Carey Group, an engineering, construction and resource recovery business, currently employs over 1,550 permanent employees across the UK and Ireland and continues to grow. A deeply person-centred hiring experience has been central to an ongoing commitment to diversity. Following a successful 15-month trial in the Graduate recruitment process, Carey’s has now switched 100% of its hiring to Applied. Read how Claire Beattie, Head of Recruitment, explains this decision.
One of the ways we honour our commitment to #bettereveryday and attract the very best talent to our organisation is by creating amazing environments for our candidates and hiring managers in the recruitment process. To avoid unconscious bias, we’re getting rid of the CV as an initial screening process and instead, asking candidates to complete up to five role-specific behavioural questions, designed specifically for the job they’re applying for. Applications are then anonymised, with answers to each question evaluated by at least three people from different parts of the organisation, without them knowing which answer came from which candidate.
Answers are randomised then assessed and scored on a question-by-question, not applicant-by-applicant, basis. This minimises what’s known as the “halo effect”; whereby one exceptionally good or bad answer influences how the next is perceived. This means that all candidates are judged on equal merit, with no risk of bias creeping into the process. The hiring team collaboratively reach a consensus before then objectively deciding who to invite to interview.
We’ve found since switching from CVs there is greater candidate and hiring manager engagement with candidates scoring the process 9 out of 10 on average. This includes those being rejected for a role, which is quite remarkable.
Applied helps inform and improve our selection processes, and offers multiple benefits. Reliance on CV content alone encourages natural human bias. A CV is essentially just a summary of a person’s workplace experiences and educational background; it provides no indication of a candidate’s actual ability to perform in the role.
We recruit within a highly-technical industry, full of complex engineering challenges. We require people with advanced situational judgement and problem-solving capabilities; yet a critical shortage of skills in construction means that competition for talent is fiercer than ever before. Typically, it takes only seconds for a candidate to submit their CV to a job advert online, paying little thought or attention to the specific behavioural requirements of a job. Traditionally in our industry, the importance of role-specific behaviour is not communicated this early.
Typically, it takes only seconds for a candidate to submit their CV to a job advert online, paying little thought or attention to the specific behavioural requirements of a job. Traditionally in our industry, the importance of role-specific behaviour is not communicated this early.
Applied is helping us create an environment where candidates don’t just evaluate the technical specifics of the job - but more crucially, whether our culture and values are well-matched with their own. We see a more engaged and more relevant talent pool as a result.
This way of recruiting differentiates us from the competition. Having to give more thought to the application process than simply uploading a CV to a catch-all email address also means candidates develop a deeper understanding of our company culture and how they could contribute, before arriving for an interview. Culture and values are important to people and when they realise our values reflect their own, they are more inclined to want to work with us.
We encourage a recruitment philosophy that mirrors our own values; for our candidates to be as informed as possible, as early as possible, about the specific behaviours and capabilities that will be expected of them. Recruitment is a two-way process. For the candidate, there should be transparency on how the role connects to the bigger picture, the vision and strategy.
Applied has also had a positive impact on internal vacancies within the Carey Group, providing reassurance that everyone’s applications are being viewed anonymously through a transparent process.
Going through a recruitment process can be extremely daunting, particularly for existing employees who may be concerned about how they are perceived internally. When everyone feels confident they have a fair chance of selection, people are less hesitant to apply for roles than they would previously have been. Not only does this help career progression but, again, ensures that vacancies are being filled by the best talent possible.