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

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May 2018
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school leavers

Resilience – the positive attitude you need in overcoming obstacles

Posted by: Nick Hayter, Senior Psychologist, Capp.

 

 

A Level results day… a nervous wait then if you are a school leaver in the build up to a dizzying mix of emotions related to your UCAS points: meeting offers; missing offers; considering differed placements; considering adjustments to courses; or, reconsidering further education entirely.

 

Your A Level results are a milestone, greeted with either gratification and celebration or, a day that knocks your confidence and tests your resolve to quickly respond. If you miss the grades required to secure your first choice subject or degree, it’s important to remember that setbacks happen to everyone. Resilience helps you to stay calm, recover quickly and proactively seek alternatives. Since, this is unlikely to be your first (or last) situation when you’re expected to cope with adversity, it’s helpful to know that lots of characteristics define resilience.

 

Resilient people tend to have a blend of self-belief, energy and positive outlook. But, you are just as likely to draw on things unique to you in order to cope with tough times – for example, your sense of humour or setting clear goals.

 

Resilience is not fixed – this means that your levels of resilience can fall if you’re feeling drained, stressed or not looking after yourself. Equally, there are lots of ways that you can increase or top-up your levels of resilience. One tip, is to learn from resilient role models. You don’t need to know anyone famous, your resilient role models can be your friends or family members. Learn what helps them to recover from setbacks – that way, you might be able to cope better in a difficult situation, by asking yourself, “What would they do?”

 

If you would like to learn more about your strengths, www.Jobmi.com offers FREE assessments to help you find out and learn more about yourself, empowering you to find the right career.

 

If you need support and you’re looking for courses through Clearing, The Telegraph Clearing Hub has been set up to support you http://clearing.telegraph.co.uk/, and UCAS offer telephone support for school leavers and parents on 0371 468 0468, or see their website http://www.ucas.com/ 

 

For further information about Strengths and the work Capp do to help organisations with their school leaver, apprenticeship and diversity needs, please contact Capp on +44 (0)2476 323 363, or connect with me, Nick Hayter via LinkedIn - and good luck if you are waiting for your results.

 

 

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Introducing Jobmi – The Great New Employability and Recruitment Platform from Capp

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

Jobmi – www.jobmi.com – is the great new employability and recruitment platform from Capp.

 

Aimed at emerging talent and early careers, Jobmi helps young people to learn more about their skills and strengths, take assessments to build their employability, and complete employer assessments just once for consideration by lots of different employers.

 

At Capp, we’ve heard many of our graduate and early careers recruitment clients talk about how frustrated they are by the arbitrary screening criteria they have to introduce to manage candidate volumes.

 

These are things like UCAS points and applications only from specific universities, which allow recruiters to manage the applicant pool but create false barriers to social mobility.

 

Jobmi is our revolutionary solution to this problem. Jobmi removes the need for arbitrary screening criteria because Jobmi provides employers and recruiters with the data you need to make informed decisions.

 

With candidates completing employer assessments in advance at no cost to them, as an employer you have more data on a candidate - and the right data – than you have ever had available before.

 

Early client partners working with Jobmi include Barclays, Morrisons, Nestlé and NFU Mutual, with many more to be announced in the coming weeks.

 

Watch this space for further updates about developments on Jobmi, of which there will be many!

 

To become a Jobmi member yourself and claim your personalised Jobmi url before anybody else does, join us at www.jobmi.com

 

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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 www.realise2.com 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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50 Shades of Entry Level Talent

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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Reflections on School Leavers’ Fortnight

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

 

Over the last two weeks on The Capp Blog, we have focused on helping school leavers tackle some of the big questions they face as they consider moving into the world of work or undertaking future study.

 

Our blog topics over the course of School Leavers’ Fortnight have taken in topics including:

  • Employability – what it is and how to demonstrate it
  • How to differentiate yourself so that you stand out on an application form
  • Insights into the mind of an interviewer and tips for interview technique
  • How to help students and young people spot their strengths and apply them to their choices about future courses and careers.

