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Hiring for potential: Building a robust early careers recruitment process

Tuesday 28th February

Hiring for potential: Building a robust early careers recruitment process
Read time: approx. 2.5 minutes 

When recruiting Graduates and Apprentices for a well-established, international, construction and engineering company, it’s important to focus on more than technical capabilities.  Our customer, John Sisk, understood the importance of not relying solely on degree grades but also on the behaviours and workplace intelligence which would highlight candidates who have the potential to succeed in the role.Utilising our talent discovery platform, UNA, alongside our subscription-based Business Psychologist service, John Sisk has been able to create bespoke behavioural profiles to measure their most recent intake of candidates. Our Psychologists at Arctic Shores completed a job analysis to uncover the innate behaviours required for in-role performance.  

Job analysis is a process used to gather information about a particular job in order to understand its responsibilities, duties, required skills, and the knowledge needed to perform it successfully. This process helps to identify the core tasks of a job and the behaviours necessary for an individual to perform effectively. In this case, job analysis was conducted through stakeholder workshops, allowing our Psychologists to deep dive into the behaviours observed at John Sisk. This approach also allowed us to understand the frequency of certain behaviours and the extent to which those behaviours are required.  

Following the job analysis, Arctic Shores designed a behavioural fit profile for Graduates and Apprentices to be assessed against. In addition to the measurement of critical behaviours (or ‘success criteria’), John sisk were able to utilise Arctic Shores’ innovative Workplace Intelligence tasks.  These puzzle-like tasks allowed us to assess cognitive abilities (such as being able to identify patterns, understand rules, and apply that knowledge in new situations) in an interactive and engaging way. This added another important data point when looking at understanding each candidate's potential to succeed in the role.  

Once the candidates completed the Arctic Shores assessments, John Sisk wanted to move successful candidates to their final stage interview and presentation stage.  Given the evidence gathered about important ‘success criteria’ at the first stage, it was important for candidates to continue to be measured against these qualities at the later stages of the process.  John Sisk utilised the Arctic Shores interview guide to help objectively assess potential. When looking at potential, we need to move away from focusing on the past (as this is not effective for assessing potential), and towards how a candidate would respond to a typical challenge they will face in the role. This gives us the ability to measure the behaviours the candidate would draw upon and how they would apply learnings to new situations.  These styles of questions were asked alongside important probing questions on motivation for John Sisk, providing a holistic assessment of the candidate. The scoring of the interview was designed to be clear, objective and robust.  This allowed Hiring Managers to make decisions based on behavioural evidence they observed from the candidate and not subjective decisions.

As part of the final assessment, candidates were asked to complete a presentation exercise.  Our Psychologist designed a behaviourally anchored rating scale to match the system used in the interview. This tied together the full process, from start to finish.  Candidates were assessed and selected based on their potential to succeed. Feedback from John Sisk stakeholders indicated that this was an easy-to-implement process, which led to an enhanced candidate experience and fair, robust hiring decisions.  

Learn more about potential-based hiring - check out our Playbook and a recent article.

Ready to understand the practical steps you can take to solve recruitment concerns like diversity, social mobility, skills scarcity and digitalisation? Take a read of our playbook: The Playbook for CV-Less Hiring. 

Have more questions about potential-based hiring? Read our recent article: How to hire for potential: 7 burning questions answered.

If you want to read more about our Scrap the CV campaign, you can download the report here.

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