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Ocean Outdoor UK revamps its hiring and screens candidates faster using TestGorilla

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Ocean Outdoor UK revamps its hiring and saves hours per candidate screening using TestGorilla

As a digital out-of-home advertising company, Ocean Outdoor UK specializes in delivering unique and engaging branded media experiences for audiences. The company has sites across England, Scotland, and Europe and is currently working on several campaigns with Team GB to promote the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Supporting these projects is a multi-disciplinary team that includes marketing, sales, R&D, operations, and finance. 

Hiring the right person fast - that's Andrew Kyriacou's biggest challenge. As the assistant financial controller for Ocean Outdoor UK’s small but crucial finance department, he needs to make quick and effective hiring decisions.

When we need a role filled because someone has left or moved into a new role, we only have a short time frame for interviewing and screening candidates. Also, we can't afford to dedicate the time needed to train someone during busy periods of the year. So, it’s essential we get someone who can come in and start performing right away.” - Andrew Kyriacou.

A lengthy recruitment cycle doesn't equal great hires

To ensure roles were filled as quickly as possible, the finance department put their talent sourcing and screening in the hands of an external recruiter. However, outsourcing this vital function to a third party created a mismatch in expectations. The recruiter would often supply candidates with the wrong profile (i.e., senior professionals for more junior roles) who would end up dropping out. 

Andrew’s team branched out and drafted additional recruiters to expand their talent pool, which helped them grow their volume of applicants, but sifting through those profiles left them little time for crucial candidate evaluation.

Further slowing things down? Their meticulous but lengthy hiring process consisting of an initial screening, an hour-long interview, and further follow-ups with recruiters – these steps added hours to the team’s average time-to-hire.

Despite the extra effort, few of the new employees cleared their initial probation period through this process, indicating that the right people weren’t making it through the final hiring stages. 

“We don’t want to waste our time, we don't want to waste the candidate's time by bringing them in for an hour-long interview and then, say 20 minutes in, realize that someone who looked good on paper was someone that we probably wouldn’t be able to work with. That’s not a good time for anyone”

Ocean Outdoor UK transforms how they screen and hire

Recognizing that a more streamlined, data-driven approach was needed, the team decided to look into a talent assessment solution to help focus their recruitment efforts, which led them to TestGorilla.

Andrew carefully reviewed the product documentation and tested a free trial to see how TestGorilla assessments worked in practice. 

Arrange and reordering tests in TestGorilla

He was particularly impressed by the product’s intuitive drag-and-drop functionality, which allowed him to arrange the test presentation effortlessly and immediately check how candidates would experience the changes. 

Satisfied with the results, he evaluated the pricing plans to find the right fit for Ocean Outdoor UK and presented his findings to management, pitching it as a significant time-saver for this team. They agreed to make the move to TestGorilla. 

The team initially experimented with different tests and test lengths to create the best possible candidate experience and ensure the assessment aligned with the positions Ocean Outdoor UK was hiring for. 

Attention to details test OceanOutdoor

After some refinement, they settled on a 45-minute assessment comprising an attention-to-detail test and various role-relevant essay questions. These included a number of custom questions, which proved critical for Andrew as they allowed him to tailor assessments for the specific job, i.e., questions for a purchase ledger clerk versus a management accountant.

“We have the attention to detail quiz, which the roles we hire for. It's very important. If you miss an invoice with VAT on it or you miss that you must accrue for this amount, that can mess up accounts for the whole month. We can't afford that. So, attention to detail is always critical for our team”

A clear increase in successful hires with hours saved in the process

With the help of TestGorilla, Andrew was able to restructure his team’s hiring process completely.

  • Andrew’s team would spend 15 minutes reviewing each applicant’s CV. With TestGorilla, they were able to save up to four hours on CV reviews per position. They were also able to shift the hour-long interview to the end of the process. As a result, they could consider double to triple the number of candidates in a similar amount of time.

  • Before using TestGorilla, the team would spend around an hour and a half planning and conducting interviews for the three to five candidates who passed through the screening stage. They were now able to save up to five hours on interviews per position.

  • After settling into this new process, the finance team was able to decrease its rate of unsuccessful hires by approximately 44%.

“If it's just 20 minutes on (Microsoft) Teams and then you give them the assessment, which is no time on our part other than reviewing the results, then it gives us a lot more of a broad scope on who we can look at.” - Andrew Kyriacou.

  • This new approach also enabled the team to focus their attention on people who demonstrated the work ethic, critical thinking skills, and practical ability that Ocean Outdoor UK needed from new hires in their finance team. As a result, they have been able to reduce mishires.

“Someone came in; they presented themselves very well. They impressed us with what they were saying. And for all intents and purposes, we probably would have considered hiring them. But when they took the assessment, they did quite awfully. we looked at that, and we just said, no, there are people who did much better at the assessment and might not have interviewed as well but were ultimately a better fit,” says Andrew Kyriacou.

Focus your hiring on top talent. Use TestGorilla

As a hiring manager, your time is precious. Every hour spent reviewing applications or interviewing candidates is an hour that could be spent delivering value to your business. 

By creating a job-specific assessment, you can trust that only the most skilled candidates arrive at the interview table, enabling you to hire well without wasted effort. Book a free demo to see how we can help you hire with confidence. 

About the Company

With key sites in the UK's top 12 cities, Ocean Outdoor UK uses the latest technology, research, and data to execute creative campaigns connecting digital cities to citizens. The company owns a unique position in the outdoor advertising landscape, specializing only in large-format, digital, super-premium locations.

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