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Microsoft Early Talent Solution

New Adopter of Strengths

Microsoft required a solution that would help differentiate them in a crowded marketplace.


In addition to implementing the new Strengths-based assessment approach, Microsoft had a number of other business objectives they needed to meet. They needed to provide assessors with insight into a candidate’s alignment to the Microsoft culture and programme, provide candidates with an insight to strengths, and inform candidates of the strengths required to be successful at Microsoft and within the programme. They also wanted to focus on identifying candidates with high potential, rather than being reliant on past work experience.


Through observing high performance at Microsoft and interviewing key stakeholders, Capp identified core strengths that were critical indicators of success at Microsoft. The core strengths also mapped into the Microsoft global competency framework and principles. In addition to the core strengths, differential strengths were also identified for intern roles such as technology, and sales and marketing.

The solution included two online Situational Strengths Tests, one for apprentices and one for graduates and interns. The SST provides Microsoft candidates with a series of 'day in the life' scenarios that assess a candidate’s strengths and potential to perform in the role, along with Strengths-based Interviews that assessed potential rather than past experience. The final stage is an Assessment Centre that includes a Strengths-based careers fair and a series of mini-assessments to reinforce and test the strengths required for potential hires.


  • Removal of academic criteria to broaden talent pool
  • 54% offers were made to female candidates
  • 78% of assessors found the approach easier to differentiate high performers
  • 100% of assessors reported that the candidates were highly engaged
  • 93% enjoyed the style of the Assessment Centre



  • Best Candidate Experience – The FIRM Awards, 2014

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