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Best practices for finding hidden talent and empowering social mobility

Alex Linley (Capp, The Venture Centre, Coventry, UK)

Strategic HR Review

ISSN: 1475-4398

Article publication date: 12 October 2015




Early career recruiters are increasingly focused on finding hidden talent and empowering social mobility, while also managing the reality of large recruitment volumes. A new approach to early careers recruitment solved both of these conflicting challenges.


Using a combination of assessment insights, data analytics and strengths-based recruitment, the Nestlé early careers recruitment process was redesigned. Jobmi mindset assessments, the Capp Situational Strengths Test and the Capp Numerical Reasoning Test were used as online assessments, followed by a strengths-based video interview and strengths-based assessment centres.


Nestlé identified and hired candidates of whom 21 per cent would not have met the previous screening criteria, demonstrating how the new recruitment approach found hidden talent.

Practical implications

Making decisions from assessment insights and data analytics shows that it is possible for volume recruiters to manage, enhance and improve their recruitment processes without need for recourse to arbitrary screening criteria to manage volumes.

Social implications

Finding hidden talent and empowering social mobility widen opportunity for all people, particularly those from diverse backgrounds. It allows the identification and recruitment of people who demonstrate grit, resolve and tenacity, who might otherwise have been excluded by arbitrary recruitment barriers.


The article concludes with five best practice recommendations for finding hidden talent and promoting social mobility: do not use arbitrary screening criteria; make decisions from assessment insights and data analytics; guard against adverse impact; measure for future potential, not just past experience; and give candidates second chances by being part of a job-matching marketplace.



Linley, A. (2015), "Best practices for finding hidden talent and empowering social mobility", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 14 No. 5, pp. 194-198.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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