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PeopleAnswers Newsletter Fall 2010

Date: Sep 27, 2010

PeopleAnswers: Reduce Turnover, Increase Performance, Employee Coaching

Facing High-Volume Hiring? Learn How Retailers Do It

How One Retailer Increased Retention While Growing Sales

News Bulletins

New Clients

Three Tips Top Retailers Follow for High-Volume Hiring

Ten companies, a subset of one industry, have half a million-plus candidates vying for 94,000 jobs in three weeks this month. Most HR teams would shudder at the thought of this volume.

Retailers including Belk, Brookstone, Macy’s, Michaels and RadioShack project these numbers for an optimistic 2010 holiday shopping season. According to The Wall Street Journal, department stores and teen retailers have recently seen sales trending up, and are planning for this upswing to continue. The National Retail Federation reports a 1.1% increase in 2009 holiday sales, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 501,000 holiday hires for the industry in 2008, a 35% increase after a dramatic drop in 2007.

According to Gabriel Goncalves, CEO of PeopleAnswers, retailers are pros at hiring a lot of people fast. “The industry’s competitive nature makes hiring a critical process. If they don’t hire the right people, they don’t meet their revenue goals.”

Without a streamlined hiring process and help from technology, retailers could never handle the volume much less hire the right people. At some point, most companies face a period where they need large-volume or fast hiring. Everyone can learn from these retailers who face this scenario at least annually.

Here are three tips these retailers follow that apply to any industry.

1. Centralize the Hiring Process with One Assessment Tool

To handle the influx of applicants, select a web-based tool that scales to evaluate candidates as needed, 24/7, integrates with job boards, and tracks candidates’ progress through the application and hiring process. Managers should also be able to use it as a guide for interview content, for employee development, and as the company’s applicant tracking system.

2. Identify Performance Profiles

Online assessment tools will transform that pile of applications to a report of the top candidates. The right online tool will recommend candidates with characteristics that closely reflect your most successful employees.

The tool should have the capability to build custom performance profiles for each role using incumbents already active in the role. Retail—and every industry—looks for employees that will be productive, happy and successful in their jobs. For example, the skills and behaviors needed to sell apparel and electronics are different, similar to a nurse who is most successful in labor and delivery but less effective in a hectic emergency room environment.

“What we like about PeopleAnswers is the unique methodology they use to identify the factors to be successful in a position,” said Joe Gage, VP HR, Hospital Operations, Tenet Healthcare.

3. Hire Recommended Candidates

Once a company determines the ideal skills and behaviors for a particular role, the technology should scientifically match job candidates with the position that best corresponds with their existing traits and tendencies. The hiring technology should then recommend candidates that best match characteristics for each position.

“The reality is…those who do well on the assessment do well for us in the real world. Bottom line,” said Elliott Stephenson, senior director, HR, Ben E. Keith Foods.

Businesses count on a proven process and technology that will produce happy, productive employees, higher revenues and better customer service—goals all industries hope to achieve.
“We have been able to really raise the bar on the talent,” said Jill Jaynes, senior director, HR, RadioShack.

Hair Salons Trim Turnover While Increasing Sales of Products and Services

Ratner is the largest family-owned and operated chain of hair salons in the United States, managing salons in 16 states and employing more than 12,000 stylists. Its diverse brands include Hair Cuttery®, BUBBLES®, Salon Cielo and Spa®, ColorWorks®, and Salon Plaza®.

Quality hair salons, like those managed by Ratner, are staffed with talented stylists who are often on speed dial in their clients' cell phones. Repeat customers ask for their favorite stylists by name. Tonia Patt, director of associate recruiting and relations at Ratner, knows these familiar relationships are made possible—and strengthened—when stylists stay with their salons over the long term.

