What to expect when you apply for a vacancy at Usborne through Applied

We hire via Applied - a platform to debias the recruitment process - because we want to reduce bias and hire the best staff in the most ethical and objective way.

Wherever you discover a current vacancy at Usborne, you will also see a link through to a page on Applied, which is where you will complete the application process.

When you have completed and submitted your application, you will receive a confirmation email that contains the link to your application, so that you can remind yourself about the role, or read the answers you submitted to the questions. However, please be aware that you cannot make changes to your application after you have submitted it.

If you don't receive a confirmation email, Applied recommend that you:

Depending on the role you have applied for, we will use a variety of tools to score and assess your application. These will generally be made up of the following sections:

Admin Questions

These don’t form part of the scoring process, but are likely to factor in our decision-making process, as they may outline essential requirements for the role - for example that you can attend our offices, that you have the right to work in the UK, or that you have specific language or other essential skills needed for the role.

'Short Answer' Questions

We generally ask between 3 – 6 'short answer' questions, which require answers of up to 250 words. These have been written by the hiring team to highlight some of the skills and competencies needed for the role. These answers are then scored by the hiring team directly (generally a mix of staff at different levels).  

The Applied system makes sure the answers you submit are anonymised, chunked, and shuffled so that our hiring teams can go through your answers in the most objective way (see illustration below).

CV Review

For most roles, after we have scored the short answers, we will then review your CV before a final decision is made to select for interview. We use the structured CV review tool, which works on several behavioural science principles, using objective criteria to assess the information provided.

During the Application Process

We receive lots of applications for vacancies at Usborne, so we review the answers to the admin questions as a first filter. For instance, if a candidate has a long notice period and we need to appoint quickly, we are able to let them know at that stage that we can't progress their application.

We may also select one core question from the 'short answer' questions to use as a pre-screening question. Candidates who aren't successful against our criteria for this question may also be notified at this stage that their application is not moving forward to a full review.

TOP TIP: Because we take all questions into account when selecting which candidates go through to final selection, make sure you answer ALL questions fully and to the best of your ability.

How will I be updated on the process?

After we've finished reviewing and scoring the applications, we email all candidates and let them know whether they have been successful or not.

Depending on the role, and how we have assessed your application (see above), we may also send you feedback from the scoring process. This might include written feedback letting you know why we have - or haven’t - taken your application further, and/or a feedback diagram showing how your answers performed against each of the skills you were tested on.

This provides valuable feedback on how you compared to other candidates, and areas you might want to work on. It can also indicate if a job just isn't a great fit for your skills.

If you are invited for interview

If you are selected for interview, you will receive an email from the Applied system inviting you to book in. This will include available meeting dates and times, and details of where and how the interview will be conducted. Once you’ve selected a date and time, you will receive another email confirming the address details (if the interview is taking place in person), or a MS Teams link (if it is a virtual interview).

At Usborne we usually use a mix of video and in-person interviews. We rarely appoint staff without them having visited our offices for an interview.

Applied provide further information for candidates on their website.