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Making 2020 A Stronger Year: The Power of Strengths

Dr Alex Linley, CEO

2020 has been a year like no other – we saw the emergence of a pandemic that threatened public health and the global economy on an unprecedented scale. Like many businesses, we were adapting and evolving strategies as the crisis unfolded, finding new ways of meeting customer needs and providing help and support.

At Cappfinity, as the reach and impact of the pandemic became evident, we thought hard about how we could help. We launched our first initiative in April, #StrengthsTogether, offering free Strengths Profiles to unite people across the globe in building resilience and supporting others through the crisis.

We knew from two decades of positive psychology and strengths research that when people know what their strengths are and use those strengths, then good things happen. Among many other things, they are happier, more fulfilled, more engaged at work, more resilient and better able to cope with stress.

The response was overwhelmingly positive – more than 25,000 people completed Strengths Profile globally. Our purpose has always been Strengthening the World and it was uplifting to see so many people get the benefit of understanding and developing their strengths.

Building on this foundation and with the support of Workplace Expert, Lindsey Pollak, we launched #2020Strong in May. Our aim was to support the Class of 2020 who were being forced to rethink their options, as job offers were rescinded and employment opportunities grew scarce.

We extended the offer of free Strengths Profiles, including the digital Career Guide, to graduates and students from the Class of 2020. We also interviewed more than 30 employers of entry-level talent to understand more about the challenges they were facing and their recruitment plans over the coming months.

The research highlighted the positive response of businesses and the innovations that were taking place. With candidate experience a key priority, businesses recognized the need to dial up communication and open up new opportunities for graduates and interns to engage and interact with the organization.

We also found that the transition to virtual hiring, accelerated by the pandemic, could help organizations reach and engage more candidates from historically underrepresented groups. Progress on diversity and inclusion was hit hard in 2020 as businesses scrambled to deal with the fallout from the pandemic. Talking to talent leaders, we found that businesses are now looking for ways to gain lost ground and accelerate change.

The research findings highlighted that the greatest challenge occurs at the very top of the hiring funnel – attracting applications from diverse talent. In response to this insight, we’re now embarking on our next initiative that will take us into 2021 – levelling the playing field for all candidates by providing open access to work simulations and digital developmental resources that can help candidates prepare for recruitment processes, with our Virtual Experience and Engagement platform (VEE).

On the brink of a new year, we are focused on the future and hopeful that the worst is over, but 2020 is not a year I want to forget. Despite the challenges and uncertainty from this most tumultuous of years, the power of human connection shone through the turmoil and brought out the best in businesses, communities and individuals. The hard-won lessons we have all taken put us in a stronger position to recover and rebuild for 2021 and beyond.

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