Phonetics), because I didn’t want to be there.

 

Many adventures later (having worked in Moscow, run my own business, and stacked books in a book warehouse), I decided that I was ready to go to university – and so Leicester it was, this time to read Psychology. Warwick followed Leicester as I did my PhD before going back to Leicester as a Lecturer, which even then was just the prelude to starting Capp.

 

Could I have predicted any of this at the tender age of 17 years when I was making my university choices and completing my A-levels? Not a chance! In fact, as I often say to my children when they ask about careers – “My job didn’t even exist when I was at school – I invented it.

 

The upshot of this is that I don’t believe that anyone should be constrained by the career path they might have in mind at 17, 18, 19 years – or indeed any age – because there is always so much that can and will happen, that we just can’t predict. As a result, I say to my children, “Do what you enjoy and what you’re good at, work hard (always work hard), and then see what opportunities you can create...”

 

And contrary to the received wisdom, this is actually how careers develop for many of us, as Herminia Ibarra shows in her excellent book.

 

So if you, your son or daughter, or a young person you are helping, find that things didn’t quite work out as planned with your A-level results, don’t despair!

 

It could well be that you are just taking the path that so many of us take, the one that is emergent (and I think exciting), rather than the one that is prescribed and carefully planned.

 

After all, this indirect path that makes the most of what we have, rather than lamenting what we don’t have, is so often the route to an even better future than we imagined.

 

Has this indirect career path been your experience through life? Share your learnings with others through using the Comment function on The Capp Blog below.

 

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The Technology Hub that is Birmingham

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

A great article by Mike Butcher on the TechCrunch blog celebrates the emergence of Birmingham as an emerging technology and enterprise hub, driven in large part by the efforts of Mark Hales and his Oxygen Accelerator.

 

Being familiar with the transformation that Birmingham City Council have been working towards for so long, it is great to see that Birmingham is starting to get the recognition it deserves.

 

Could this be the “Clarion Call of the Coders”, marking economic regeneration and development of the West Midlands heartland hand-in-hand with the “March of the Makers”?

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Future Spotting – Wired’s 7 Rules for What’s Coming Next

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

A large part of my role at Capp is about trying to identify the trends of the future, and then ensuring we are best positioned to make the most of them.

 

To that end, I was intrigued to read Wired’s 7 rules for spotting the future in the June edition, courtesy of Thomas Goetz, executive editor of US Wired.

 

As a reader of The Capp Blog, I thought you might appreciate them too, so here’s a summary:

 

1. Look for cross-pollinators: It’s well-known from the psychology of creativity that a major source of creativity can come through taking ideas from one discipline and applying them in another. This, it turns out, is also a great way to identify trends for the future. Look for something in one domain that could have applications in another, and you’re one step closer to predicting it happening.

 

2. Surf the exponentials: What are the major trends re-shaping the world around us? If you can spot these and work out where they will lead and what the implications will be, you’ll find yourself ahead of the game and closer to the future than otherwise.

 

3. Demand deep design: Steve Jobs taught us that deep design is about beauty, simplicity and intuitiveness. When something is perfect in its conception, easy to use, and obvious in its practice, it’s going to be here to stay – and it will re-define the benchmark for what follows.

 

4. Give points for audacity: The people who go out on a limb and risk taking a chance – the true entrepreneurs of the world – are those who shape what will be from the possibilities of what might have been. Pay attention to the risk-takers and the people with belief, since often they will be right and the rest of the world will follow.

 

5. Bank on openness: The internet has revolutionised what we think about intellectual property, ideas and even products themselves. So much, now, is free, and new industries are being built on the power of open-source. This democratization of everything is here to stay, and it’s leading to a very different future than we might otherwise have anticipated.

 

6. Favour the liberators: Some of the biggest opportunities that will shape the trends of the future rest on putting existing infrastructure to work in different ways. What great reservoirs of untapped resource lie dormant, just waiting for a liberator to see the world differently and release them? Innovation is the central tool of those who see things differently and will create a different future as a result.

 

7. Spend time with time-wasters: Who are the people doing different things just for the love of it? The people whose passion has taken them far beyond the day-to-day? It’s from this immersion at the edges of what is known, driven by an innate desire to explore, to invent, to push the boundaries, that the new dimensions of the future emerge.

 

What do you think? Do these 7 rules chime with your own experience of what you pay attention to  in order to know what’s coming next, or do you see things differently?
Let us know by sharing your Comments on The Capp Blog.

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Lessons Learned on Leadership

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

Last week I delivered a talk for a Leadership Seminar at the University of Warwick.  I was invited to do so as I graduated from Warwick with my PhD in 2004, and of course, Capp is based on the University of Warwick Science Park, so we are a local business to the university. David Carter, Strategic Director of Warwickshire County Council – and another Warwick graduate – was also a speaker.

 

Our talks were for PhD students drawn from across the different faculties at Warwick, who were interested in developing their leadership capability as they think about their future careers.

 

My objective in my talk was to share some of the lessons I had learned on leadership, drawing from both my academic learning and particularly my experience of being a leader, and developing leaders, at Capp. The 10 points I shared are included below for readers of The Capp Blog.

 

1. Be yourself – positively and with authenticity

You can only lead by being yourself. Build on your strengths, act with authenticity, look to develop the positive in any opportunity.

 

2. Build trust and demonstrate integrity

You will be judged on the extent to which your people can trust you – to keep your word, to take responsibility, but above all, to act with integrity and to protect their interests as far as you reasonably can.

 

3. Inspire through a higher purpose and vision

Share your vision so that people will buy into it with their heart and soul, not just their heads. Emotion, more than reason, drives motivation and commitment.

 

4. Set the values and define the culture

What you do matters much more than what you say. As the leader, you are responsible for the values you hold dear and the culture you create.

 

5. Give strategic clarity with practical actions

Ensure people know what you want them to do and why. Make strategy a series of steps to your desired future state. Show people the role they play, with practical actions they should take.

 

6. Make the right decisions

Above everything, you will be judged by your decisions. You don’t have to get every decision right, but you do have to learn from it when you don’t. Fail early, fail fast, recover quickly.

 

7. Encourage diversity (especially of perspective)

Groupthink can kill an organisation’s ability to adapt in a rapidly evolving world. Encourage and celebrate diversity in gender, age, ethnicity, experience, expertise – and above all – perspective, to ensure you have all bases covered.

 

8. Wedge open doors for emerging talent

You should always be looking to raise the “mean level of intelligence” of the organisation. Recruit people who are better than you are. The organisation – and you – will be better for it.

 

9. It’s not all about me – create complementary teams

Nobody is good at everything, and no leader can do everything the organisation requires. Create complementary teams to leverage and harness the strengths of the leadership team as a whole.

 

10. It can be lonely at the top

Leadership is lonely. Tough decisions rest on your shoulders alone, often in the quiet hours of the middle of the night. Be prepared to stand tall and firm, but alone. Have support outside of the politics and personalities of your organisation.

 

Would you argue the case for anything different that I have not included in my 10 leadership lessons above? Let us know by posting your Comments on The Capp Blog.

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