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How Monzo Made Hiring Their Competitive Advantage

Start-ups face thousands of challenges – from location and logo to roles and responsibilities. Monzo is a shining beacon of the start-up world; a company that has managed to overcome obstacles and unequivocally overhaul the banking industry.

Posted: 31st July 2019 by Katina Hristova
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Their success is down to many things – luck, vision, hard work, but too often ignored - because of good hires. Thanks to effective recruitment, they have been able to bring their vision to life, bringing transparency, access and customer experience to the banking industry. The results speak for themselves – they have a million customers using their debit cards.

The quality of their employees has been a huge contributing factor in their success. Monzo have put customer satisfaction at the heart of their company and made it their mission to shine a light on the ineptitude of legacy banks. Hind Ali, Operation Support Analyst at Monzo, believes that customer experience is fundamental to the business. She explains that the business has built their reputation on providing a level of real-time customer service and insight that the established banks don’t offer. “Undermining this would have far-reaching implications”, she says. “We have to continue to deliver the most transparent and usable app, and to do that we need the best Customer Operations team. We don’t just need bodies; we need personable people with the right problem-solving skills to provide the customer service we expect.”

One of the byproducts of achievement is demand, and in the Autumn of 2018, Monzo felt the full force of their success. They found themselves in need of 60 new full-time employees and set the ambitious target of having them all hired by Christmas – a huge task for a company so young. Hind tells us that the start-up was running at full capacity, holding two to three assessments each week which they were sometimes struggling to fill. “So, we needed to find other ways of sourcing great candidates”, she adds.

Start-ups such as Monzo are in existence to disrupt the industries, and their recruitment process should be no different.

Start-ups such as Monzo are in existence to disrupt the industries, and their recruitment process should be no different. Technology is central to their evolution, and video-based hiring was the answer to their concerns.
It provided an opportunity to improve the quality of candidates, whilst simultaneously simplifying the process. This not only saved time and therefore money, but also had the added benefit of meaning people could be onboarded in the recruitment team with minimal training.
Hind explains that “what’s great about Tempo is that they give us control of the process. We could choose to put less emphasis on previous experience and instead focus on the candidate’s soft skills. We really needed to assess skills like empathy from the start. There’s usually no emotion or personality in a CV. It can be very difficult to get an idea of someone’s soft skills by looking at a list of jobs they’ve done. With Tempo, we see a 30-second video introduction from the candidate, and we could ask applicants questions in real-time. This meant we could see how they reacted to challenging situations, before inviting them to an assessment day.”

Through optimising their recruitment process through technology, Monzo managed to hire 200 people, as opposed to the initial (albeit ambitious) target of 60. Efficiency and peace of mind are what Monzo now associate the recruitment process with, phrases that typically don’t spring to mind when organisations are hiring.

“Tempo has been an incredibly useful tool for our recruitment process. Rather than hiring the 60 people we set out to, we’ve been able to hire 200! They were the best choice for getting in quality candidates, quickly. The main differences have been in two areas – efficiency and peace of mind. Some of our assessment days had a 50% success rate. As anyone in the recruitment industry will confirm, that’s a fantastic return.”

“We’re now able to immediately see which candidates are engaging and would fit our culture before we invite them to assessment days. As a result, we’ve been able to host larger and more successful assessment days. That’s saved our team of four a huge amount of time and effort, which we can spend on hiring for technical roles or improving onboarding and internal processes”, added Ali.

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