It is not uncommon for human resources to be among the most valuable and costly assets of a corporation. But when a company must hire and train more than 100,000 new non-professional employees, the inherent costs assume a high level of importance.

Executive Synergies began working with its major retailer client. Initial two goals: find ways to hire employees who stay longer; select people who are a good fit for various jobs and therefore likely to be effective. Our team began by analyzing the hiring process as well as what contributed to job success. We soon broadened to include a complete re-engineering of the interview process to improve productivity as well as to increase sales effectiveness and reduce turnover of employees.

Calling upon the psychology, human resources, discrimination law and statistical expertise resident in the firm, we conducted extensive interviews to develop job analyses, studied the results of tests administered to 10,000 job applicants, then developed a mathematical model to create a preliminary match of applicants to openings. Next we developed a series of multiple-choice interview questions that could be administered by phone. During the course of the automated phone interview, applicants are matched with available positions. Only when the system identifies a good fit, is a face-to-face interview scheduled.

The client, working independently and with Executive Synergies, continues to evaluate the results of this new process in terms of initial time saved, retention of employees, and most important, selling effectiveness of employees. The process has saved the company more than $1 million annually, and it expects that further evaluation will identify even greater benefits. As a result, the client asked us to examine its call center operations. There, we analyzed and improved upon the human factors elements which contributed significantly to job satisfaction and effectiveness and resulted in considerable additional cost savings.