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

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October 2019
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career decisions

Student Strengths Insights and Strengths-based Graduate Recruitment

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

I was speaking earlier today at an Ernst & Young event for university careers advisers, where we showcased some of the early results from the Ernst & Young-Capp Student Strengths Survey.

 

This is a survey of 1,085 undergraduate students, randomly sampled and balanced across gender, faculty and university, drawing from the 87 universities that comprise the top three quartiles of UK universities.

 

Here is a snapshot of our findings as we shared them today – the full report will be released in the next few weeks:

 

1. Just under half (48.8%) of the students said that they knew what their strengths were.

 

2. 9 out of 10 students agreed that using your strengths was important because it would help you to be happier, more engaged at work, to achieve your goals, and to realise your potential.

 

3. As a result, 97% of students thought it was important to use their strengths at work in their future career.

 

4. So much so, it transpires, that two-thirds of students would choose an average graduate salary and the opportunity to use their strengths at work, over and above a job with a higher than average graduate salary but little opportunity to use their strengths.

 

5. And taking this further, over 85% of students wanted a premium of 30% or more above the average graduate salary, in order to induce them to take a job that would not allow them to use their strengths at work.

 

Clearly, strengths matter – both to graduates and to their prospective employers.

 

With an increasing weight of evidence showing the benefits of strengths-based recruitment, for both candidates and organisations alike, it’s hardly surprising that more and more organisations are choosing to make the move to put strengths at the heart of their selection processes.

 

In future blogs, we’ll explore more of what this means and how you can make the change.

 

We’ll also be showcasing some of the many successes Capp has achieved so far with our market-leading and award-winning strengths-based recruitment and selection processes.

 

In the meantime, if you have comments or questions about strengths-based recruitment, let us know using the Comment function below and we’ll be pleased to respond.

 

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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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