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

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May 2018
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graduate recruitment

It’s Trending: Graduate Recruitment is on the Rise

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 nicky.garcea@capp.co Gurpal.minhas@capp.co or follow us on twitter @nickygarcea @gurpalminhas.

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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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Back to the Future at the AGR Annual Conference

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.

 

The opening key note was given by Dean Van Leeuwen, a founder of Tomorrow Today. Dean laid out the TIDES for change that are facing all early career recruiters:

 

  • Technology
  • Institutional change
  • Demographics
  • Environment
  • 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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Two Perspectives on Graduate Jobs and Career Prospects

Posted by: Alex Linley, Director, Capp

 

Two recent articles on the outlook for graduate jobs and career prospects caught my eye, for different reasons.

 

Yesterday, the BBC News website covered the latest High Fliers research, suggesting that graduate vacancies are at a 5-year high, with 4.6% more jobs for new graduates than in 2012, according to the 100 ‘leading graduate employers’ in the UK. With this trend set to continue next year, the High Fliers research suggests a lot of good news for the Class of 2013 and the Class of 2014.

 

An article in The Sunday Times (30 June 2013), however, ‘Graduate jobs go to rivals from overseas’, painted a slightly different picture. According to the article, one third of graduate jobs in London are held by people born overseas. Whether this is reflective of globalization trends and multinational businesses or economic migration from struggling economies, it is clear that London is a magnet attracting international graduate talent.

 

What can new graduates learn from this?

 

First, it’s critical to recognise that we are now operating in a truly global marketplace. A couple of weeks back, I was delivering a client engagement in Bangkok, Thailand, for the top talent of a UK-headquartered company. Of the 25 or so delegates on the programme, not one of them was from the UK. Instead, they were drawn from across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

 

Second, in this global marketplace, having a global mindset is essential for sustainable success. One of the big attractions of graduates who come to London from overseas is that they are very likely to speak at least two languages and to have experience of at least two different cultures.

 

This makes them geographically mobile and far more likely to want to pursue an international career. This is a very attractive combination for global companies requiring globally mobile managers and leaders.  Indeed, my co-facilitator was Italian, had lived and worked extensively in the UK, and was now based in Singapore. A perfect example of global mobility.

 

Overall, it’s great to see graduate recruitment numbers increasing, but we should also be clear that there is no room for complacency. We are in a global competition to attract, develop, retain and harness the best talent – from wherever that talent originates.

 

As a result, British graduates will need to work hard to develop the global mindset that their international colleagues bring with them more naturally as they move to London. In doing so, they’ll harvest richer perspectives that enhance them, their organisations, and our society as a whole. Welcome to the global village.

 

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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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‘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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Why Competency-based Recruitment Misses Talented Graduates

Posted by: Nicky Garcea

 

“This latest research confirms that taking part in work placements or internships whilst at university is now just as important as getting a 2:1 or a first-class degree,” says Martin Birchall, managing director of High Fliers Research, quoting their latest research.

 

High Fliers latest research report, The Graduate Market in 2013, reflects responses from recruiters from UK’s top 100 degree-level employers.  Half of the recruiters surveyed warned that graduates who had no previous work experience at all are unlikely to be successful in their selection processes.

 

This is hardly a surprise when competency-based recruitment depends so critically on candidates being able to provide “an example of where you have done this before.”

 

If ever there was a case of needing experience to get the job, and needing the job to get the experience, it’s competency-based interviews. Competency-based interviews rest heavily on past experience.

 

As a result, it is easy to see how graduates who do not have a wealth of past work experience or job-specific examples, will often be sifted out of a large recruiter’s application process as early as the application stage.

 

These experiences, confirmed by the High Fliers research, clearly point to a need for both graduates and recruiters to take a fresh look at graduate recruitment.

 

After all, if every graduate candidate is simply regurgitating the same competency response that they picked up as a model answer from Wikijobs, that isn’t going to help any recruiter sift the talent from the rest. Equally as important, it isn’t going to help graduates get into a job they will love.

 

Thankfully, there is another way.

 

For many years now, we have been helping graduate recruiters (and other recruiters) use strengths-based recruitment to assess the candidate more holistically, by taking account of their energy and motivation, as well as their past performance.

 

Yes, there is still a role for what people have done before, but this isn’t the only criterion, or even the main criterion, by which they are judged.

 

Our experience of helping major organisations to recruit thousands of graduates for their strengths, rather than being constrained by looking only in the rearview mirror of what they have done in the past, is changing the face of graduate recruitment.

 

Companies like Barclays, Ernst & Young, Nestlé and Aviva are leading the way, with many others now starting to follow.

 

Strengths-based recruitment delivers the right talent for the right roles. In doing so, it depends not just on what people have done, or even what they can do, but more on what they love to do.

 

By getting graduates into the work they love, graduate recruiters will be building their future talent pipelines at the same time as making a significant social contribution, opening their doors to a wider talent pool than just the fortunate few who have “done it before”.

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Nestlé HRD Matt Stripe in HR Magazine on Using Strengths to Recruit Graduate Talent

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

I’m delighted to share with you this link to HR Magazine, featuring an article by Nestlé HR Director Matt Stripe. In the article, Matt describes how Nestlé are working with Capp in using strengths-based graduate recruitment to select and recruit the best young graduate talent.

 

He also makes a series of great points about how strengths-based recruitment critically improves upon competency-based recruitment for graduates, who often might not have the work experience to provide the “When did you do this…” past examples that competency-based recruitment so often depends upon.

 

Enjoy reading!

 

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