[Check out Ratner's HR strategy]

[View Tonia Patt's video]

News Bulletins

Macy's, Michael's, and Sutherland Global Services Headline PA Client Conference with HR Marketplace Challenges

On Thursday, October 21, Gabriel Goncalves, PeopleAnswers CEO, kicks off the fifth annual PA Client Conference. Bob Beaudine, bestselling author and CEO of an executive search firm, then shares the "Power of WHO" and Judy Coffee-Headquist, Mike Dossier and the team from Sutherland Global Services highlight the challenges of a global HR marketplace. Click the link below for the full agenda and other special guest speakers like Macy's and Michaels.

[Click for conference info]

Register Now for the October 21-22 Conference

Some of the brightest stars in the HR industry are quickly filling up a large block of rooms at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas. With compelling speakers and topics such as Bob Beaudine, "Quality Sourcing" and three learning tracks to choose from, this year's conference is sure to be the best yet.

[Click to register]

New Reporting Options, Custom InterviewGuides, and a Fresh User Interface in Upcoming Releases

The PA crew continues its quest to build the ultimate hiring machine (to borrow a line from a certain luxury car company). One of several eye-popping enhancements you will soon experience is the new user interface for every screen you use in the normal course of business.

New User Interface: PeopleAnswers will soon unveil an all new look that takes advantage of some of the latest web technologies and adds several practical enhancements. It effectively makes the end-user experience within PeopleAnswers more friendly than it has ever been (this upgrade does not affect the candidate experience). For example, you will be able to define and personalize how many positions or candidates appear per page rather than being locked into a fixed setting. You will have intuitive “mouse-overs” to help define key information rather than a text box or pop-up, and you will be able to get more context-sensitive help. (Winter Release, January 2011.)

Custom Interview Guides: This new feature was developed in close cooperation with our Client Advisory Council and provides extensive flexibility in the construction of online and pdf formatted interview content. You can now integrate all or a subset of PeopleAnswers interview questions with your own company specific questions and interview instructions. Enhanced technology allows users to control all content in the interview guide, including an easy-to-use and comprehensive scoring model to establish the risk associated with your candidate interaction. With all the available options for this module, PeopleAnswers is offering open training classes via webinar to review this exciting new feature. Please contact your Client Account Manager for online training or to request a dedicated session for your organization. (Fall Release, October 2011.)

New Intelligent Reporting Platform: This release will include an all new system to fully replace and upgrade the existing PeopleAnswers Performance Dashboard and to manage all of the metrics built around your candidates and users. Using this new system, you will be able to quickly create and view your critical talent management content and establish administrators with ad-hoc reporting control. This new platform will be unveiled at the Client Conference on Friday, October 22nd with a dedicated training program on the agenda at 1pm. (Fall Release, October 2011.)

PA Blog Tackles Common Hiring Issues

When PA executives wanted a creative outlet for their musings about the assessment/ATS/HR industry, the PeopleAnswers Blog was born. Subscribe to the RSS feed or receive email updates by visiting the blog and clicking the appropriate link in the right-hand column.

[Click to read the blog]

Stay Up-to-Date with PeopleAnswers on Facebook

Be the first to receive notice of enhancements, case studies, white papers, HR events, and other activities going on at PA by "like"-ing our official Facebook page.

[Click to view the PA Facebook site]

New Clients


PeopleAnswers is a leading provider of next generation web-based assessment and work force optimization technologies that maximize the potential of every hire and talent decision to reduce turnover and hiring costs, streamline staffing processes, and improve employee performance. Learn more about PeopleAnswers by visiting our website or by contacting us at or 800-915-3243.

Copyright © PeopleAnswers, Inc. All Rights Reserved. PeopleAnswers, Behavioral DNA and Performance Profiles are trademarks of
PeopleAnswers, Inc.


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Clients Speak...

Enabling Data-Based Hiring Decisions

Liz Stump

Recruiters and hiring managers use data to streamline the selection process

Industry: Financial Services

New Clients

PeopleAnswers, Inc. All Rights Reserved. PeopleAnswers, Behavioral DNA & Performance Profiles are trademarks of PeopleAnswers, Inc.