Servest Group has cherry-picked the next generation of future leaders after an unconventional application process and rigorous assessment day.
Four existing employees and two graduates have been selected from more than 100 applicants to embark on a two-year programme that will prepare them for taking on a management role in the company. The six future leaders, divided equally between genders, are existing employees Reuben Knock, Salma Khan, Charlie Howson and Amy Rothwell and graduates Joshua Tagg and Molly Owens.
The successful six were selected for their leadership potential and personality fit. Each individual reflects the core Servest values; these include passion, originality, integrity and, since people are at the heart of the business, a commitment to building and nurturing fruitful working relationships.
Each future leader will spend the first nine months in Servest’s headquarters in Bury St Edmunds working through key support functions. Having had a taste of various areas of the business, such as HR, marketing and finance, they will then go on to spend time in each of the Group’s main operational divisions. The budding business people will get hands-on experience in catering, security, building services and cleaning, among other departments.
In addition to learning practical skills in these areas, the participants will study management skills, backed up by the ILM qualification in Facilities Management, which will be run internally. Servest prides itself on delivering the highest standards of learning and development and the ILM framework attached to the Future Leader programme will ensure there is a solid pathway of progression for the 2016 finalists.
The recruitment process was designed to be quite different to traditional graduate recruitment models. Rather than send a CV, applicants were asked to demonstrate that they possessed the natural talents required for the programme in an unconventional way. The intention behind this decision was to look at each application in an unbiased way in order to judge each candidate on his or her own merit, as opposed to education or employment history. Candidates were invited to showcase their innovation by sending in videos, presentations, documents or anything that would prove they had the imagination, originality and ‘outside of the box’ thinking required for the programme.
Following this initial screening process, a telephone interview whittled the numbers down to 21. These individuals who were then invited to the assessment day that was held in a team-building centre in Norfolk. Tasks were designed to test skill sets and to reveal how the individuals could perform under pressure. In addition to solving cryptic problems, candidates had to demonstrate they could both lead and work as part of a team. Essentially the day was designed to identify those who were natural leaders.
Demonstrating their enthusiasm for the Future Leaders programme, 15 members of Servest’s senior management team attended the assessment day. By way of role reversal, candidates were encouraged to interview different members of the Board in order to learn more about the company.
Servest’s Group CEO Rob Legge said: “The calibre of candidates has been excellent and I’m pleased to welcome each of the chosen six onto the future leaders programme. The scheme demonstrates Servest’s commitment to developing talent to ensure a leadership pipeline of dynamic and committed individuals.”