To become even better at targeting and recruiting top talent, we at Cupole have decided to shift focus in all our recruitment processes. A major update has been to scrap the ‘cover letter’. The result? Happier candidates, a more fact-based approach in recruiting and time spent smarter. Yup, that’s right. Less time is spent on writing a generic application letter, as well as on reading generic application letters. Win-win.
The global market is characterized by competitive, complex and fast-moving services. This means that talent and people are the most important competitive advantages in many organizations. That makes it extremely important for companies to focus on both finding and employing the right kind of competence, not least in a complex industry such as Management Consulting.
Easier doesn’t mean better
In a traditional recruitment process, the focus is primarily on aspects such as experience and expertise, which are often reflected in a candidate’s CV and cover letter. The reason for prioritizing these hard qualities over softer ones, such as personality and analytical ability, is that they are considered easier to assess. The number of years working as a consultant is much easier to measure than to decide whether the candidate has been getting it right all those years.
Intuitively, this approach might seem logical, it’s how we’ve been instructed to think about skills and competences. But as new empirical findings emerge in the field of psychology and a new generation of job seekers appear, often referred to as ‘Millennials’, new demands arise. Companies need to adopt a more objective and open recruitment process.
“It amazes me that many organizations are still evaluating candidates by first flicking through CVs looking for hard skills and then plowing through a series of unstructured interviews. To be frank, unstructured interviews, which is the most common way of interviewing candidates is from a fact-based point of view consider being highly questionable. That approach puts companies at a greater risk of a distorted selection,” says Cupole’s Head of People, Kristoffer Frenkiel, who is also a chartered psychologist and whose job at the company includes shaking up old, ingrained patterns in a company that is striving to be different in a traditional industry.
He points out that empirical support for the use of structured procedures, ‘objective’ methods such as personality tests, analytical tests and structured, in-depth interviews when selecting employees is extremely clear.
“But it’s still very unusual for companies in our industry to work that way, or for candidates to demand objective methods. This results in people from certain backgrounds being favored and a bigger risk of minorities suffering from discrimination. That’s both unethical and a waste of talent.”
We’re making the effort
At Cupole, we’ve reviewed our recruitment process in order to search and evaluate more effectively in the quest for talents and the stars of tomorrow. Kristian von Seth, management consultant at Cupole, and one of the cornerstones of the firms says:
“Since we started our student recruitment program six years ago, we’ve been striving to attract the Nordic region’s top talents in the student market and so far, we’ve been very successful. But our search for top talent and their ‘soft aspects’ resulted in a time-consuming recruitment process for both candidates and us as consultants. As a result, we reviewed our process and benchmarked it to best in class firms out there and we identified the need for a more data-driven, objective process,” concludes Kristian.
Kristian explains that all candidates now must perform online tests instead of submitting a cover letter. The results of the online tests determine which candidates proceed in the recruitment process, involving several structured interviews.
“We want to focus on each candidate’s ability to grow and to develop in future roles, and their ability to fit in and thrive at Cupole in the long term,” continues Kristian. “We then use algorithms to compare the hard and soft skills, before matching candidates’ personalities and other abilities with the requirements of our profession and our culture.
“Being analytical, having the ability to reason logically and having work experiences from, for example, international internships is now standard among our candidates, but the right personality contributes to what is at the very heart of Cupole, namely the culture,” concludes Kristoffer.
By doing this, we reduce the risk of a prejudiced selection process, and we believe this increases our opportunity to identify and hire high-fliers who will continue to build the Cupole into the future. If this tickled your tastebuds, you might want to try it out and apply to Cupole Academy, you can find the application date and information here.