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

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October 2019
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strengths-based recruitment

2013: The Year of ‘I Love Strengths’

Posted by: Alex Linley, Director, Capp

 

With this final Capp blog of 2013, we wanted to thank you for your readership and support throughout the year and also take the opportunity to look back over an exceptional 12 months.

 

As we reflect on 2013, it’s very clear that this really was the year of ‘I Love Strengths’. Here’s why:

 

1. We launched the ‘I Love Strengths’ campaign through our sponsorship of the AGR Annual Conference, where Nicky Garcea of Capp and Charlotte Hart of Barclays brought the house down with their presentation on strengths-based recruitment.

 

2. We started tremors that are still reverberating through the world of HR when Nicky Garcea of Capp and Fiona Miller of Nestlé presented at the CIPD Recruitment Conference.

 

3. We gave in house recruiters lots of food for thought when Nicky Garcea of Capp inspired the audience with her presentation on strengths-based recruitment at The FIRM Winter Conference.

 

Throughout all of this, the Capp team has continued to expand, our client base has continued to grow, and our reach and positive impact on the world – as measured by our PR coverage and client feedback – has also extended. Thank you for the part you have played in enabling our continued success.

 

With the festive season upon us, we also turn our attention to how we can support those less fortunate than ourselves. As well as a lot of activity we have undertaken to support local charities, we are again supporting Birmingham Children’s Hospital by being a Super Santa. To this end, we will donate all proceeds from Realise2 sales on Christmas Eve to the BCH Super Santa appeal. We’ll let you know the results in January!

 

We look forward with excitement to 2014 and what it may hold. In closing, may I take this opportunity on behalf of everyone at Capp to wish you all a very peaceful festive period and a prosperous and fulfilling New Year.

 

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Engaging graduates to recruit the best – an EY journey

Posted By: Alex Linley, Director, Capp and Nicky Garcea, Director, Capp
 

 

Ever wondered how you can differentiate yourself as graduate recruiter? Would you like to attract and retain the best early career talent? Then you should read our latest publication in this month’s Strategic HR Review, ‘Engaging graduates to recruit the best’.

 

This article explores how strengths-based recruitment is enabling graduate recruiters to engage, attract and select the best talent and draws on the example of major graduate recruiter, Ernst & Young, to show how strengths assessment can be used.

 

This article shows how the Capp Strengths-based Recruitment Methodology and the Situational Strengths Test engages candidates by providing them with a realistic job preview of the role. They help candidates to make informed decisions about their own fit. They help organisations to select the candidates who match their requirements more effectively from those who do not, delivering better outcomes for both parties.

 

If you would like to learn more about Ernst and Young’s journey, you can view the full article here.

 

If you would like to discuss the difference that our approach is making to the engagement, attraction and selection of earlier career talent, please contact Nicky Garcea at nicky.garcea@capp.co or connect on uk.linkedin.com/in/nickygarcea

 

 

 

 

 

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Celebrating Capp’s Situational Strengths Test

Posted by: Caroline Mackinnon

 

 

Launched in 2012, we are celebrating the Situational Strengths Test (SST) one year on.

 

The SST is as an objective and reliable, high volume strengths-based sifting tool that has been taken tens of thousands of times by candidates for organisations in sectors such as the Emergency Services, FMCG, Retail and Professional Services.

 

 

We are proud of the SST for a number of reasons

 

First, the way it reliably and objectively assesses the strengths required for the role. Second, delivered through our secure and reliable technology platform, it never lets you down. Third, its unique and robust scoring mechanism ensures that you only select the best candidates.

 

But we are even more proud of the positive effect the SST has had on recruiters and candidates, helping organisations find the right people, and helping people find the right jobs.

 

We love data at Capp, and when it comes to the SST we are no different. We have been analysing our results consistently and some exciting findings have emerged.

 

 

Let’s start with recruiters


Why do they use the SST? Normally for one or both of two key reasons: they want to save time and money in an early screen and/or they want to better identify the talent in their high volume applications.

 

The SST consistently shows that the scenario for each strength differentiates between successful, unsuccessful and ‘to consider’ candidates – showing that it reliably and accurately sifts for talent, separating the best fit candidates for the role from the rest.

