FTSE 100 company overhauls how managers hire

Hiring for attributes puts an end to homogeny

How do you ensure fit and fairness when hiring thousands of team members every year? Add to that a worldwide network of more than 100 pretty autonomous manufacturing sites, and you’ve got your work cut out. Here’s how a FTSE 100 company is breaking the mould.

Twenty HR leaders and business partners who knew the team member role well got together on a series of virtual focus groups to agree what sets the best performers apart. They boiled it down to just four ‘must-have’ attributes. Naturally, these beautiful characteristics were found in exemplar employees from three continents, six ethnicities, all ages (25 to 60), and both women and men. One of the Hiring HR team said it best: “If you have these (characteristics) you will take charge, you’ll go from good to great.”

The challenges then, as identified by the Hiring HR team, were twofold: the attributes were hard to call out in an interview and many of their hiring managers used weird and not-so-wonderful selection techniques. In response, a three-hour hiring module was developed covering three components: a behavioural-based interview, a realistic job preview and advice on how to minimise biases. The module methodically builds the undeniable business case for hiring for potential and diversity, and shows managers how to prevent debilitating hiring biases, such as:

  • CV prejudice
  • A monochrome shortlist
  • Likeability
  • Snap decisions
  • Conflating fit and potential with skills, knowledge and background.

What people are saying

“We have been diligently training our leaders on the structured interview process.  The feedback has been fantastic. Our leaders are energized by the structured process, and the correlation to characteristics of top team members in the presentation vs. what is discussed in training has been almost identical.  So far, we don’t have any naysayers.”

Talent Management Business Partner, North Carolina


“I’m so happy we are doing this. Recently I was looking for a job, but I wasn’t getting any response. Nothing. On a whim, I took down my picture on LinkedIn. Suddenly it seemed every company wanted to meet me. I’m the trifecta: black, a woman and over 50.”

HR Business Partner, Dallas


“The interview techniques and processes presented make a lot of sense, and will help hiring managers be far more effective interviewers. It will help us hire the best people.”

Senior Recruiter, Dallas

Further reading


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