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

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September 2019
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Strengths Selector

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 Selection in Summary

Posted by: Alex Linley & Nicky Garcea

 

We’ve celebrated the launch of our new Strengths Selector website with a series of blogs that address each of the five steps of strengths-based recruitment.

 

Here’s an easy-reference summary of all the best bits:

 

Attraction – it’s where it all begins. Jamie Betts and Celine Jacques started us off with a look at the missing link between attraction and assessment, before Jamie turned his attention to the talent that lies waiting to be discovered by graduate recruiters going off-piste - a message that applies to any recruiter who’s trying to fish from a busy recruitment pond.

 

The Situational Strengths Test is the perfect solution for sifting large volumes of candidates and solving some of the challenges of modern recruitment, ensuring that your assessment methodologies are recruiting the right people for the right roles, as Celine Jacques and I explored in two of our blogs on this topic.

 

How do you prepare for a strengths-based interview? This was the topic of one of our very popular blogs from Celine Jacques, who concluded that ultimately you need to ‘ just be yourself’. Then, bringing his own unique brand of personal insight to the discussion, Jamie Betts shared his journey from competencies to strengths, and Nicky Garcea reflected on why competency-based interviews miss talented graduates.

 

With the assessment centre our next focus, Jamie Betts questioned why bespoke assessment centres always feel the same, concluding that it’s because the same 4 or 5 generic competencies are assessed time and again. Time for something different with the Strengths Assessment Centre.

 

Welcome on-board is the message that every potential candidate hopes to hear. Emma Trenier dreamed a dream on what it would take in getting on-boarding right, while Jamie Betts shared how ineffective on-boarding harms business performance.

 

Across each of these five steps of strengths-based recruitment, we’ve sought to share our experiences and deliver our insights.

 

We wanted to show you why strengths-based selection is being adopted as the best way to get the right people into the right roles. We hope we’ve succeeded – and thanks for reading.

 

To learn more about how Capp can help your organisation in each of these areas, visit our Strengths Selector website.

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Getting On-boarding Right

Posted by: Emma Trenier, Consulting Psychologist, Capp

 

With BA recruiting 2, 500 new employees last year, it was a prime time for them to discover what makes on-boarding a success. Their research discovered that 90% of employees make a decision to stay with an organisation in the first 6 months, the failure of a successful transition costs between 1.5 and 5 times annual salary, and Generation Y expect to make 5-7 career changes in their life, compared to Baby Boomers who only wanted to make 2-3 career changes.

 

Clearly, with the coming trend for more frequent career changes and the high cost of getting it wrong, it’s getting more and more important for companies to get on-boarding right.

 

I’m prone to a little day dreaming, so let me describe how I would like to be welcomed ‘on board’ in an ideal world…

 

Before I arrive on my first day I am already excited. I have shared the freebies I received with my friends and family who already think this company is phenomenal and I am the luckiest woman they know.

 

On day 1, my manager meets me and gives me a tour of the building, introduces me to a number of my colleagues and gives me my laptop and phone, already sorted. I spend time speaking 1:1 to one with a handful of colleagues, finding out what they do and who I can go to for what. I am tasked to discover my strengths overnight with an online questionnaire and bring the results back in the morning.

 

On day 2, my manager and I talk through my Realise2 strengths profile – what makes me tick and what I find draining. This is enjoyable and insightful as I discover she is as keen as I am for me to be my best self at work.  I spend the day satiating my curiosity about the company’s culture through conversation, watching (non-cheesy) videos online and meeting one of the senior leaders for a thought-provoking and honest Q&A. By the end of the day I LIKE this company and I feel as if they LIKE me.

 

On day 3, my manager gives me my first assignment that plays to my strengths. I am delighted to be given a chance to show what I can do as I prepare to get started. I’m now excited to be working here, knowing that they want me to bring my best self to work, and that they want me to succeed through using my strengths. This company’s culture is all about helping me to do what I do best and love to do each day. It’s the perfect match!

 

I’ll end my dream here, although ‘on-boarding’ will continue for the next six months as I develop my skills in new areas, work closely with partners who show me the ropes and receive feedback from colleagues as I venture into new terrain.

