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

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October 2019
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Use Your Exam Results as a Springboard for Success

Posted by: Amy Willocks & Reena Jamnadas, Consulting Psychologists, Capp


It is that time of year again: exam results time. After intense periods of studying, hard work, and persistence towards opening the door to your dreams and aspirations, now comes the time for what feels like Judgement Day.


You open that all-important envelope which contains either the key to unlock the door that you wanted – or – a different key, to a different door!


So whether you are rejoicing because you got the grades you need, or thinking about your next move, hold the thought that it’s what you do from here on that will reveal opportunity and unmask possibility.


We give you three tips below about how to build resilience and maximise this as a springboard for further success.


1. Develop a growth mindset


Do not catastrophise the situation by thinking that all your hopes are shattered forever. They are not! What are the things that you do have within your control that you can influence to find a different route to achieving your goals?


What specific positive skills, attitudes, and behaviours can you leverage? If you’re not sure, ask people that you trust for feedback.


What’s more is that many graduate employers are now increasing their focus on social mobility, embracing a broadened range of knowledge, skills and qualifications when recruiting. Qualifications are no longer the ‘be all and end all’ – watch this space for our case study on the recent success of the Nestlé Fast Start Programme.


2. Re-align with your goals, purpose and network


What meaningful goals have you set for yourself in your career? Maintain a focus on your purpose and goals in life, re-gain your sense of control and power, and carve out a different path forward. Identify who in your network you can draw on for support in the form of a trusted mentor.


It is very easy to just succumb or procrastinate when things do not go as planned, but taking an active approach and bouncing back from a setback will reveal possibilities that you may not ever have imagined.


3. Identify your strengths


Capp’s experience of how successful students rise above the rest is by knowing their strengths. Reflect on when you have been most energised – what specific things were you learning about or doing that would give you an insight into future areas of knowledge and expertise that would play to your strengths?


Increasingly, organisations such as Aviva, Barclays, EY, Morrisons, and Nestlé  are assessing graduates using strengths-based recruitment methods. It is crucial that you know your strengths and that you understand them – see to discover your strengths!


So, if you are holding the key to a different door at any point in your life or career, we congratulate you! For now is the time that extraordinary possibilities can be unmasked before you…

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GRIT and Goal Attainment

Posted by: Gurpal Minhas


The result for Chelsea against Barcelona last Wednesday night (27 April 2012) hit headlines across the world. There were plaudits for the Chelsea manager on a sterling performance by his side. How did the team with 10 men reach the biggest final of their careers against a team repeatedly called “the best club side in the world”?  Some say Barcelona had a bad day at the office. Chelsea midfielder, Frank Lampard, described how his team “dug-deep and never gave up.” This form of bounceback is often seen on the sports pitch, but do HR professionals and managers working in their respective fields recognise this ability in the workplace?


Luthans, Youssef and Avolio (2007) found that resilience (one of the four elements of psychological capital) is a notable predictor of high performance, better satisfaction and lower absenteeism in today’s working world. Likewise, Seligman (2011) defined the theory of GRIT which relates to the combination of “very high persistence and high passion for an objective.” In Chelsea’s case, it was the consistent defending alongside the passion for wanting to reach the final.


So how do we develop GRIT?  Typically, these individuals aren’t discouraged by setbacks, are hard workers, finish what they start and are very diligent in their output. Are there strengths that one has to have to achieve their target regardless of situation? Could individuals with the strength of Drive (people who are self-motivated to achieve what they want from life) and Growth (people who are always look for ways to grow and develop) have an advantage to remain determined?  What strengths do you have that could help develop that persistence to achieve an objective? These are questions we are asking in a current Realise2 validation study – so watch out on The Capp Blog for our results in the future!


To achieve a successful outcome, there often is a particular hunger for wanting to achieve a particular goal. This hunger can be represented by having a meaning- an explicit desire to want to achieve this outcome. When twinned with GRIT, the individual forms a real positive mindset. To think about the impact that meaning can have on you, can you think of the last outcome that you’ve achieved using determination that had little or no meaning to you?


So, as you review your personal GRIT level, how many of your colleagues show these characteristics?


Here are some handy tips to watch and assist in your quest to develop a workforce with more GRIT:

  • What experiences have you/they had when they’ve survived daunting projects? Can you begin to build a bank of positive experiences that you can refer back to showcasing your potential?
  • Are individuals scarred from their last experiences? Do you have any processes in place to discuss what occurred and what strengths an individual possesses to help them bounce back from this? By developing an individual’s self-awareness, can you help them recognise their abilities?
  • Can you create/develop a greater sense of meaning around a particular project?
  • Can you highlight where projects may struggle, acknowledge that you’ll need to demonstrate some of the typical GRIT behaviours?
  • How can you use your unrealised strengths to maximise the use of particular strengths to achieve those targets? Are you aware of your learned behaviours that you’ll need to moderate? What particular things drain you?

One thing we know for sure is that people are more resilient, and experience less stress, when they are using their strengths. As such, strengths use is very likely an enabler of psychological capital, and so will help us achieving our goals and building our GRIT.



Luthans, F., Youssef, C. M., & Avolio, B. J. (2007) Psychological capital: Developing the human competitive edge. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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