Reaching for the star candidate

01 January 2019

By Ralph Watkins

Reaching for the star candidate

​At WAL-MART, it was a common for leaders to say that for every five people we hired, one would be a star, one would be a disaster, and the other three would fall somewhere on a spectrum between the two.

Recruiting the right people is an art and a science. Every business is looking for people who have the technical skills and experience for the role, and what is (or should be) even more important, people who will fit it with, and add value to the culture and the dynamic of the organisation. 

Most businesses will recruit using experienced interviewers and assessors, and tools like competency based interviews and psychometric testing.

The challenge is that almost all interview candidates, whether consciously or unconsciously, will adopt the persona of the person they think the organisation will hire. Their CVs will emphasise their successes; but their weaknesses are usually only found out after they are hired. The candidate a business meets at an interview is not them; it is their representative.

Vallum has developed tools that can help businesses to improve the odds of finding the star candidate. Drawing on our experience of recruiting from entry to board level, we have developed exercises adapted from the real-life business experience of our directors and consultants. These stretch the candidates in a way that is beyond that of competency based interviews. The candidate must demonstrate their ability to ‘walk the walk’ rather than just ‘talk the talk'.

Our approach is to work with our clients to create bespoke group and/or individual exercises including (but not limited to):

  • Icebreakers designed not only to assess how confident candidate is, but also how interested they are in others

  • Role plays to test interpersonal skills including influencing skills and negotiation skills

  • Scenarios to test presentation skills

  • Tools for the candidates to analyse their strengths and weaknesses, and to demonstrate their commitment to personal and professional development

  • Numeracy and commercial skills exercises that will be based upon the requirements of each client rather than generic tests.

  • Commercial skills exercises requiring the candidate to demonstrate their ability to analyse management information and other communication, and to deliver a plan of action

  • Exercises designed to demonstrate a candidate’s cultural fit with a business

While some clients may prefer to supplement Vallum's materials with some commercially available resources: All the material we generate is original to Vallum, and tailored to our clients on an individual basis. Nothing is cribbed from the internet or other open sources.

 Our material can be tailored for group or individual exercises and assessments, internal and external recruitment, and at any and all levels that our clients require. 

Contact us at rwatkin[email protected] to find out more.


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