Tag Archive: Retail

  1. Automotive Retailer Fuels Growth through Targeted Assessments and Stronger Onboarding

    Tasked with doubling its revenue over five years, company executives needed a better way to identify key players and get them up to speed quickly.

    Executive summary
    With aggressive growth as part of its five-year strategic plan, executives at this 70,000-employee automotive retailer needed a solution that was quick to implement and effective. They needed a better way to evaluate key sales and management employees for important characteristics, with the goal of moving key players from roles such as branch manager to area manager. The company chose Outmatch because the platform was easier to use and put into action than other vendors.

    Auto retailer uses data to make more accurate hires and improve onboarding
    Since the retailer needed to grow quickly, there was no time to waste. They already understood what made their key employees successful – what they needed was a more effective way to identify those traits. Outmatch built an assessment that spotlighted key characteristics and matched them with appropriate job competencies. The assessment data showed where the candidate or employee fit or didn’t fit within required job skills. It also revealed where development efforts would be needed to succeed in the role.

    What did the retailer like most about the solution? It liked that the assessments were quick and easy to use. New hires only had to complete the assessment once and then HR staff could evaluate fit for different roles (comparing their results to multiple profiles). Management was also trained to show the value of these assessments – how they could link them to growth and best practices. Hiring managers could now use this data to make more consistent and objective hiring decisions and provide candidates with better onboarding guidance post-hire.

    Targeted reports assist with selection and development too
    Once the retailer zeroed in on a promising candidate, they interviewed the candidate using the Outmatch report which included targeted interview questions based on assessment results. This interview guide enabled hiring managers to quickly understand the candidate’s strengths and potential weaknesses and dig into any areas of concern during the interview. Then, if candidates were hired, a report was generated that gave hiring managers feedback on how the candidate’s innate characteristics aligned with the required job competencies.

    The bottom line? The retailer improved hiring speed and accuracy. Onboarding also benefited because management had a better understanding of strengths and development areas. Now, this auto retailer is poised for smart growth over the long-term.

  2. Are You Asking the Right Interview Questions?

    How do you really get to know a candidate during the hiring process? You’ve got a small amount of time to make a big investment, and depending on your process, you may only have one or two opportunities to talk with a candidate over the phone or face-to-face. To get the most out of these brief interactions, you have to be smart about the questions you ask.

    We’ve all heard that behavioral interviewing is more effective than asking hypothetical questions, but why?

    Avoid getting vague or generic answers

    Hypothetical questions put candidates in a future scenario where they can imagine ideal outcomes. They’ll tell you what they think you want to hear, and they won’t provide details about how they’ve worked through similar situations in the past because the hypothetical scenario hasn’t actually happened—and it doesn’t involve real people or real events.

    To see the difference, here are two interview questions centered around customer service:

    Hypothetical Q: “Tell me how you would handle an upset customer.”

    Behavioral Q: “Tell me about a time when a customer was unreasonable. What happened? What made the customer upset? How did you handle it? What was the end result?”

    As you can see, you’ll get much more insight when you ask for a specific example rather than an open-ended future scenario. Plus, when you put a candidate on the spot like this, you’re more likely to get honest answers about challenges and outcomes.

    Probe for more details

    When you probe for more details, like in the behavioral example above, you can quickly tell if the situation is real, and then tap into the decision-making process that led the candidate down a particular path. You can also ask what they learned from the situation. Here’s an example of how you can use probes to dig deeper:

    Q: “Tell me about a past performance review where you received positive feedback and then tell me about one where you received negative feedback.”

    Additional probes: “What have you done with that feedback? What can you still do to improve?”

    As the candidate responds, listen for subtleties around attitudes that may have influenced their behavior. Are they bitter about a negative incident, or did they use it as an opportunity to learn and grow? Do they blame an organization or a customer, or hold themselves accountable? Overall, did they handle the situation the way you would expect your employees to handle it?

    Ask about the assessment experience

    If you use job fit assessments, the candidate’s results will include behavioral interview questions and probes based on important success factors for the job. For example, if you’re hiring for a customer service role, you need to be sure the candidate has a strong sense of urgency and can be accommodating and friendly.

    It’s a also good idea to ask the candidate about their experience with the assessment. Here are some questions you might ask:

    Q: “What did you think about the assessment and have you ever taken one before?”

    Q: “How do you think you did on the assessment? We all have developmental areas we’re working to improve in our career. What areas do you think you scored lower on or what areas do you think you need to improve?”

    The first question will help you understand if the candidate felt anxious or overanalyzed any items while taking the assessment, and the second will help you determine if the candidate has a clear understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses.

    The answers you get in an interview can lead you closer to choosing the right person (or the wrong person) for the role. So make every question count!

  3. Success Beyond the Four Walls

    The transition from general manager to multi-unit manager is especially challenging, and sometimes even your best GMs aren’t ready for it.

    In this article, learn how to select the right GMs for multi-unit management. Then, listen to our webinar for an even deeper dive into the traits, competencies, and critical experiences that lead to success in multi-unit.

    Interested in learning more? Check out our other HR Insights webinars!

    GM to MUM blog teaser

  4. 7 Customer Service Traits You Can’t Teach

    Representative. Representative. REPRESENTATIVE!

    How many times have you shouted this at the phone? By the time you actually reach a person, you’re exhausted and testy. A good customer rep can quickly calm you down, but a bad one can make the situation even worse.

    According to a Gartner report, 89% of companies plan to boost their customer service in 2016, a dramatic increase from 58% in 2015. But hiring customer service reps is a tricky business. You want people that are “trainable,” who can quickly learn about your products and your company. But you also need people who have some natural tendencies too.

    For example, a good customer service rep can:

    Be Patient

    This trait tops the list. Not only is patience important to customers, who often reach out to support when they’re confused and frustrated, but it’s also important to the business. Great service beats fast service.

    Keep Their Cool

    The best customer service reps will keep a customer from tearing their hair out. It’s their job to be a rock and to stay calm under pressure.

    Handle Surprises

    Not all problems are going to be found in the customer service handbook. People are unpredictable, and a good customer service rep can think on their feet.

    Have Great Acting Skills

    Some people will never be happy and will work to drag others down with them. A good customer service rep won’t let this happen.

    Be Subtly Persuasive

    Experienced customer service reps find opportunities to broaden the conversation when people who are curious about a product as opposed to having a problem with it. This is where the power of persuasion comes in.

    Be Tenacious

    A great work ethic and a willingness to do what needs to be done (and not take shortcuts) is a key skill when providing the kind of service that people remember and tell their friends about. It’s about going that extra mile for the customer.

    Be Willing to Learn

    Those who don’t seek to improve what they do, whether it’s learning a new process or expanding a skill set, will get left behind, especially as companies invest more and more in their customer service departments.

    Learn more about predicting success in customer service.