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CarVal Investors is a leading global alternative investment manager focused on distressed and credit-intensive assets and market inefficiencies. Since 1987, CarVal?s team has navigated through ever-changing credit market cycles, opportunistically investing $117 billion in 5,390 transactions across 80 countries. Today, CarVal Investors has $10 billion in assets under management in corporate securities, loan portfolios, structured credit and hard assets.

The challenge

CarVal Investors is dedicated to attracting and retaining the industry’s best people across asset classes and geographies. Employment opportunities on their investment, function and operations teams are frequently available as CarVal grows and changes to meet the evolving opportunities in the alternative investment industry. Paul Holstead, Director of Human Resources, Europe & Asia at CarVal Investors explains, “Recruitment is always an important decision but, in our business, it is particularly important given the roles of the people we’re looking to recruit. They will be responsible for managing millions, in some cases billions, of dollars of portfolios and investments. The cost of getting it wrong - not just in terms of salary costs and recruitment costs - but in terms of impact on reputation and impact on investment returns can be extremely significant”. The CarVal HR Team need to be able to support hiring managers wherever they may be located, from Minneapolis and New York to London and Singapore, quickly, efficiently and in a way that helps build CarVal as a potential future employer brand.

The approach

Paul Holstead first began working with GFB in 2008 (previously operating as Getfeedback) during his previous role an HR Manager with Cargill; “At that time, we were reviewing our approach to psychometric aptitude testing and identified GFB as a provider of the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal. We started partnering with GFB to very good effect - we immediately noticed a change in the efficiency and effectiveness of our recruitment and assessment”.

At the start of 2019, Paul Holstead and Giulia Binon, Associate, Human Resources at CarVal started a project to overhaul the CarVal approach to psychometric testing, including both aptitude and personality assessment tools. It was critical for the future assessment solution to promote the CarVal employer brand to prospective candidates as well as deliver efficiency improvements in the selection process. Furthermore, CarVal was looking at ways to become more inclusive and promote diversity within the organisation. Paul Holstead explains, ?At CarVal, we are committed to diversity and inclusion, cultivating a culture where employees feel empowered to share different experiences, backgrounds and ideas. We wanted to ensure that our psychometric assessment reports presented candidate profiles in a way that best supports our business as a global organisation with a strong international footprint that values the full range of life experiences, skills and expertise of our people.?

The solution

Keen to bring greater efficiency and a more customised approach to their recruitment strategy, the CarVal HR Team got back in touch with GFB Group. Paul clarifies, “Because of my previous great relationship with GFB I automatically got in touch with Abigail Clayton, Client Director at GFB Group. We were extremely impressed with their responsiveness, their willingness to listen, to come up with proposals and generate new ideas.” CarVal was equally impressed with the wide range of personality assessments that GFB Group were able to offer.

CarVal Case Study GFB

As an HR team, they felt it was important for them to experience the candidate testing process for themselves. James Shimmen, Operations Director at GFB Group explains, “We set up a pilot for the CarVal HR team where they could access the online assessment portal and take part in the candidate experience for themselves. At the same time, the team were also able to sample the full range of personality assessments in our portfolio. By experiencing the process and looking at the customised reporting options available, the CarVal HR Team were able to select Talent Q Dimensions as the personality assessment to use going forwards, together with the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal aptitude test.”

Giulia Binon worked with GFB Group to design the CarVal branded assessment portal and customised CarVal recruitment Report “The technical build of the portal could not have gone more smoothly. The GFB team were flexible, adaptable and able to make all the changes we wanted to the portal and the bespoke recruitment report, tweaking the language to fit our exact requirements. We had training on how to use the system and were able to start testing candidates straightway. It was great to have such a responsive team and it was an extremely positive experience.” The HR Team deliberately steered away from over-emphasising percentile scores in their customised reporting, with GFB suggesting a very broad traffic light 5-point scale to meet their needs. Furthermore, GFB Group were able to amend the narrative descriptors to better meet the business? requirements and to reflect CarVal?s employee competency framework.

CarVal Case Study GFB

The results

CarVal has identified a number of efficiencies and business benefits of partnering with GFB Group including:

For further information on GFB Group Recruitment Solutions, please contact Abigail Clayton, Client Director, GFB Group at or call: 01491 845 594.