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Case study

ibLE: Cutting 15 minutes per interview yet still getting higher-quality candidates

November 30, 2023

As a virtual assistant platform, ibLE’s business relies on the quality of the assistants it is able to provide. But with influxes of candidates, it’s sometimes difficult to quickly and accurately assess fit. They needed to find a way to make their process data-based, and to quickly upskill a manager to be able to conduct efficient yet useful interviews.

Using Thrive, they’ve been able to reduce the time it takes them to make a hire, while also ensuring they made the right choice every time, gaining credibility and enhancing their reputation.

Who is ibLE?

ibLE is a virtual assistant platform, providing highly skilled and dedicated experts to businesses and private individuals.

They first started using Thrive in 2021.

What did they want to achieve?

They wanted to make sure they are hiring high quality talent quickly and with a data-based approach.

What were their challenges?

For ibLE, reputation lies within the quality of their hires. “We always wanted to find a way to make the process robust, but nothing like Thrive was available,” explained Joanna Poole, Operations Director at ibLE. “So we built our own calendar skills assessment. We also tried gamification testing because it was cheap, but it didn’t really give us any useful results.”

“We always wanted to find a way to make the process robust, but nothing like Thrive was available”

At some point, ibLE had to start gaining more pertinent information. “We’re very strict with who we bring on,” Joanna elaborated. “Any Virtual Assistant candidate has to meet criteria, such as 10 years experience in an Executive Assistant role previously, they must be looking for a virtual role, and we need to be able to test certain things, for example, if they can communicate well, are they going to be able to work autonomously, are they going to finish a job they started… We needed something to help us figure this out, and Thrive seemed like the right tool.”

Another challenge ibLE faced is how flexible they have to be in their profession. “A Virtual Assistant role is very different from working in an office,” Joanna explained. “We needed something that could be adapted to the role.” Joanna also mentioned that, as she had minimal interviewing experience, she needed a straightforward solution that was valid, reliable, and easy to use.

Solution: Thrive’s market-leading assessments

Joanna quickly realised that, in order to ensure quality hires in her field, she has to test candidates for certain qualities or behaviours. After doing a bit of research on assessment providers in the market, she finally decided upon Thrive. “It was a really simple process, it’s just a matter of switching it on,” Joanna said. “It was great to be able to come into the platform and find the Virtual Assistant role there already.”

“We were then guided as to what assessments we should be using, as well as shown how to customise it even further to the level of seniority we’re looking for,” she continued. “So, once this campaign has been set up, we just use that same campaign and we keep adding new people, so the setup process has been really easy for us.”

Their recruitment process now includes a first screening with a CV, the Thrive assessment, followed by an interview guided by the interview questions Thrive provides. “It’s also nice to be able to give people feedback once they’ve completed the assessment,” Joanna added.

ibLE have also been incorporating Thrive’s talent sourcing feature in the platform, which gives them access to thousands of pre-assessed candidates with similar profiles to those they hired. “When we’re looking for new VAs, we used to turn to LinkedIn to find people, or put a job ad out there. Now, we can use the Thrive database and shortlist candidates based on the last round of recruitment that we did, and that’s been great.”

The results

“Thrive is a time-saver and it’s helping us with the quality of candidates.”

Upskilled a manager

Preparing for interviewing a candidate can be no less stressful than preparing to be interviewed, especially if you’re a new manager who doesn’t have much experience in recruitment. “I have no real HR experience and minimal interview experience, so the assessments and the generated questions have been incredibly helpful,” Joanna explained. “Thrive has saved me time on doing prep for the interview. My interview questions are already there!”.

“Thanks to Thrive, my interview questions are already there!”

It’s not just about having a list of questions, though. It’s about knowing that you’re asking questions that can produce real data that can help you make the right choice. In other words, it’s about how to interview the right way. Thrive has helped ibLE with this as well. “We use the questions to make sure that we’re covering all areas. If there’s anybody that the assessment has flagged as low in areas such as conscientiousness or verbal reasoning, we interview them with this in mind. We want to dig into them a lot further before we put them forward to clients.”

Hired the right people consistently

ibLE only hires for a single role — Virtual Assistants. Of course, they have different seniority levels, but the main goal was to be able to find fantastic VAs quickly, and to be able to tell the best from the… not so great. “We have periods of influxes of candidates, so if anyone scores anywhere below moderate we don’t even take them onto the next stage,” Joanna explained how central the Thrive assessment is to ibLE’s new process. “I think it’s stopped us from hiring the wrong people.”

“Thrive stopped us from hiring the wrong people.”

However, ibLE don’t believe they have yet fully perfected the formula, and are looking forward to the new feature coming up from Thrive — skills testing. “Adding something similar to the calendar testing we used to do would be great,” Joanna elaborates. “ Something to test the basics, like, whether they can actually just go through an executive’s calendar and pick out what’s wrong or right.”

Gained credibility with clients

Businesses like ibLE soar or flounder based on their ability to secure the trust of their clients. “We can say to a client that we have brought this person on for them because they’ve got experience, but thanks to Thrive, we can also say we’ve actually assessed them and we can see that they have a lot of strengths for that particular role,” Joanna said. “It gives us more credibility.”

“By using Thrive, I’ve been able to save 15 minutes per interview.”

Thrive was also a time-saver for ibLE, which enabled them to provide a better candidate experience and to produce results for clients more quickly. “By using Thrive, I’ve been able to save 15 minutes per interview,” Joanna confirmed.

Their hiring process success was also crucial for building their reputation. “The cost of a bad hire is not only how much money we lose from that client, but also our reputation. That’s the most crucial thing,” Joanna explained. “If we fall off that first hurdle and give someone a bad VA, they’re never going to use us ever again. A lot of our business comes from word of mouth, so our reputation is really important. That cost is obviously huge, it’s not just current business but new business as well, and it’s hard to put a number on that.”

Thanks to Thrive, however, ibLE has been able to consistently hire quality candidates in shorter periods of time. “Thrive enabled us to make sure we hired VAs that fit the profile of our clients, and everyone we've hired since using Thrive we've had positive client feedback on. Thrive is a time-saver and it’s helping us with the quality of candidates,” Joanna concluded.

Interested to hear how Thrive can help you produce similar results? Book a demo with us today.

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