 

We hope you have enjoyed reading the blogs and – more importantly – that they have helped you to help the students and young people you know who are grappling with these challenges at this stage of their lives.

 

A recurrent theme throughout our advice over this fortnight has been the importance of helping people to know, understand and maximise their strengths. For this, nothing is better than Realise2, Capp’s online strengths assessment and development tool.

 

If you want to help a young person find their right direction in life, you would be well advised to give them the most powerful gift of strengths. This is what Student Careers and Skills have been doing at the University of Warwick – and it’s making a real difference.

 

Share your experiences and let us know how you get on by using the Comment function on The Capp Blog below.

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Inside the Mind of the Interviewer

Posted by: Emma Trenier, as part of School Leavers’ Fortnight

 

Interviewers are like everyone else. When they have a long day of interviews ahead of them they feel apprehensive, hopeful, excited and tired. Just like candidates do.

 

Instead of focusing on your fear, focus on how you can best present yourself to your interviewer, the real person, in front of you.

 

From my experience interviewing and working with other assessors, there are three things you should know about us:

 

1. We have short concentration spans. Not all interviewers are exceptional listeners. We find it much easier to listen to the answers of candidate when they are well structured and include strong examples. When you provide all the facts about an example without us needing to ask multiple follow up questions, you make it so much easier for us – and so you’re more likely to impress.

 

2. We want to meet the real you. Interviews often run back-to-back and can be draining for interviewers. We are waiting to meet the candidates who reveal their true personalities. It provides a welcome break to see their passions, motivation and energy coming across. We are hoping to meet candidates who are right for the role and right for the organisation.

 

3. We are imagining how you will fit in. As we meet each candidate, as interviewers we are thinking about how you will fit in with the company. It helps enormously when you show that you understand the company’s values, vision and purpose and show commitment towards these.  

 

In an interview, there are many things that you can’t control. You can’t be sure of the questions you will be asked, what the interviewer will be like, how many other applicants there will be, or indeed how good they will be.

 

There are, however, a number of things that are within your control: your self-awareness, preparation, and ability to talk clearly about yourself for a start.

 

As you prepare to meet your interviewer, human to human, my top tips are:

 

1. Make it Clear Why You. Clarify the three things that stand out most about you as a candidate – the three things that you want the interviewer to remember. As you approach your interview, whatever style of interview it is, be sure to get these three things across.

 

2. Showcase your Strengths. Identify your strengths using Capp’s Realise2 strengths assessment (www.realise2.com) and practice talking about them confidently. This will help you describe yourself richly rather than using too many clichés.

 

3. Get Feedback. Boost your confidence by asking people who you trust what your best features are and why they would employ you. This way you will be sure that you are speaking truthfully and will feel more authentic describing your credentials.

 

4. Use the STAR Technique. When you give examples, remember ‘STAR’. Describe the Situation (the context), the Task (what you had to do), your Actions (the part you personally played) and the Result (what you achieved). This will make it easy for the interviewer to gather all the facts that they need about you.

 

5. Let your Body Talk. Be aware of the clues your body language is giving away. Make sure you give a good firm handshake, maintain eye contact and refrain from foot tapping, hair twiddling and putting your hands behind your head!

 

6. Ask Questions. Always come prepared with three questions to ask the interviewer. Most interviewers will give you the chance to ask questions and this is your chance to engage the interviewer in discussion, showing that you have thought carefully about this in advance.

 

So, with your interview looming, put your fear to one side, and take control. Remember that the preparation you do in understanding and talking about your strengths, motivations and experience will not be in vain.

 

You are the real you, after all!

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Stand Out on Your Application Form

Posted by: Sue Harrington, as part of School Leavers’ Fortnight

 

When applying for a job, there are two important opportunities for convincing a potential employer to select you over other applicants: the application form and the interview.

 

Many application forms now ask applicants to explain why they should be considered for the job – which is good news because it is your chance to sell yourself, make a good impression and secure an interview.

 

This means that completing an application form is not simply an administrative task – it’s an important part of the recruitment process.

