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Recruitment with Speed & Structure: Noba's Success with Alva's Interview Templates

Noba's Precision Hiring Journey: Scaling Talent with Alva's Interview Templates

As a 'bank of banks,' Noba stands out as a financial pioneer with its sustainable, customer-centric approach and diverse vertical offerings. With over 2 million customers spread across its portfolio of banks, Noba has enjoyed a rocket-like trajectory in Scandinavia.

Noba's rise to marketplace prominence called for significant scaling efforts. At the helm of this growth is Julia Karimson Stenberg, Head of Talent Acquisition.

When Julia started at Noba (then Nordax Bank AB) in 2019, she was the company's first talent acquisition hire. First order of business: expand the workforce.

Julia built up the TA function and has overseen a growth of over 300 percent since she arrived, growing the number of employees to its present total of over 700. However, this supersonic pace came with its downsides, notably a high turnover among new hires.

"We realised we weren't making the right hiring decisions and needed to build a more science-based, data-driven process to identify which candidates fit us best," Julia said.

Not just psychometrics: Noba adds role-centric Interview Templates for precision hiring

With the aim of finding employees who could deliver long-term value, the Noba TA team began collaborating with Alva Labs to add structure and efficiency to its recruitment plan. And the hiring process needed to be as short as possible, to ensure that candidates were engaged throughout.

"For us, the recruitment process needs to be transparent and intuitive," said Senior TA Partner Sarah Wahlstedt Corméry, "so that we can make sure we're spending the right amount of time with candidates in the different stages."

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Furthermore, Noba's TA team put a strategic emphasis on two areas: competency and data. That focus is what's led Julia and Sarah to become internal ambassadors for Alva's Interview Templates feature, to ensure this vital step in the recruitment process could align with the organisation's hiring objectives.

With Interview Templates, each candidate at Noba receives the same battery of competency-based questions. This approach simplifies the process for TAs and hiring managers, enabling them to make horizontal candidate comparisons and objective evaluations.

Research shows that structured interviews are effective at establishing guardrails against unstructured conversations, in addition to neutralising bias.

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"When you don't follow a structure, it's easy to start digging and get lost in technical discussions," Julia said. "You might come away with the subjective impression that this is a great candidate, but that's not what we're assessing."

With such a laser-focus on measuring what competencies actually matter for the role, there's a higher degree of confidence at the selection stage.

"It's all very black and white," Julia said. "The competence is what's being assessed in the interview (with Alva), and it's clear for us that this particular candidate is the one who matches the profile the best."

Now let's look at how Noba rolled out a structured interview process among its hiring managers.

How Noba delivered structured interviews at scale

Experience tells us that managing strategic change at large organisations is no easy feat. Yet Julia found it ultimately to be a smooth process, thanks in part to Alva's Customer Success Team.

Once it was determined that Noba would start using Interview Templates, she coordinated trainings with hiring managers, facilitated by her Alva Customer Success Manager Sebastian Weil.

She then focused on cultivating ambassadors within the hiring manager group to showcase success stories. Progressively, Noba began adopting a more structured way of interviewing across the organisation, to where it's now included in the company's onboarding.

Noba's hiring managers found the structure to be helpful in guiding conversations with candidates.

No longer did the group have to stress before interviews. Now they can simply pull up the template in Alva and run their candidates through the battery of questions. Afterwards, the hiring team meets up to grade how well the candidate performed in the interview on the Interview Templates scorecard.

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"It's a reliable foundation to lean on," said Katarina Sporrong, a manager for the Pre-Collection team at Noba. "It's made me feel a lot more confident speaking to candidates."

Sarah added that Interview Templates has enhanced the overall quality of interviews at Noba, thanks in part to the objective data around the candidates' responses and the time saved through quicker processes.

"A recruitment process can be quite long – if you decide to make it long," Sarah said. "We wanted to make it easy for hiring teams to prepare for interviews, to keep everything as short and efficient as possible."

Candidates have also reached out to say how much they appreciate both the preparation Noba's TA team provides for interviews, as well as the opportunity to "feel seen" regarding what skills they can bring to the table.

Powerful simplicity: Alva's advantage in talent acquisition

Noba also appreciates another aspect of Alva: its ease of use.

The clear interface accelerated implementation with hiring managers, whereas a more complicated candidate assessment platform would have led to challenges or taking shortcuts.

"It's important for me that the tool is actually used," Julia said. "Otherwise, how can (hiring managers) trust the process and stick to the recruitment plan that was set in the beginning."

What helps here is Alva's integration with Teamtailor. The ease with which teams can access insights and results from the assessments offers invaluable benefits to Talent Acquisition managers.

"The integration with Teamtailor has saved my life as a recruiter," Sarah said. "I've worked in other systems and used psychometric tests that weren't as well-integrated. And Alva is so easy to navigate in Teamtailor because everything is so well connected."

Furthermore, there has been a collective shift in how Noba perceives the role of talent acquisition within the organisation. The collective buy-in comes from having a process that Noba can reliably repeat, even at scale. When hiring managers are fully engaged in the process, it simply becomes more fun to recruit talent.

"More and more companies realise that recruitment and talent acquisition is not something vague that you work with if you're good at reading people," Julia said. "It's actually a very strategic business function where you make decisions based on data and science. And Alva can help you make that transformation quicker."