Coronavirus and recruitment with thinkmoney, a year on...

thinkmoney is a leading fintech banking service, based in Trafford Park, and part of the wider TMG group of financial services businesses.

An award-winning company in multiple areas, it has been growing at a record pace in the last couple of years.  Their aim is to provide an easier way of banking for those who aren’t benefitting from what the traditional banks offer. There are approximately 12 million people in the UK who either can’t get a current account or aren’t benefitting from the one they have.

We’re here to change that.

One year on from our last discussion, we caught up with Steve Norton, Head of Talent Acquisition, to see how the company responded to the challenges of 2020 and what the company’s plans are for 2021.



Interview

Last year you mentioned thinkmoney were recruiting as normal during the pandemic due to the technology in place and the need to serve your customers. How has recruitment been since we last spoke? 

2020 was a good year for us with record revenue and that was reflected in our talent acquisition activities. Although we paused some roles in April, by July we were back up recruiting nearly all of those roles again and we finished the year having made 47 hires. 

90% of those were due to business growth, so for a 250 person business that was quite significant.




Have you needed to adapt your interview process at all and if so, why? 

We moved all of our interviews to video conference in March 2020 and haven’t looked back since.
 We are lucky enough to have our own COVID secure campus, but the reality is 90% of us are home working and have been since April last year. 

Most of our talent acquisition is still done using Teams from end to end, starting with the initial call with someone in my TA team, through to an offer or feedback call for unsuccessful candidates.


The TA team reflected how we could improve the candidate experience during COVID and eliminated phone interview completely, moving everything to video conference for a more engaging candidate experience and the feedback we have had with new starters has been very positive.




What has been the biggest challenge during the pandemic? 

The biggest challenge is to ensure the wellbeing of your people when nearly all of them are 100% remote and you don’t see them every day.

People deal with difficult situations in their own way, so we have tried very hard to ensure that we communicate regularly with all our staff about any changes in the business, particularly if those changes affect them personally. 

Whilst we adapted to remote working very quickly, we have had to be mindful that maintaining a sense of team culture and a consistent working experience for people in teams was important, as some people returned to working in the office occasionally.

Team meetings have moved online so departments have set up virtual lunchrooms to maintain that social contact. 

Our MD holds company-wide sessions to keep everyone in the know (live from the office, complete with the occasional technical hitch!) to compliment his regular company-wide emails. 

Keeping our colleagues informed whilst working remotely and at a time where things are changing so fast has been a key focus.

We’ve also used surveys to get valuable input from our 
people, which helps us understand individual situations allowing us to better support our colleagues. 

It’s the small things that we’ve learnt in the last year that have helped us stay close to our people to keep everyone feeling included, which is a big part of our culture.




What advice would you give to other businesses that are considering hiring in the current climate?

We’ve started UK wide hiring with great success as there are skill shortages in Manchester, and that is going to get worse as London based companies are also doing the same and taking candidates
from the North West talent pools.


We will be doing a lot more with our talent attraction strategy to highlight our culture, values and growth of thinkmoney and make it clear what a great company we are to work for. I’m sure any company doing something similar with its employer branding will benefit in the same way.


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