 

It doesn’t sound so difficult, so why is this not every new employee’s experience?

 

For a start, companies don’t recognise the financial impact of getting on-boarding right.  As a result, managers are not given the right resources and don’t realise that it is they themselves who can make or break each new employee’s spirit and resolve to stay.

 

The sad result, when they get it wrong, is that talented people prepare to leave within the first 6 months and everyone’s a loser.

 

In contrast, get on-boarding right, and everyone is well on the way to being a winner.

 

Strengths On-boarding is a key way to achieve this, by celebrating the best of why you recruited someone, then putting them to work by doing what they do best and love to do every day. That’s the way to love Mondays!

 

Strengths On-boarding is part of Strengths Selector, Capp’s five steps to strengths-based recruitment. Find out more about Strengths On-boarding here.

 

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How to Prepare for a Strengths-based Interview

Posted by: Celine Jacques, Managing Psychologist, Capp

 

Many job candidates ask, ‘How can I prepare for a strengths-based interview?’ They want to know:

  • What is a strengths-based interview?
  • What will I be asked?
  • How can I make sure I do well?

 

The answer is simple, albeit something of a cliché: Just be yourself.

 

A strengths-based interview is all about understanding what energises and motivates you, as well as what you do well.

 

Organisations use strengths-based interviews to find out what candidates love to do and do well. They are focused on making sure that the people they select are the right people for the right role, who will enjoy their jobs, perform well and stay with the organisation.

 

Another reason that organisations use strengths-based interviews is because it is difficult for candidates to over-prepare for them. As a result, the strengths-based interview is a lot more difficult to fake, and the organisation gets to see the ‘real’ candidate coming through.

 

To help prepare for a strengths-based interview, be prepared for:

  • More questions that are delivered more quickly
  • Little or no probing
  • Some closed questions
  • The chance to express how you feel in relation to a task or activity
  • A request to provide several short examples.

 

Before having a strengths-based interview, there are a few simple things you can think about that will help you show the best of yourself on the day. As you prepare for your strengths-based interview, think about:

 

  • What your friends and family know you for - how would they describe you to a stranger?
  • What you enjoy doing, and what you are like at your best
  • The achievements you have made and how you made them
  • What a ‘great’ day looks like for you - when did you last go home energised, and why was that?
  • Activities that you do not particularly enjoy, and why.

 

When the day comes for your strengths-based interview, stay calm and be yourself. Let your individuality shine though. Use the interview as an opportunity to understand more about the company and the role – as they assess you, make sure you assess them.

 

Do you think this organisation is right for you? Do you think the role will play to your strengths? How will you fit in with the culture here?

 

And last but not least, enjoy it! A strengths-based interview is a genuine two-way process. The interviewer is interested in getting to know you, but you can also take the opportunity to show yourself at your best, demonstrating if you’re the type of person they’re looking for.

 

Strengths-based interviewing is part of Strengths Selector, Capp’s five steps to strengths-based recruitment.

 

Read more about the strengths-based interview here.

 

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Strengths Selector – Capp’s Five Steps to Strengths-based Recruitment

Posted by: Alex Linley & Nicky Garcea

 

We’re delighted to announce the launch today of the new Strengths Selector website, bringing together Capp’s long heritage and expertise in strengths-based recruitment.

 

Strengths Selector is Capp’s five steps to strengths-based recruitment. It’s all about getting the right people into the right roles, doing work they love to do.

 

Strengths Selector provides an end-to-end solution for strengths-based recruitment. It can be implemented in full, or using different elements of its modular format:

 

  • Strengths Attraction
  • Situational Strengths Test
  • Strengths-based Interview
  • Strengths Assessment Centres
  • Strengths On-boarding

 

To celebrate the launch of the Strengths Selector website, over the course of the next month, we will be showcasing a series of blogs about strengths-based recruitment. These blogs will cover the journey from competencies to strengths, graduate attraction through strengths, and a practical guide to strengths-based interviewing.

 

If there’s a topic you would like us to cover, please let us know by using the Comment function below.

 

We look forward to being in touch and sharing more of our developments in strengths-based recruitment and Strengths Selector with you.

