Customer Service Agent

Assessment improvements
Like many organizations, a world famous greeting card giant faced recruiting challenges with their workforce – particularly those on the front lines of customer service and inside sales.

In 2002 they had come to the conclusion they needed to improve their selection process. According to the Corporate Staffing Director, he had read several articles in the Electronic Recruiting News that made a lot of sense to him and seemed to speak to his needs. Authored by industrial psychologist Dr. Wendell Williams, Managing Director of Scientific Selection out of Atlanta, GA, the content of articles was around validated assessment systems that increased organizational performance.

“Every time I read them I was impressed by the practical nature of how he spoke about validity and results. The more I read, the more I became interested in his work. Our customer service and inside sales department wanted to initiate personality testing in the hiring process, but I knew from reading Dr. Williams’ work there were issues with this type of testing. So Wendell came out to talk about an assessment system and EEOC requirements. He presented to the staffing group, to line managers and to our legal department. Everyone understood what he was saying and liked it, so we decided to pilot a new systematic approach to finding just the right people to join our Customer Solutions organization.”

In early 2003, Dr. Williams spent time building the assessment system and training staffing team members in running the program. This allowed the company to do the testing themselves, administering a comprehensive test system including cognitive, simulation, behavior-based interviewing, keyboarding (practical), and motivational fit.

Although the company’s hiring needs have not been as high as their peak a few years ago, they are still using the system two years later and continue to measure results.

“We were happy we sought help from Dr. Williams”, stated the Director, “He is practical, smart, competent, and has a lot of years of experience. He’s particularly a good teacher, breaking things down so that everyone understands concepts. Very down to earth.”

He adds, “My opinion is pre-employment assessment tools if used properly can provide insight into candidates that you may not get from using behavior based interviews. We believe it gives you a higher probability of success, but not an absolute guarantee. We are still in the pilot stage but think the performance results from our new hires will validate the assessment approach.”

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