 

Using this super efficient tool, EY screened over 19,000 graduate applicants in 2012-13, taking only the very best-fit candidates through to the next stage.

 

“Being an online tool and providing applicants with an insight into the available role makes Capp’s Situation Strengths Test incredibly attractive and when combined with a strengths-based interview will help us identify the best graduates for the available opportunities.”

 

Stephen Isherwood, former Head of Graduate Recruitment UK and Ireland, Ernst & Young

 

 

Now for the candidates


Well we know that nearly 90% of candidates feel that the scenarios in the SST give a realistic insight into working life at an organisation.

 

Nearly two thirds feel it is more challenging than other SJTs and over 99% perceive the test as user friendly. We are pretty happy with those statistics, as are our clients!

 

We constantly make improvements and adjustments to the SST to stay ahead of the curve as thought leaders in the field of strengths assessment. We’re excited to see what next year holds and expect you are too.

 

 

To see a sample SST assessment click here

 

To find out more about how the Situational Strengths Test (SST) can help you find the right talent:

 

Call +44 (0) 2476 323 363

 

Email capp@cappeu.com

 

Or visit the Situational Strengths Test website

 

 

 

 

 

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Strengths-based Video Interviewing

Posted by: Gurpal Minhas, Consulting Psychologist, Capp

 

With the explosion of technology in today’s recruitment world, organisations are often spoilt for choice. It’s been a year since we introduced the Situational Strengths Test (SST) and with the introduction of gamification and avatar-based screening tools, the world of recruitment is becoming an increasingly exciting place. One of the most hotly contested debates surrounds video interviews. These interviews have increased in popularity and seem to be here to stay; today we discuss the merits of the video interview versus telephone/face-to-face interview screening.

 

Whilst most candidates provide a good reflection of themselves at telephone/face-to-face interviews, there are most certainly things that recruiters become frustrated with. These include candidate non-attendance, poor telephone line connection, interviewing clearly disengaged candidates and travel/business costs associated for interviews. To help overcome some of these challenges, strengths-based video interviews are a pragmatic and simple solution.

 

We have partnered with Sonru; an asynchronous video-interviewing supplier where candidates answer a list of questions from the recruiting organisation and the interview is recorded at a place and time that is convenient to the candidate. The recruiter then logs on at their time of choosing and scores the candidate.

 

So why are Capp clients such as Nestlé and Morrisons moving to a strengths-based video interviewing approach? We give our top 5 reasons:

 

1) Capp’s strengths-based interviews assess for a candidate’s passion and motivation rather than just what a candidate simply can do. This increases the calibre of candidates that are selected and the video-interview allows recruiters to assess for these attributes earlier in the selection process.

 

2) Strengths-based interview assessor training enables recruiters to pick up on subtle emotional clues and body language that cannot be seen in a telephone interview.

 

3) Capp’s strengths-based interviews don’t include probing questions that you often see in a competency-based interview. The strengths/video combination is therefore more naturally suited when used asynchronously.

 

4) Candidates AND Assessors can conduct the interview at the time that suits them (within a stipulated time period). This leads to increased convenience, pace and often a lower time-to-hire.

 

5) Candidate feedback about video interviewing continues to be positive and often reflects well on the hiring organisation. For more information see the Sonru whitepaper here.

 

So as you think about the next development in your recruitment process, take time to assess how strengths-based video interviews can assist you to conduct best-practice recruitment. It’ll be one method of seeing a candidate’s ability and motivation for wanting to join your organisation.

 

If you want to see how a strengths-based video interview works in practice, please contact gurpal.minhas@cappeu.com for a demonstration.

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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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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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We’ve Recruited for Strengths. What Next?

Posted by: Emma Trenier, Senior Psychologist, & Celine Jacques, Managing Psychologist, Capp

 

So you’ve recruited round pegs for round holes, and square pegs for square holes – you should give yourself a big pat on the back! You have given your organisation the most powerful ammunition to succeed – the right people in the right roles for the business. But does the work stop there? If only!

 

As HR professionals, line managers and colleagues, you now have an ongoing responsibility to help these people maximise their potential. This could take a number of forms:

 

Ongoing Performance Management

 

On an ongoing basis, people need to be supported to understand and manage their motivations, use their strengths to reach objectives, and to minimise the impact of their weaknesses.

