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In 2013, Asda – the UK’s third largest retailer – recognized the need to upgrade its graduate assessment solution in order to showcase the Asda culture as robust, valid, fair and unbiased, while at the same time ‘getting under the skin’ of candidates to uncover the real person rather than just what they think they should be.

Asda wanted to identify candidates with the right strengths for the role and the right strengths for the Asda culture, who would go on to perform well in the role and be fasttracked to a management position after the 3 year program. This was also seen an opportunity to align Asda’s people processes, improving the connection between recruitment and the onward graduate journey.

 

Solution

Strengthscope® undertook a strengths job analysis to create a target role profile for graduates who, with the right support, could quickly step up into managerial positions, embody the Asda values and culture and who would love coming to work every day. To do this, we ran strengths interviews and focus groups across a range of stakeholders to identify core graduate strengths.
We then designed a strengths-based video interviewing sift stage, as well as designing strengths assessment centres which included exercises such as a strengths career presentation, a strengths interview, an analysis/role-play (which mirrored the realities of the role) as well as a group exercise.

All candidates were provided with feedback, including on their Strengthscope® profile, in order to differentiate the candidate experience and demonstrate the Asda values. Finally, the strengths approach was integrated into the graduate on-boarding and induction process to ensure that successful applicants could hit the ground running in their new roles.

 

Outcome

  • Quality of hires has significantly improved: all hires have been retained and promoted during the program – a first for the company
  • Candidates leave the day having gained insight into their strengths and risks, and gain personal development – thus differentiating the graduate hiring experience
  • Hiring managers have been happy to adopt the new approach due to the robust approach taken to identifying outstanding graduates during the strengths job analysis
  • Hiring metrics have improved in all areas

 

“The candidate has the opportunity to talk about things that
are more business oriented during the assessment centre. It
has been a real positive experience as an observer – we are
able to make the most of people’s strengths and where they
fit in the business.”

– Hiring manager

 

“One graduate joined the business in 2014 and is now accountable
for a £300M category of products, following back-to-back promotions.
We also have another who is the General Store Manager (GSM) of a
£Multimillion store, becoming the youngest Asda GSM ever”

– Recruitment Team