How Jardine Matheson transformed assessment and selection with Cappfinity

Aug 16, 2022 | Selection & assessment

Innovating assessment and selection has halved Jardine’s annual assessment costs, explains Chris Battle, Client Success Director at Cappfinity.

Jardine Matheson (Jardines) and Cappfinity were recently shortlisted for the Best Assessment and Selection Process at this year’s ISE Awards 2022.

The background

Jardines is a diversified Asian-based group with a broad portfolio of market-leading businesses. Operating primarily in Southeast Asia it also has global graduate hubs including the UK.

As a business with a large and diversified portfolio, it needs to recruit the very best of talent at a variety of levels.

One of its signature talent programmes is JETS – the Jardines Executive Trainee Scheme – a graduate programme into General Manager (GM) positions.

Prior to January 2020, the JETS assessment and selection process was disjointed. Candidates completed online assessments and video interviews on various off-the-shelf assessment platforms followed by a final traditional Assessment Centre (AC).

Overall, candidate experience did not stand out when compared to other companies’ assessment processes.

How did Jardines begin to change the process?

Before making any changes, Jardines commissioned a consultancy project to define the Success Profile of a ‘GM of the Future’.

Based on this profile and working backwards, it was able to define the JET Success Profile for assessment.

The ‘GM of the Future’ and JET Success Profile were crafted through interviewing Jardines’ GMs to explore their thoughts around what a future GM at Jardines would look like.

Focus groups were conducted with GMs, Function Leaders, and existing JETs to review and validate the final Success Profile.

Jardines then partnered with early careers recruitment experts, Cappfinity, to design a bespoke, end-to-end digitally delivered, single platform assessment process, consisting of three stages.

The assessments were based on strengths determined via a mapping from the JET Success Profile.

The key objectives of the assessment process transformation were to;

  • enhance candidate experience
  • move away from using multiple platforms
  • create an immersive JETS assessment experience that would differentiate Jardines in the marketplace.

Jardines wanted to improve the Success Profile, the rigor of the assessment, and make use of the assessment data to ensure a fair process.

Finally, the process needed to be more resource efficient for the volume assessment campaign.

How did this work in practice?

With an average of 10,000 applicants, the selection process needed to deliver efficiency and candidate quality, whilst creating an insightful and informative candidate experience.

Cappfinity’s Capptivate immersive assessment tool was used to blend situational, values, cognitive, culture and personality items together.

A compelling narrative was created to follow the career stories of four JETs. It covered their time on the programme, work in one of the various roles, brands, and industries under Jardines’ business portfolio.

Candidates were given information and asked to respond to various scenarios, gaining insight into working life as a JET.

Job Simulation asks candidates to respond to various scenarios through choosing courses of action, recording videos, and submitting free text responses.

The narrative joins one of the four JETs five years later, now working as a manager. Through this process, the candidates gain insight into the working life of another industry while seeing the reality of the lifestyle, roles and responsibilities of a JET.

Virtual AC binds all the exercises together in a coherent narrative, presenting a more realistic preview of Jardines and the JETS Programme than a traditional AC, creating maximum brand impact and candidate engagement.

The inclusion of micro-exercises is a new concept to Jardines, adding further innovation to the process.

The top performers from the AC were rigorously screened and scored and the best candidates offered positions in the JETS programme.

All candidates were also provided with a feedback report detailing their top three strengths and the areas in which they are likely to feel naturally comfortable and capable. In addition to their strengths, the report outlined three development areas as seen during the assessment process, with suggested activities to bolster and improve their capability.

What was the outcome?

  • The new single platform immersive assessment has made a considerable impact on the business and on candidate experience to create a best-in-class approach.
  • 85% of candidates rated their experience eight out of 10 or higher and 79% rated the job simulation as eight out of 10 or higher.
  • Candidates consistently agreed that the feedback report was valuable and will support their development in the future.
  • Qualitative feedback themes included a positive experience, the quality of the feedback report and the provision of valuable insight into life as a JET.

This was the first time Jardines had been able to monitor and track assessment data to consider any adverse impact. It now has robust data-driven monitoring throughout the process and thresholds have been modified to minimise adverse impact and ensure fairness across gender, ethnicity and academic background.

Finally, the new process has reduced the annual running cost for the assessment by 50% and saved 233 hours of administrative time by removing the live interview stage.

Read more case studies of ISE award winners

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