All great chefs know that solid ingredients are key when cooking a dinner. It doesn’t matter if it’s Pintchos with cured ham in Catalonia (yummy) or a deliciously prepared mahogany clam from the arctic ocean, ingredient is key for success. Consulting is no exception.
Most companies say that “Our most important resource is by far our amazing employees…”. Yeah we know that lined has been said billions and billions and billions and billions and billions of times.
So, we sat down and thought to ourselves before writing this text, ‘How can we say it differently?”
We couldn’t, so here comes yet another text about how important our employees are (however even though we are just like everyone else, saying that our employees are our most valuable) we think that how we target, select, grow and engage Cupoleans is how we really stand out. And just like Amerigo Bonasera (A key character in the Godfather-trilogy) says “I believe in America”, we believe in Cupoleans. To make sure that we identify and recruit extraordinary Cupoleans, over the past year, we have adjusted the kinds of abilities we’re looking for in our employees and the way we assess them.
Finding new Cupoleans
Let’s begin by confirming that all recruitment processes have inherent faults, challenges and shortcuts that will reward some candidates and discriminate against others. That said, the purpose of all recruitment processes should be to identify strong candidates who both challenge and fit in with the prevailing culture and the journey the company has embarked on.
“For us, this means that we look for individuals who have the ability to grow into the job and the challenges that arise during a typical career as a consultant, and that they not only have a strong drive and ambition to do a good job, but they also want to be involved in creating the Cupole of the future together with those of us already here. These are qualities that are critical if you’re going to be both happy and successful with us,” says Fredrik Sörén, co-founder and partner at Cupole.
Finding the right abilities
Management consulting is a complex industry that puts tough demands on the individual, the team and the company. So, when we embarked on our new journey the question was: ‘How do we find individuals with great minds and the ability to motivate themselves, to be great team players with big hearts who care for each other and still be energized and push the company’s development in the long term?’ To answer that question, first you need to define what to measure and how to measure it, what are to some extent vague qualities.
As one element of our work to create the Cupole of the future, we partly shifted the focus in our recruitment process. A special focus is now placed on making sure that there’s good harmony between the right personal qualities, ambition and mindset as well as having the right experience.
The recruitment process was re-structured to guarantee higher quality assessments, reducing the risk of discrimination and increasing the match between Cupole and the applicant. Meaning the focus of our recruitment and selection process was shifted from an intuitive model to a more data-driven approach. This approach means that all applicants perform a series of standardised occupational psychology tests, one or two structured, in-depth interviews and at least two simulation exercises. Each stage measures different qualities that we’re looking for in the Cupoleans of the future. Resulting in an a very mathematical output helping us to make robust decisions all the time.
“We’re following up continuously on the outcome of these exercises at individual and group level, to make sure that all candidates are treated fairly and that we’re as objective and accurate as possible in our choice of future Cupoleans. It might sound as if we’re losing that all-important personal touch in our processes, but the feedback we’ve had so far from applicants and employees is that we’ve improved the quality of our final candidates and that most of those who get in touch with us understand that we take recruitment extremely seriously. We try to use known facts about the candidate and make predictions about the future,” concludes Kristoffer Frenkiel, Head of People at Cupole.