Google Cloud Results
Expanded from the UK to 183 countries in 3 years
• Saves 1,500 admin hours a year and cuts costs by switching from legacy solutions to Google Workspace
• Enables growth, keeping location start-up costs low and facilitating recruitment with Google Workspace and Hire by Google integrations
• Improves recruitment efficiency and budgeting with automatic response templates, job postings, and monitoring processes in Hire by Google
An inspiring education can transform a child's understanding of the world, but teachers need both time and the right resources to be able to focus on their pupils' individual experiences. Through its online platform and subscription service, UK-based company Twinkl helps teachers do that by providing child-centered resources and teacher-created planning and assessment materials. It offers more than 525,000 resources and inspiring content such as lesson plans, educational activities, eBooks, interactive games, augmented reality applications and videos, with new content added daily.
With 4.2 million users in 183 countries worldwide, Twinkl works with educators across the globe to tailor its content to their needs. "We have around 500 team members, many of whom are part-time teachers, with 40 percent working outside of our headquarters in the United Kingdom," explains Pete Casson, Chief Technology Officer at Twinkl.
From 2015, Twinkl's user base began expanding rapidly. It needed a communications infrastructure that could support distance working for its growing workforce, and facilitate the onboarding of new staff. Using Google Workspace together with Hire by Google provides Twinkl with the solutions it needs to find the right candidates, and support its community-driven growth.
"The teaching community is fantastic, if they find a useful resource, they share it," says Pete. "They become advocates for Twinkl, driving growth. So we needed a communications and recruitment system to help us keep up!"
Working anytime, anywhere with Google Drive
"Google Meet is our most crucial Google Workspace service, underpinning every meeting we have. Being able to see each other improves our culture as an organization, as people can put a face to a name." - Pete Casson, CTO, Twinkl
When running a business with a high number of remote workers, it's important to give employees the right communications tools to do their job. Twinkl chose Google Workspace because it wanted a provider with a low barrier to entry, making it easy to set up new recruits in new locations.
Twinkl previously had an on-premises storage solution, but with around 70TB of data stored, finding the right document could be difficult. Employees had to bookmark the exact location of files. "Since migrating to Google Team Drives, people are smarter with how they store and find data," says Pete. "Google Cloud Search has been a revelation, especially as you can search for words within documents." The IT department has seen an 80 percent reduction in storage requests, which equates to around 1,500 hours of IT administration a year.
In order to keep files safe and secure, employees previously had to log on via a VPN. Now, workers can easily login from any location or device using their Google ID, and thanks to Google Mobile Device Management, Twinkl is able to secure data even if a device is lost and stolen.
Using Drive with Docs is also central to Twinkl's content production process. Writers can collaborate remotely, using comments to provide feedback to designers who then lay out the content. Employees in various locations work together fluidly through conception, design, production, and release of resources, producing more than 500 items of new content daily. The finance department has also moved to Sheets, benefiting from instant access to financial data, rather than sharing spreadsheets via email.
Google Meet and Google Chat are key to enabling Twinkl's remote workforce to collaborate. As its workflow is organized around agile sprints, holding meetings using Google Meet is how teams stay in touch, whether for daily catch-ups or sprint planning meetings. "Google Meet is our most crucial Google Workspace service, underpinning every meeting we have," says Pete. "Being able to see each other improves our culture as an organization, as people can put a face to a name."
Transforming recruitment with Google Workspace and Hire by Google
"At Twinkl, we're all about employing people who are a good fit with our culture. By removing lots of manual recruitment processes via Hire by Google, we now focus on the person, not the system." - Pete Casson, CTO, Twinkl
Over the past three years, Twinkl's expansion beyond the UK to 183 other countries has seen its staff numbers grow by 535 percent, but its previous solution wasn't built to cope with an increasing number of applicants. "Our legacy system was paper-based, manual, and tedious. But we want people to have an amazing experience with Twinkl from the first point of contact," says Pete. "Switching to Hire by Google with Google Workspace has helped us create a streamlined, automated recruitment process that also gives insight into what works, in terms of finding the best candidates."
Job advertisements are now easily posted to multiple sites, so there's no need to log in to separate portals to post jobs, then manually compile applications. This saves time for administrators. "We just select the right channels and press go," says Pete. "It's a one-click process, and not only does it save time, it means people actively enjoy recruitment. They're motivated to get things moving as quickly as possible."
Once a candidate applies, they receive an automatic response that is in line with Twinkl's brand and message, helping to ensure every applicant feels valued. Hire by Google then works with Calendar to automatically find a suitable slot and schedule an initial interview on Google Meet, followed by an in-person interview. After the interview, Hire by Google collates feedback from the interview panel, a process that was previously paper-based and didn't always result in specific feedback for every candidate.
The onboarding of successful candidates is then facilitated by Google Workspace, as Twinkl's HR and Health and Safety documents are located on centralized Team Drives, along with an onboarding plan, making it easy for new recruits to orientate themselves. Thanks to Hire by Google, details of unsuccessful candidates are stored so they can be accessed for future recruitment drives.
"At Twinkl, we're all about employing people who are a good fit with our culture," says Pete. "By removing lots of manual recruitment processes via Hire by Google, we now focus on the person, not the system."
Building tools for the future of education
"With Google Workspace and Hire by Google, we can establish a presence anywhere in the world without thinking about the cost of putting infrastructure in place. Without those tools, our growth just wouldn't have been possible." - Pete Casson, CTO, Twinkl
By expanding its use of Google Workspace and switching to Hire by Google, Twinkl has created a recruitment process that reflects its values as a community-driven company, and is also more efficient. In the three years since implementing Hire by Google, it has processed around 3,400 applicants and recruited 137 staff members, and in the past seven months the journey from posting an ad to offering a role has taken just 33 days. "Hire by Google gives us a much better understanding of candidates, and also tells us which channels are working best," says Pete. "It's easier to budget and target a particular skill set, so we're more proactive in recruitment and attract better candidates."
Thanks to migrating from its legacy server to Drive, Twinkl is not just saving time, its saving money. Switching the financial team to Google Sheets saved around £44,000 that would have been spent on the next software refresh cycle, and replacing Twinkl's previous team messaging service with Google Chat is saving about £30,000 a year.
In the coming months, Twinkl will focus on consolidating the move away from its legacy productivity software, replacing its intranet solution using Sites, and introducing Jamboards to support collaboration on creative content. It will also continue expanding to new countries, building on its growth over the past three years.
"With Google Workspace and Hire by Google, we can establish a presence anywhere in the world without thinking about the cost of putting infrastructure in place," says Pete. "Without those tools, our growth just wouldn't have been possible."
Twinkl also plans to make its resources available for users to access as Google Docs through its platform. "Schools are much more agnostic in terms of their approach these days, and are increasingly using Chromebooks and Google Classroom," says Pete. "We want to open up our platform to integrate with those services, because that's what our customers are asking for. As technology changes in the classroom, we want to support teachers so they can keep focusing on what they do best."
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*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.