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

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October 2019
« Aug    

Strengths-based Campus Activities

Using Strengths to Recruit Talent on The Market Street: The Morrisons Journey

Posted by: Reena Jamnadas, Consulting Psychologist, Capp



In the current issue of The Graduate Recruiter, Carla Murray, Graduate Resourcing Manager at Morrisons wrote an article describing how in two years, Morrisons have gone from having minimal graduate presence to making it to The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers List  (if you missed the article, you can find it here - please note that the copyright is owned by AGR).


Capp have had the privilege of working closely with Morrisons to implement a strengths-based approach across their selection process, which has included a redesign of the sifting, interviewing and assessment methodology in 2013/14, resulting in a robust and consistent approach now being used across all of Morrisons’ 12 core business areas.


One of the most exciting shifts that Morrisons have made is to attract and recruit high performing graduates on the basis of their strengths. This includes an assessment of performance and energy/motivation for each of the strengths that candidates would need to use in order to deliver high performance as a Morrisons graduate.


So how exactly have we done this? Capp worked with Morrisons to deliver the following:


1. Strengths-based Campus Activities: Themed ‘The Market Street’, we designed innovative campus games for graduates through strengths cards enabling graduates to identify their strengths and how they might be useful across various business areas at Morrisons. It also featured an exercise enabling graduates to build their resilience in the face of setbacks, through identifying and using their strengths.


The aim of this was to create a differentiated, more individualised candidate attraction experience, enabling the Morrisons brand to stand out on campus. Research with previous clients show that 75% of candidates enjoyed the strengths-based process more than other recruitment processes, starting with strengths-based attraction.


2. Situational Strengths Test (SST): The SST is an online high volume strengths-based sifting tool that objectively and reliably assesses the strengths required for graduates at Morrisons. It presents candidates with typical scenarios that they would encounter as a Morrisons graduate and assesses how they would respond, enabling Morrisons to save time and resources by sifting only the highest quality candidates.


Morrisons have loved using the SST because it provides an early assessment of motivation and organisational fit, and also gives candidates a realistic job preview helping to encourage self-selection. We know that nearly 90% of candidates of previous clients also feel that the scenarios in an SST give a realistic insight into working life at an organisation. Nearly two thirds feel it is more challenging than other Situational Judgement Tests, and over 99% perceive the test as user friendly.


3. Strengths-based Video Interviews: Capp’s strengths-based interviews assess a candidate’s energy and motivation, as well their performance, resulting in the sifting of candidates that are likely to be highly engaged and productive at Morrisons if recruited. Through our partnership with Sonru, an asynchronous video-interviewing supplier, we designed a series of video interviews per business area for Morrisons to further screen candidates on the basis of their strengths.


Strengths-based video interviewing has provided Morrisons with a perfect platform for assessors to identify subtle emotional clues and body language, indicative of energy/motivation, which is reduced in a telephone interview. As well as this, Capp’s strengths-based interviews do not include probing questions that we often see in a competency interview. The strengths/video combination is therefore more naturally suited when used asynchronously. The beauty of strengths-based video interviewing is that candidates and assessors can conduct the interview at the time that suits them (within a stipulated time period).


4. Strengths-based Assessment Centre Interview: Capp designed a face-to-face strengths based interview for Morrisons to use at the final stage of the Assessment Centre.


One of the key benefits of strengths-based interviews is clear candidate differentiation of who has the strengths to succeed in the role and who doesn’t. Previous client research showed that 74% of assessors judged the strengths-based interview to better distinguish between low, average and high performers.


As well as strengths-based interviews being described as more enjoyable by both assessors and candidates, strengths-based interviews also elicit more honest candidate responses, delivering better assessment practice and improved selection decisions – 72% of interviewers judged the strengths-based interview to elicit less-rehearsed responses than other interview styles.


We simply cannot wait to see the results of Morrisons’ strengths-based graduate recruitment process this year! If you would like to keep up with ‘The Market Street’ and speak to Capp about using strengths-based assessment in your organisation, please contact me at and or call Capp on +44 (0)2476 323 363



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