 

The reference to strengths, and discussion around them, should not finish when the job offer is made. Instead, weave it into onboarding, performance reviews, appraisals and day to day management conversations. Champion the use of the strengths language. Help people to take control of their own performance, and their own career.

 

Strengths-focused Career Development

 

To enable really meaningful and effective career progression, and to genuinely encourage retention, you can map strengths for roles across your organisation and then support people to understand which career pathways would suit them and play to their strengths.

 

Don’t just think about what someone is good at, consider also what energises them. Which part of your business would suit their motivational needs? Which role would really bring out the best in them?

 

Talent Pipelines that Recognise Multiple Pathways

 

Finally,  as organisations seek to promote flexibility and agility, we see an increasing focus on working cross departmentally and internationally. Take a strengths- based approach for identifying the right talent for these important roles.

 

As many organisations are familiar with developing ‘talent pools’ for the identification and development of emerging leaders, identify those people with the strengths to be future top change agents. Or innovators. Or international collaborators. In fact, whatever the business needs…

 

We would love to hear your stories on what you have done to embed a strengths-based approach after recruiting for strengths. What difference has it made to you and your organisation’s performance?

 

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Recruiting the Best Baristas

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

We’ve been delivering strengths-based recruitment for exciting new coffee shop chain, Harris + Hoole. Here, you can see this project featured in The Recruiter.

 

When Harris + Hoole wanted to ensure they were recruiting the right people to deliver the right customer experience – as well as, of course, making great coffee – they knew that recruiting people for what they did well, and loved to do, was the best route to success.

 

As you can see in The Recruiter article, Harris + Hoole are recruiting the best baristas (and other roles, including team members, team leaders and shop managers) through Capp’s Situational Strengths Test and Strengths-based Interview, two of the five steps from Strengths Selector, our five steps to strengths-based recruitment.

 

We’re delighted to be working with Harris + Hoole in this way, delivering performance through strengths.

 

We wish them every future success, with happy customers enjoying great coffee, served by positive and high-performing people.

 

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From Competencies to Strengths: A Personal Journey

Posted by: Jamie Betts, Principal Consultant, Capp

 

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about strengths-based assessment is that no-one thought of it sooner. But ten years ago when I was starting my career, competencies where ‘the big thing’, while strengths-based assessment was a mere glint in the eye of a few ‘crazy’ academics.

 

A lot can happen in a decade. Looking back on our unshakeable faith in the effectiveness of competencies now, it looks like a hazy and confused dream. Competencies became an article of faith, upon which no criticism would be brooked. Line managers huffed and puffed, feeling restricted and frustrated by competency-based interviewing and its endless probes.

 

OK, line managers said, so someone has done something in the past – that doesn’t mean they enjoyed doing it, won’t that impact performance? But we didn’t listen. We didn’t care – we’d seen some old research that competency-based assessment worked, and we’d be damned if we were going to be told otherwise.

 

Well, that was then. And much has changed. The saturation of competency-based questioning, and the tendency of organisations to all measure the same half dozen core competencies, led to the ridiculous situation where candidates reeled off fully rehearsed answers before you’d even finished the question.

 

Any candidate who understood the format, or had been coached in any way by a careers service, was going to simply reel off the examples – collaboration, working well under pressure, dealing with change…

 

And so, what started as a well-intended assessment approach (to measure people based on their past behaviour) descended into farce. Interviewing became a bizarre ritualistic act. Candidates felt frustrated at being cornered by specific past-behavioural questioning and a barrage of probes.

 

They lied, they acted, they rehearsed – passing a competency-based interview became a measure of how convincingly you could reel off the same half dozen stories without sounding too bored. It didn’t really matter if the stories were true or not, since you had plenty of time to rehearse them in your head and cover your bases when the inevitable probes came your way.

 

Thank God, then, for strengths. Just at the moment when the thought of another competency-based interview had some of us reaching for the valium, along came a methodology that just… made sense. Line managers got it. Candidates loved it. And assessment experts breathed a huge sigh of relief.

 

Strengths are the future of assessment. They synergy of ‘can do’ and ‘love to do’ leads to peak performance. And as competencies start to fade into the twilight, please allow a few of us to break open the champagne  – after thousands of competency-based interviews, we deserve it.

 

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