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

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May 2018
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social mobility

EY Remove Academic Barriers to Application for Student Careers in Drive to Improve Social Mobility

Posted by: Alex Linley, Capp

 

We are delighted that EY have today opened their student recruitment process for 2015/16, with the headline-grabbing announcement that they have dropped academic screening criteria from their recruitment process. This has been made possible through our work with EY over the last 7 years, in which we have been able to demonstrate that strengths-based recruitment is better able to predict success in role than academic screening criteria such as degree class or UCAS points.

 

This announcement generated a lot of positive media coverage, including this from BBC News – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-33759238

 

The intention of EY in making this change is to level the playing field in order to attract talent from across a more even and fair playing field, enabling opportunity for all and promoting social mobility as a result.

 

This is one of EY’s many demonstrations of commitment to social mobility under their Champion status of the Social Mobility Business Compact, of which Capp are also signatories. As part of the recruitment process, EY are also partnering with Capp and Jobmi to monitor social mobility in the most comprehensive way that has been attempted to date in student recruitment.

 

We look forward to further announcements, insights and results as this progresses.

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Downward mobility, opportunity hoarding and the ‘glass floor’: Latest SMCP Commission Report

Posted by: Alex Linley, CEO, Capp

 

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission just released their latest report – ‘Downward mobility, opportunity hoarding and the ‘glass floor” – https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/447575/Downward_mobility_opportunity_hoarding_and_the_glass_floor.pdf.

 

This report examines the relationships between family background, childhood cognitive skills and adult success in the labour market, using a sample of several thousand people from the British Birth Cohort Study 1970, who have been tracked since their births over the course of a single week in 1970, and were aged 42 at the time of the latest data collection.

 

The study set out to compare and contrast the outcomes and trajectories of distinct groups on a two-by-two matrix within the Birth Cohort Study 1970. First, participants were classified as high attainers or low attainers in relation to labour market success, and second, they were classified as coming from high or low socioeconomic and educational backgrounds. The focus of the research was to understand how people achieved high attainer status in their labour market outcomes, and if this was different for people from low or high socioeconomic backgrounds respectively.

 

The findings were clear and consistent. People from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were less likely to achieve higher labour market outcomes (that is, high level jobs) than people from higher socioeconomic backgrounds, even when controlling for their childhood cognitive ability. This is believed to be related to the wider network of factors that influence labour market success, so-called ‘signalling’ effects that have been identified by economists, and include confidence, self-presentation and conduct in social settings.

 

The research indicated that having better-educated parents, who were in higher level jobs themselves, and could therefore provide more resources, as well as more access to opportunities, served to protect their less able children and young people from higher socioeconomic backgrounds (so-called ‘opportunity hoarding’). As a result, whether deliberately intended or otherwise, this also served to restrict access to more able children and young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, who did not have access to these resources (so-called ‘glass floor’ effects).

 

The SMCPC report calls for changes in recruitment processes to address these biases, something which Capp has been delivering consistently through our work in strengths-based recruitment for a number of years. Strengths-based recruitment assesses a person’s innate ability and potential, depending far less on their ability to give examples that can only have been honed through their access to opportunity to that point (e.g., a typical competency question such as, “Tell me about a time when you have held a position of responsibility?”)

 

This levelling of the playing field, providing access to opportunity for all, enabling talent, drive and meritocracy, rather than rewarding privilege and connection, is also core to Jobmi, the job matching place. Jobmi provides free access to online assessments, developmental feedback and practice tests, while also enabling people from all backgrounds to complete assessments and be matched to job opportunities on the basis of the profile that Jobmi builds up about them. The Jobmi approach, using this insightful assessment of talent and ability, overcomes the biases inherent in ‘signalling’ effects, and provides more equal access to opportunity for all.

 

With these improvements in talent assessment, the measurement of potential, and job matching technology, it truly is possible to do a lot more that addresses the challenges, and also the opportunities, of promoting and enabling greater social mobility across Britain. In doing so, we benefit individuals, the economy and society as a whole.

 

 

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BBC News – Elite firms ‘exclude bright working class’

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

Today’s BBC News article - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-33109052 – simply serves to confirm what we have known at Capp and been working to address for a long time – that many recruitment processes are unfairly discriminating against candidates from diverse social backgrounds, simply by virtue of how these recruitment processes are designed.

 

My presentation to the Association of Graduate Recruiters Student Recruitment Trade Show in January this year showed exactly how. In reality, it’s pretty simple to introduce systematic bias into your recruitment process, even when you don’t mean to – just by using arbitrary screening criteria.

 

These arbitrary screening criteria include things like requiring a certain number of UCAS points (e.g., 300 UCAS points), a certain degree class (e.g., 2.1 or above), or attendance at a certain university (e.g., a Russell Group university).

 

In some recruitment processes, if you fall down on any of these criteria, you’re automatically screened out. This is how talent is wasted and opportunities are missed.

 

Capp are proud signatories of the Social Mobility Business Compact, set up by the previous coalition government to promote social mobility in organisations. For years we have been working to address precisely these issues. The way we do this is pretty simple: Data and analytics.

 

Traditional recruitment processes introduced arbitrary screening criteria as a way of managing recruitment volumes. That is entirely understandable, if not entirely defensible in the modern day. With what we know now about assessment, and with insights from assessment data and analytics, there is no need for organisations to rely on arbitrary screening to manage candidate volumes any more.

 

Instead, organisations should embrace social mobility and discover hidden talent through assessing what really matters in the people they recruit, rather than depending on arbitrary information about the person’s background to date. As Capp defines it, social mobility is where your background doesn’t define your future opportunities. You do.

