How do we find the best graduate talent? What can we do to improve our selection processes? How can we engage better with our applicants and provide them a better ‘candidate experience’?
These are just some of the questions facing graduate recruiters and in a world where we are all expected to do more with less it’s a tough ask. We all want to attract and hire the best talent and the way that most applicants are assessed uses the competency based model. This approach seeks to identify individuals who have demonstrated the desired competencies, in the past, that are needed to do the job / role they are hired for.
But there are two issues with this approach today. The first is savvy graduates know exactly what competencies you seek so prepare multiple examples of each to trot out as soon as they are asked. This too often leaves recruiters and assessors with no choice but to pass them as they have shown the desired competencies but with a nagging feeling the applicants are not right or that they know nothing really about the individual as a person. Not to mention recruiters are becoming tired with the same questions and same answers – so we are losing their engagement in the process. Applicants too feel like they have not had the chance to show who they really are.
The second issue is that the competencies assess an individuals ability to do a job but not if they will truly excel in it – and that is what we want, graduates who will excel. Why is this? Simply put, just because someone has talked about leadership in the past or strong team working ability in say their telephone or face to face interview it does not mean they love taking on that role or will actively seek opportunities to use that capability and therein lies the flaw.
The strength based approach focuses on what individuals love doing, what they are naturally good at – not what they will do if they have to or because they know they need to so that they pass an interview or assessment centre. And it stands to reason that if you secure graduates with the natural strengths that your organisation needs then they will use those strengths all the time when they join your business.
Also and interestingly the feedback we have from applicants is that they like the different approach (even though they cannot now prepare for it as they questions are less leading) but most importantly they feel they have been given the opportunity to show who they really are.
And if you still need convincing to take a look at this approach, when we introduced it at the telephone interview stage for our clients the success rate at assessment centre went up dramatically.
So in summary this approach has been designed (and is being used by employers) to increase the number of graduates who naturally excel in the workplace, something that would make all of our lives that bit better!
If you would like to find out more then get in touch and I will send you a link to the recent webinar we ran for our clients on Strength Based Interviewing.