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HSBC Leverages the PeopleAnswers HR Solution to Increase Sales by 21%

  • Date:
    • Apr 07, 2008
  • Industry:
    • Financial Services

The PeopleAnswers' HR solution boosted HSBC's bottom line by improving employee performance and reducing turnover.

HSBC—“the world’s local bank”—is one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world. HSBC's London headquarters oversees an international network of over 10,000 offices in 83 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa.

Business Challenge

HSBC Account Executives in over 1,300 branch locations across the United States perform two functions vital to the company’s success: initiating loan sales and providing great customer service. An increase in performance for HSBC employees in this job position would result in millions of dollars of additional revenue, generate a higher quantity and quality of loans, and help fulfill the company’s strategic goal of being “the leading financial services company” (HSBC Investor Relations, Strategic Plan). HSBC’s commitment to improving the overall performance of new Account Executives led the human resource team to PeopleAnswers. The scalable behavioral assessment software provided by PeopleAnswers perfectly suited the hiring challenges of a worldwide financial institution.

The PeopleAnswers Solution

PeopleAnswers began by helping HSBC identify, define and quantify key performance metrics for successful Account Executives, which were distilled to two categories:

  • New Loan Sales Revenue: Total loan dollars sold over specific time periods
  • Overall Performance: The percentage of months that an Account Executive reached or exceeded sales target levels

Next, PeopleAnswers created an objective Performance Profile™ that clearly identified the unique behavioral traits that contribute most strongly and consistently to HSBC’s existing top performers based on the defined criteria above.

HSBC inserted PeopleAnswers’ web-based behavioral assessment early in the hiring process to automatically assess new candidates against their custom Performance Profile. Based on the assessment data, PeopleAnswers generated highly predictive insights regarding each candidate’s fit to HSBC’s Account Executive position.

In addition to offering an overall fit recommendation, the PeopleAnswers software generated online reports which provided hiring managers and recruiters in-depth evaluations of each candidate, including customized interview questions crafted to clarify perceived disconnects to the core job competencies.


The overall effectiveness of the PeopleAnswers solution was determined by comparing the performance of Account Executives “Recommended” by PeopleAnswers (those determined to be a good match for the Account Executive position based on the assessment results) vs. employees who were hired without taking the assessment (the “Not Assessed” group).

After documenting seven months of performance data, candidates “Recommended” by PeopleAnswers significantly outperformed “Not Tested” employees across all key performance criteria, including an advantage of nearly 27% in overall performance.

New Loan Sales of “Recommended” candidates:
  • 21.0% more sales in the first 210 days
  • 18.7% more sales in first 90 days
  • 14.2% more sales in first 30 days
HSBC Leverages the PeopleAnswers HR Solution to Increase Sales by 21%


Overall Performance of “Recommended” candidates:
  • 26.9 % higher performance in the first 210 days
  • 40.7 % higher performance in first 90 days
  • 85.0 % higher performance in first 30 days

The Bottom Line

HSBC was able to dramatically increase the performance of Account Executives by making better and more consistent hiring decisions using the PeopleAnswers HR solution.

Additionally, since the PeopleAnswers assessment was extremely effective in pre-screening new candidates against the Account Executive Performance Profile™ very early in the hiring process, HSBC reduced the required number of resume reviews and interviews (saving time and labor in the HR Department) while filling Account Executive positions with candidates proven to have “the right stuff”—the specific Behavioral DNA™ found in current top-performing employees.

HSBC Leverages the PeopleAnswers HR Solution to Increase Sales by 21%


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