Customer spotlight questions: talent tips from marshmallow

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Charlotte Hall
September 7, 2022
Updated on:

Marshmallow is a ‘techie’ insurance company - not a sweet shop! Currently, we provide car and van insurance but have plans to branch out into other insurance products in the not-too-distant future. We spoke with Niamh Ronson, People Operations Specialist and Aaron Walker, Head of Talent Acquisition at Marshmallow, to find out about the problems they’re solving, some top people and talent tips, and why they chose Zinc as their background checking provider.

About Marshmallow

What problems are you solving?

The idea for Marshmallow came to our founders when they were talking to a friend who’d recently moved to the UK. Their friend was trying to get car insurance, but kept getting hit by outrageously expensive quotes. Our founders realised that migrants were being charged way too much for their car insurance. So they set about solving this problem using technology.

Our mission has since evolved. Nowadays, we want to make sure as many people as possible can access affordable insurance products.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Marshmallow?

  • NR: I’m Niamh and I’m in the People Operations team. The main focus of my role is to make the Marshmallow employee journey a slick and seamless experience!
  • AW: I’m Aaron and I’m the Head of Talent Acquisition at Marshmallow. I’ve been here for about 15 months, leading the team that’s helped us hire over 150 people in the last 12 months. Our team makes sure that we hire amazing people who can help us hit our company goals and objectives while giving candidates and hiring managers the best possible experience.

Talent tips

What are your top 3 HRtech tools & why?

  • CultureAmp - We introduced Culture Amp as our employee engagement platform earlier this year and we’ve been really impressed by its capabilities. We run our biannual engagement survey to understand how our people are feeling. We love it because it delivers powerful insights, identifies trends, and highlights exactly where we should invest our time to increase engagement.
  • Hibob - Our one-stop-shop for pretty much everything HR related! We moved over to Hibob about 12 months ago and it has brought immense value. One of our favourite features is ‘Kudos’ - it’s a great way to showcase what everyone’s up to and to celebrate each others' successes.
  • Talenthub - This tool that allows us to optimise our hiring process through feedback from our main customer groups; candidates and hiring teams. At Marshmallow, we make sure to treat candidates with the same level of care as we treat our customers. The only way for us to know if we’re on track is to understand what our candidates think about us. Talenthub gives us access to data across different touch points on the candidate journey, whilst benchmarking us against other technology businesses. That means we can see what we’re doing well and, more importantly, where we can improve.

How do you go about creating an awesome candidate experience?

Marshmallow on candidate experience

It starts by making sure you have a really strong hiring culture where every person in the business understands the value of great candidate experience. That means making sure we have talented Talent Acquisition folk who are passionate about delivering an amazing experience to candidates every time. It also means working with hiring teams through training and retros so that they appreciate the importance of candidate experience. Being a consumer-facing business means that candidates could easily be customers. A bad candidate experience can not only affect your employer brand but also impact you commercially. To help us track candidate experience and provide us with insights on how we can improve, we use a tool called which gives us feedback on how we can make the experience better. It shows us what we are doing well, but more importantly where we can improve. It also benchmarks us against other tech companies.

What one piece of advice would you give a talent professional joining a fast-paced scaleup?

Be comfortable with change and ambiguity! Scale-ups aren’t for the faint-hearted and the business direction can pivot suddenly so you’ll need to be adaptable. Learn to worry about what you can control and let go of the rest!

What makes the culture at Marshmallow great? Any tips?

We're proud to have created a culture that encourages everyone to keep learning, growing, and innovating. Life in a high-growth scale-up environment is constantly changing - but we see that as a positive thing! Our Marshmallowers are regularly provided with exciting opportunities to learn new skills and to take on huge amounts of responsibility.

And, thanks to our ambitious mission, we attract incredibly talented and passionate people who are a pleasure to work with!

About Zinc

What problem(s) did you face before using Zinc?

Prior to Zinc, background checking was a super manual process, and took up a lot of time that could have been spent on something more impactful instead. As Aaron mentioned, we’ve hired 150 people in the past 12 months, so there was a lot of background checking for us to do!

Why did you choose Zinc?

The biggest selling point for us was the seamless integration with Workable and being able to trigger background checks with one click.

Marshmallow saves time using Zinc

How long have you been using Zinc?

We’ve been using Zinc for the last 6 months and have used it to complete background checks for just under 60 new hires!

What results did you achieve by using Zinc? How much time did you save? / By using Zinc can you measure any reduced costs?

The biggest saving for us has been our time, which we’ve been able to refocus on making sure we achieve our People Ops roadmap and make Marshmallow an amazing place to work!

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