A successfully ‘Merlinised’ campaign in more than 8 countries across 4 continents

Merlin had adopted a recruitment approach that seemed to be delivering results for the company. However, new competencies and values being introduced across Merlin and the business was launching a global recruitment campaign shortly after. This presented an ideal opportunity to better align the selection process with Merlin’s culture, new values, and business needs, and improve upon the current recruitment approach. The global campaign needed to be sourced across four continents, whilst remaining consistent with the company’s ethos. Merlin recognised that, due to the magnitude of the campaign and the very short time frame allocated to complete it, they needed to find the right partner to support them in successfully executing it. Merlin partnered with Discovery, experts in Graduate recruitment, to successfully attract and process a higher calibre of candidates from more than 8 countries. Alongside this, the level of diversity within Merlin also increased.

The challenge

Faced with a very short time frame to run a successful global graduate campaign, a robust and rigorous process needed to be implemented to ensure the quality of candidates remained high. Another challenge Merlin encountered was the reach of the campaign. They needed to source candidates across four continents, whilst also embedding the company’s ethos and newly established values & competencies.

Key stakeholders at Merlin recognised that their current approach wouldn’t achieve desired results, so utilising external expertise was of upmost importance to carry out a successful campaign.

Merlin Entertainments Group is the largest European entertainments company operating in Europe. Merlin runs 124 attractions in 25 countries across four continents, delivering memorable visitor experiences via iconic attraction brands, including Alton Towers, Legoland and Madame Tussauds. The company’s aim is to deliver unique, memorable and rewarding experiences to millions of visitors across our growing estate.

Through creativity and a relentless drive for excellence Merlin aim to immerse their visitors in their brands, constantly delighting them and enriching their understanding through fun learning, with the intention to become the worldwide leader in branded, location-based, family entertainment.

The Process

Merlin required hands-on, entrepreneurial and driven individuals who had the ability and mental agility (fluid/emotional intelligence) to create opportunities and build teams.

Due to the focus on a seamless, on-brand campaign, Discovery undertook an immersive induction process to Merlin, including familiarisation visits to some of their sites, to understand what makes them an industry leader. This also ensured the team were projecting a consistent message to candidates to give a ‘Merlin experience’ throughout.

Tasked with recruiting for 15 positions, Discovery designed and developed a ‘Merlinised’ graduate recruitment process, with the core company values and desirable competencies embedded. This attracted over 2000 applications. Candidates were then measured consistently and objectively using various assessment tools including: numerical testing, industry benchmarking using CUPID questioning and Parallax (a neurobiological behavioural profiling tool that looks at the brain in 3D and emulates the ‘patternation’ of the brain).

After successfully delivering five assessment centres across four continents, Merlin exceeded their recruitment target making 17 final job offers.

“Discovery supported us with recruitment services for 3 years and were able to provide a flexible and adaptable approach to meet our ever-changing business needs. They added value to our recruitment process and improved the candidate experience dramatically.”

Melanie Stacey, Global Graduate Manager, Merlin Entertainment

The Solution

By implementing a more rigorous and values-led recruitment process ‘The Discovery Way’, Merlin delivered a consistent message to the candidates to give a positive Merlin experience. This successfully attracted a higher calibre of candidates across more than eight countries, including Australia, South Korea, Italy and Japan. As a result, the level of diversity within Merlin increased, whilst still maintaining their core values.

“I selected Discovery to work with us on the 2011 Merlin Entertainments graduate recruitment campaign and the relationship continued from there.  They are extremely knowledgeable in the graduate arena and have made recommendations to challenge existing processes to support a new and creative selection process reflecting our brand. Most importantly they took the time to get to know Merlin, we are an exceptionally fast paced business and they adapted to last minute changes professionally and always with enthusiasm.”

- Gayle Catt, Group Resourcing Manager, Merlin Entertainments Group