How Chunky Duck used AbilityMap to build a fully remote business from the ground up

Company Overview

Chunky Duck
Industry: Digital Agency
Founded: 2021
11 - 50 Employees

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Ryan Griffin
Co-Founder & Strategy Director

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The Success

70% Year-On-Year Growth
Low Turnover

The Challenge

Chunky Duck is a digital agency that demonstrates the remote-first phenomenon kickstarted by COVID better than any. Their small-to-medium-sized clients span dozens of industries, including technology, professional services and finance.

As a 100% remote team, trust in their employees is critical for Chunky Duck. They need to rely on their teams to get the job done well without micro-management. As a small agency, they also need people that can take ownership of their area and adapt when the need for new projects arises.

A business that started as three freelancers trying to consolidate admin time and save money on accountants has rapidly grown into so much more. As a result, the now-directors who spent so long working in isolation were not versed in recruitment alongside their technical skills.

When Chunky Duck received an overwhelming amount of applicants for their initial job postings, AbilityMap was immediately able to reduce the time needed to effectively find ideal candidates.

They needed one recruitment solution that would not only identify good candidates for the advertised role but also those who thrive working independently in an organisation that’s growing and changing rapidly. That solution: AbilityMap.

The Solution

When Chunky Duck deployed AbilityMap, they quickly realised how effective it was in narrowing in on high quality candidates. That usually time-consuming part of the hiring process took a handful of hours rather than days or weeks.

It was also easy to identify people that were genuinely interested in the role. Anyone that wasn’t keen to do the 45-minute assessment probably didn’t want the role that much.

As well as assessing new hires, the three Chunky Duck directors got an insight into their own capability profiles. Strategy Director Ryan Griffin pointed out that they made as much use of AbilityMap’s analysis as candidates did.

“What’s really astounding to me is the improvement we’ve seen across our entire organisation from understanding the capabilities, but also the weaknesses of our team, and of us as leaders as well.”

Armed with new knowledge about their strengths and areas of friction, Chunky Duck geared their recruitment strategy towards finding complementary minds to fill the gaps. AbilityMap found people with the right skills, which meant the interview process was more about cultural fit than anything else.

“By the time we get to interview, we’re already 90% confident they know what they’re doing. It’s really just trying to understand: do we gel? Do we work well together? Work well as a team?”

The Outcome

AbilityMap gave Chunky Duck the power to quickly make perfect hires. For three busy directors, that was invaluable. Ryan reflected that the time saved sifting through CVs meant more time dedicated to innovating and scaling.

So much so that Chunky Duck has seen 100% growth every year for the past 3 years.

 “It’s just been a huge time saver. It’s also meant that those initial hires, which are such a big risk because you need to get them right, have been right so far. It’s the reason we’ve been able to double year on year for the last 3 years running, and we’ll continue to do so.”

As well as saving time on tedious candidate screening, Chunky Duck was able to identify the capabilities that predict success as part of the team. While technical skills are clear from candidate portfolios, it’s more difficult to assess traits like initiative, creativity and leadership during the traditional recruitment process.

As well as being great at what they do, it’s every single team member’s attitude that makes Chunky Duck so successful. They’re a bunch of independent, problem solvers that came together to streamline their operations, and they want to hire people with a similar mindset.

Creative Director, Sarah Hill, also commented that candidates appreciated the opportunity to gain an insight into their own minds:

“Most people enjoy the [Ability Imprint] experience. They like seeing their strengths, and when I ask if they think that it’s a true reflection of themselves, they say ‘Yeah, I thought it was very accurate’.”

With candidates happy, teams thriving and continuous doubling of Chunky Duck operations, AbilityMap is thrilled to be part of their success story.

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