 

Here are my top tips on how to maximise your impact:

 

1. First impressions really matter – make sure you complete the form fully and accurately and check your spelling. If you can’t complete the form online, keep your handwriting as neat as possible.

 

2. Identify your strengths by completing Capp’s Realise2 strengths assessment (www.realise2.com) and apply them to the requirements of the job. For example, strengths such as Detail, Order and Planful would be very useful in a job that involves project management, while Service, Explainer and Listener would help you in a call centre role.

 

3. Describe your strengths in relation to the job responsibilities. For example, “I am a good listener and I am able to explain complex ideas to others clearly”. Better still, illustrate with an example – perhaps you ran the debating society or were part of a mentoring programme at school.

 

4. Be specific when you are asked to explain why you should be considered for the job. Build your answer around the job description and the person attributes to show how you fit the requirements – using your strengths examples to illustrate the point.

 

5. Include anything that demonstrates your initiative, motivation and employability – as well as your qualifications. This includes any work experience, paid or voluntary; other positions you have held, such as a team captain at school; hobbies and interests, particularly where you have learnt new skills (e.g., sailing, rock climbing or writing apps).

 

6. Stand out – what have you done that is different to the norm, that demonstrates that you have what it takes to succeed in this role, and showcases your future potential by highlighting your past achievements?

 

7. Seek feedback from other people and ask them to check your application form for errors and improvements before you send it.

 

By adopting these strategies, you increase your chances of being invited for an interview.  They won’t be enough to get you the job – that’s down to you, after all – but they will take you one step further along the process.

 

And remember, all you need to do is ensure you get to the next stage each time. At the final stage, of course, if you’re successful, you’ll be offered the job!

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Employability (Part 1): Have You Got What Employers are Looking For?

Posted by: Sue Harrington, as part of School Leavers’ Fortnight

 

Employability has become a familiar and commonplace term, used by employers and the media in the post economic-crisis job market. But what does “employability” actually mean and what is its relevance for school leavers?

 

Employability refers to a person’s ability to secure a job, to remain employed, and to progress and perform well in their job. Developing employability skills is important for anyone wanting employment, even those who already have jobs, but it is particularly important for school leavers.

 

Nowadays, there is significant competition for fewer jobs and, unfortunately, unemployment amongst young people is on the increase. Employers often choose to recruit people who have already developed their employability skills through previous work experience in favour of inexperienced school leavers.

 

There are two main areas of employability. The ability aspect is about possessing a good standard of numerical, literacy and ICT (information and communication technology) skills. This includes proficiency with basic arithmetic, being able to write and speak clearly, a good vocabulary, and being able to listen well and ask appropriate questions of others.

 

The second aspect of employability is to do with your personal attributes, strengths and attitudes. Regardless of people’s previous experience or qualifications, employers are seeking people who have the right mindset to flourish at work.

 

Across a wide range of industries and businesses, employers describe a consistent pattern of personal employability skills:

 

  1. A positive mental attitude: a willingness and readiness to take on tasks and contribute; an openness to change and new ideas; a proactive approach to identifying better ways of doing things; and a drive to get things done.  It’s about being a “glass half full” person.
  2. Team-working: being able to get on with others, communicate well and work in a team. This includes being able to deal with disagreements and conflict when necessary.
  3. Self-direction: being able to work independently, keep yourself motivated, manage your own time and prioritise your tasks. This involves taking personal responsibility for your work and seeking and accepting feedback from colleagues.
  4. Problem-solving: showing initiative and having a creative and flexible approach to solving problems, being able to think situations through logically and generate potential solutions. This involves being resilient and bouncing back when things don’t go right.
  5. Business “savvy”: understanding what your organisation does, what “success” looks like for your employer and how your work contributes to this success.

 

Understanding what employability means is only part of the challenge – school leavers also need to develop their employability and demonstrate it to potential employers, if they are to be successful in today’s job market.

 

See Part 2 of this blog tomorrow, when I will explore how school leavers can assess and develop their core employability skills.

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