 

Working with Nestlé and using our platform Jobmi, the job matching place, we were able to remove the traditional screening criteria and use a comprehensive assessment suite that measured candidates’ fit with Nestlé as an organisation, their match with the role, their potential and future capability. The results? Of their 2015 hiring intake, Nestlé found that 21% of their candidates would not even have passed their previous screening criteria.

 

That’s right, 1 in 5 people of those who were actually hired would have been missed under the previous recruitment process. This is the peril of depending on arbitrary selection criteria, but also the opportunity of moving to embrace assessment by data and analytics insights.

 

Further, Nestlé gave every single applicant to them a second opportunity if they were unsuccessful, by signing up to Decline to Jobmi – http://www.capp.co/decline-to-jobmi . Decline to Jobmi invites every candidate who isn’t a match for your organisation to join Jobmi, the job matching place, where they have new opportunities to be matched to their perfect job.

 

Nestlé candidates loved this, and thought it spoke volumes about Nestlé’s commitment to social mobility and corporate social responsibility.

 

Congratulations to BBC News for highlighting a longstanding and insidious challenge to the opportunities of talented people from all walks of life. The good news is that innovative and forward-thinking organisations are already doing things differently to solve this problem and find hidden talent.

 

 

 

 

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Capp Become Signatories of the Social Mobility Business Compact

Posted by: Alex Linley, Capp

 

I am delighted to announce that in December Capp became signatories of the Social Mobility Business Compact -  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-employers-set-a-new-benchmark-for-social-mobility

 

Social mobility and equality of opportunity is at the heart of our work in strengths-based recruitment and through the Jobmi platform. This is evidenced by the successes we have achieved in delivering improved recruitment outcomes for gender balance, ethnic balance, and balance of social background across a wide range of our clients across a wide range of industries and sectors.

 

With Jobmi, we set out to level the playing field of social mobility by enabling candidates to be assessed on the data about their fit to the role, rather than otherwise largely arbitrary screening criteria about the number of UCAS points a person has, or the degree classification they might have achieved.

 

In supporting the Social Mobility Business Compact, we are publicly stating our commitment to improve social mobility and equality of opportunity, of course through our own recruitment practices, where this is a given, but also through the work we do with many of our clients to achieve these same aims.

 

Longstanding Capp client EY is a Social Mobility Business Compact Champion, and having delivered strengths-based graduate recruitment for EY for the last 7 years, we are delighted to be extending our work with them to improve outcomes in social mobility through their recruitment processes as well.

 

The biggest challenge faced by every Head of Recruitment in changing their recruitment practices to improve social mobility and equality of opportunity is doing so in a pragmatic and practical way that continues to ensure quality of hire, is efficient and affordable, and is defensible across all stakeholder groups.

 

With Jobmi we have achieved this.

 

We look forward to transforming the social mobility landscape through improving equality of access and opportunity for people from all backgrounds and walks of life. We are doing this through harnessing the power of assessment insights, predictive data analytics and Internet platform network effects, all of which we combine within Jobmi.

 

Practical and pragmatic approaches to transforming social mobility through recruitment are now here.

 

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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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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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Building Bridges for Female Social Mobility

Posted by: Nicky Garcea

 

I am the first person in my family to attend university. I also attended a then ‘newer’ university, the University of the West of England, Bristol. According to government terminology, I am a ‘first generation’ university student. I know amongst my colleagues at Capp and our clients that I am not alone.

 

If I were to apply for a graduate programme now, in 2013, my ‘first generation’ status along with my ‘non red brick’ university makes me a quirky applicant. Quite probably, for some graduate programmes I would be overlooked on this basis alone.

 

For some years, I might have hid the fact I went to an old polytechnic, but these days I am starting to fully appreciate the role that it has played in offering me an education for life and a stepping stone into employment. I would also hope that I, together with many of my colleagues and peers, will also be able to show younger generations that you don’t have to have had a privileged background in order to get on.

 

As we approach International Women’s Day on the 8th March, we will no doubt be presented with many lists of inspirational women. Whilst I applaud almost anything that raises the profile of women, the compliation of these lists fascinates me. I am particularly interested in the subliminal messages that they send out to younger women and emerging female talent.

 

This year Radio 4 published for the first time, the Woman’s Hour Power List. Much was made of this list, which was generated from audience nominations and vetted by an expert panel.

 

Now, I am not suggesting that, aged 16 and attending Beacon Community College, that Radio 4 was my station of choice. Even so, had I stumbled across this list, it would have said to me, albeit implicitly and subliminally, ‘If you are not from a rich family, or if you haven’t attended the most elite universities in the US or England, you won’t become a woman of power’.

 

Please check out the educational and family backgrounds of these unquestionably accomplished women. While in no way is it my intention to detract from what they have achieved, I want to flag simply the implicit, subliminal message that their selection conveys: ‘If you’re not one of us, you won’t be able to make it.’

 

I’m absolutely sure this is the last thing that Woman’s Hour wanted to convey, but such is the implicit, often unnoticed impact of subliminal messaging like this.

 

At Capp, we recently asked over 200 women to share examples of their female and male role models. As you might have predicted, responses such as Hillary Clinton and Nelson Mandela were often included.

 

However, what is possibly most interesting is the number of women who list their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, managers, work colleagues and friends as their most impactful and inspirational role models. Several women noted how their role model had been their first manager, or a leader who took a chance on them, helping them into their first corporate role.

 

It is clear that the women are most influenced not just by the accolades of the accomplished few, but even more by the actions and behaviour of those with whom they have direct contact. This should be our focus as we approach International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day this year.

 

How can we collectively create cultures, homes, businesses and societies of people who seek to be role models for our youth?

 

With both International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day later this week, we’ll be turning our attention on The Capp Blog to how we can make this happen.

 

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