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Boosting applicant quality for hiring success

Pilgrims' Friend Society offers residential care and independent living facilities for seniors in England and Scotland. Infrastructure is maintained by care workers, business and housing managers with support from finance, marketing, and HR teams.


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Accurately assessing technical and soft skills for senior roles

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Immediate impact on quality of applicants and new hire performance

5 minutes


Camilla Fitsum is the HR and Recruitment Officer at Pilgrims’ Friend Society. Her role centers around supporting the various recruitment needs of senior managers across the organization. However, the process can vary significantly depending on the positions the company is hiring for. 

“In the UK, hiring carers is very difficult, so the quicker we get them in, the better. But when it comes to the more senior roles, we want to take our time with it and make sure to select the right person.” - Camilla Fitsum

Validating skills for senior positions proves a challenge

Before using TestGorilla, hiring managers used ad hoc methods to screen candidates for their senior roles. For example, those hiring for finance or marketing roles generally used a self-administered test to validate applicants’ skills, but no such step was in place for business or care manager positions. 

Unfortunately, these processes weren’t producing the caliber of talent required for more senior roles. 

“We had issues finding people who were IT literate or those who had good email etiquette, for example. And we weren’t equipped to understand which candidates excelled in these areas and make decisions from there.”

However, creating tests that would allow teams to evaluate all the necessary skills for each role would demand considerable attention from hiring managers. And most just didn’t have that kind of time available. 

With these issues in mind, the team decided to find a tool that would help them screen and validate applicants’ skills quickly and accurately. 

TestGorilla's library offers relevant tests for every role

Because of Pilgrims’ Friend Society's diverse recruitment needs, Camilla focused on finding a platform that offered a wide range of role-relevant tests to match the different positions the company was hiring for. With an extensive library featuring over 400 tests encompassing hard skills, soft skills, and cognitive ability - TestGorilla fits the bill perfectly. 

When creating her own assessments, Camilla was impressed by the product’s test recommendation feature, which provided a list of suggested tests for each role. 

Pilgrims' Friend Test Recommendations

“I like the search function. You can, for example, type in marketing. And it comes up with some tests that might be suitable for you. There's generally a good mix of options there, and these lists are updated, too. The suggestions help you understand the role in terms of skills, which perhaps you didn't think about initially.”

The feature was particularly useful when hiring for new positions that came up, such as a recent marketing assistant role. Using TestGorilla, the hiring manager was able to put together a role-relevant assessment that tested candidates’ communication skills, knowledge of specific marketing systems, and email etiquette.

TestGorilla helps Pilgrims' Friend Society make sure candidates' abilities match their job applications

Pilgrims' Friend Society screens candidates to ensure their abilities match up to expectations

TestGorilla has immediately impacted the quality of applicants filtering through Pilgrims’ Friend Society’s hiring process. 

By placing assessments at the pre-screening stage, hiring managers can gauge the candidate's commitment and motivation, which provides an initial indicator of how suitable they are for the role. 

The platform’s unique functionalities have also benefitted Pilgrims’ Friend Society’s hiring:

  • The anti-cheating measures help hiring managers ensure that applicants demonstrate their true skills

  • The assessment deadline feature ensures candidates complete tests on time and highlights less motivated applicants.

  • With built-in benchmarking, candidate results can be compared to scores achieved by existing employees to determine overall performance levels.

“So with, say, the finance role, where hard skills are really important, we use assessments to see if candidates can explain basic industry terminology and explain systems like finance. What's good is that I can send the same assessment to the Director of Finance so she can try it out, and then we can set a benchmark. If we put that at 40%, because the assessment is quite difficult, we know candidates who clear that bar are likely to be of higher quality.”

Camilla Fitsum, HR and Recruitment Officer, Pilgrims’ Friend Society

This system has helped Camilla’s team filter out candidates who interviewed well but lacked substantial technical skills.

“Going back to the finance example, we had a candidate currently working in more of a senior position, yet they couldn't explain simple terminology, so we were quickly able to see that it was a bad fit.”

The feedback on TestGorilla from executives at the director level to hiring managers has been uniformly positive. There is a clear sense that the caliber of applicants has improved, and the majority of new hires are performing well in their roles.

Find high-quality candidates for every role

Talent assessments are the best tool to understand each candidate's abilities. 

Whether you’re trying to find out if a candidate has the expertise to match their seniority level, or you want to ensure your new hire brings the right mix of technical and soft skills to excel in a new role - we can show you the true talent behind each job application.

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