 

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New Capp Consulting Psychologist / Consultant Opportunities

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

With our assessment team expanding again, we are making additional appointments for Consulting Psychologists / Consultants.

 

The successful candidates will join our industry-leading assessment team, working on strengths-based recruitment and the further development of Strengths Selector, our five steps to strengths-based recruitment.

 

See here for further information about the roles, and what you need to do to apply.

 

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Beyond Induction: How Ineffective On-boarding Harms Business Performance

Posted by: Jamie Betts

 

In this final blog introducing Capp’s Strengths Selector, Jamie Betts explores how Strengths On-boarding, the fifth and final step of Strengths Selector, ensures that new joiners are more productive in their new organisation from day one, week one and month one

 

Many of us have been there. We start a new job, we’re excited, we’re ready to perform, and we want to deliver great results. Then reality hits – the organisation has no idea how to harness our potential, and we feel a sense of low-level frustration. Stagnation follows. And a resignation follows some time after that.

 

Perhaps the worst thing about this cycle of events is how rarely it’s picked up. People don’t want to burn bridges, and it’s not like their organisation is… bad. It’s just not for them. They’ll do their job, meander along, cause no problems, and then move onto pastures new. It happens all the time, as any organisation with a robust exit survey process can attest.

 

This isn’t how businesses will achieve optimum performance. By failing to understand their individual behavioural preferences and potential, we greatly reduce the chances of people attaining peak performance. Multiply this by several key hires, and you’re left with an organisation which won’t realise it’s own potential.

 

This impacts quickly on organisational performance – service delivery, profit, reputation… all can be damaged.

 

It needn’t be like this. Though straightforward interventions, such as identifying an individual’s strengths prior to them joining, we’re able to help them map out their pathway to optimal performance.

 

Effective on-boarding isn’t just about an induction and a mobile phone, but also the harnessing of an individual’s true potential, helping them align their strengths to how they will deliver success in role.

 

After all, their strengths are what you recruited them for – and it is these strengths which will lead to engaged, motivated employees, and an organisation primed for peak performance.

 

Strengths On-boarding is the fifth step in Strengths Selector, Capp’s five-step approach to strengths-based recruitment. Read more about Strengths Selector and Strengths On-boarding here.

 

Jamie Betts is a Principal Consultant at Capp.

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Why Do ‘Bespoke’ Assessment Centres Always Feel the Same?

Posted by: Jamie Betts

 

In this third blog introducing Capp’s Strengths Selector, Jamie Betts explores how the Strengths Assessment Centre, the fourth step of Strengths Selector, serves to differentiate the Assessment Centre experience for candidates, helping organisations identify and select the right talent

 

It’s perplexing. Assessment and development experts will all agree about the importance of bespoke assessment centres, which measure the unique behaviours required for success in a given role. And yet, as any graduate doing the assessment centres ’rounds’ will tell you, most assessment centres tend to feel the same.

 

One of the reasons for this homogeneity seems to be rooted in the weaknesses of the competency-based approach. For all the talk of organisations having unique cultures, the same 4 or 5 generic competencies are measured again and again: customer focus, collaboration/teamwork, results orientation, and planning/organising almost always crop up in one form or another.

 

And yet, despite the striking similarities between these assessment centres, design consultancies sell these competency-based assessment centres as entirely ‘bespoke’. This is not entirely untrue, since each assessment centre will often be designed from scratch.

 

But given how similar the assessment centres feel, and what they measure, it could also be regarded as intellectually dishonest.

 

This is just one reason why at Capp we have moved away from competency-based assessment centres, and instead are innovating in the field of strength-based assessment. Not only does strengths assessment allow for a greater range behaviours to be measured, it also provides a more natural and positive environment for candidates to express their natural behavioural preferences.

 

Strengths-based assessment helps break the cycle of overly similar assessment centres for volume and graduate recruitment/development, moving away from the tendency of measuring the same narrow range of core behaviours.

 

Not only is this good news for candidates, it’s great news for organisations looking to measure an individual’s true behavioural potential and to spot who has the talent to succeed.

 

Strengths Assessment Centres are the fourth step in Strengths Selector, Capp’s five step approach to strengths-based recruitment. Read more about Strengths Selector  and Strengths Assessment Centres here.

 

Jamie Betts is a Principal Consultant at Capp.

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Does Your Interview Approach Force Candidates to Lie?

Posted by: Jamie Betts

 

In this second blog introducing Capp’s Strengths Selector, Jamie Betts explores how the Strengths Based Interview, the third step of Strengths Selector after the Situational Strengths Test, avoids the need to force candidates to lie

 

The question may sound a little provocative – why would anyone force candidates to lie in an interview? But it’s more common than you might imagine. The crux of the issue is competency-based past-behavioural questions, i.e., “give me an example of when you have…”, followed by detailed probes.

 

This interviewing approach is always assumptive and often specific. This isn’t a healthy combination where encouraging honesty is concerned. The questions are assumptive because you are telling a candidate to give you an example of something which may or may not have occurred.

 

A real-life example a large healthcare firm used was “give me an example of a time when you’ve managed a challenging individual during a period of considerable organisational change”.

 

The problem with past-behavioural questions is that, if candidates have no experience of the example you request, they are likely to make something up – it’s that, or sit there in silence and fail the interview. Asking detailed probes is essentially ordering a candidate to ‘flesh out’ their lie against their own will.

 

This isn’t to say that all candidates lie, some may indeed respond that they have never encountered such a scenario – but those that do, only do so because you’ve forced their hand with an assumptive past-behavioural question.

 

This is one of many reasons why we’ve abandoned the classic competency-based approach to interviewing and seek instead to understand a candidate’s strengths. We believe that candidates shouldn’t be directed to speak at length about behaviours they have no interest in, and are unlikely to display in the workplace.

 

Our unique approach to strengths-based interviewing represents a positive step-change in how an interview feels to both candidates and assessors alike – and as an added bonus, we don’t force people to lie.

 

The Strengths Based Interview is the fourth stage of Strengths Selector, Capp’s five-step approach to strengths-based recruitment. Read more about Strengths Selector and the Strengths Based Interview here.

 

Jamie Betts is a Principal Consultant at Capp.

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Attraction and Assessment: What’s the Missing Link?

Posted by: Jamie Betts & Celine Jacques

 

In the first of four blog posts this week that preview Strengths Selector, Capp’s five-step approach to strengths-based recruitment, Jamie Betts and Celine Jacques look at Strengths Attraction, the first step in the candidate funnel.

 

Expectations. They matter – and as anyone who has lost a new starter due to mismatched expectations will tell you, there is a genuine business cost associated with not meeting them.

 

It’s interesting, then, that many organisations don’t link their attraction and assessment strategies. This applies even in cases where organisations use a sophisticated and integrated direct hiring model (e.g., for graduate or volume campaigns).

 

In addition, for experienced hires, many organisations effectively outsource their attraction message to recruitment agencies. This will be the case for any organisation that has at least a partial reliance on agencies for their experienced hire recruitment.

 

This is perhaps unintended cause-and-effect. Organisations are not intentionally failing to link attraction and assessment, it’s just that the advertising agencies who develop the attraction message rarely link this to the requirements and realities of the job itself.

 

Further to this, recruitment agencies who engage with experienced hires on LinkedIn, and advertise on job boards, have their own message to ‘hook’ candidates. This means you lose control, and any attempt to effectively link attraction and assessment would be lost too.

 

When it comes to attracting the best possible talent, this matters. Even organisations with a robust direct hiring model, who are firmly in control of their employer brand and external positioning, only rarely link this message to the behaviours, or strengths, which will drive success in the role.

 

This is the missing link between attraction and assessment – an attraction strategy informed not only by your employer brand, but a message which is more likely to speak to those who will genuinely excel at the job.

 

Linking attraction with assessment is a logical step forward. Think of it as a head start in your screening process – and an opportunity to define a truly differential message to the marketplace. This is what the Strengths Attraction step of Strengths Selector is designed to do.

 

Find out more about Strengths Selector, Capp’s five-step approach to strengths-based recruitment, here.

 

Jamie Betts is a Principal Consultant, and Celine Jacques is a Managing Psychologist, both at Capp.

 

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