Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hiring Better Employees Produces Better Results

23.01.2009
As resources become tighter, managers in the retail service sector are searching for ways to be more efficient and one place they should look is their hiring practices. University of South Carolina study provides hard evidence that hiring better people contributes to better store effectiveness in terms of store sales figures.

It’s easier said than done. The real challenge is using reliable practices to hire the better employees.

As resources become tighter, managers in the retail service sector are searching for ways to be more efficient and one place they should look is their hiring practices, says a University of South Carolina industrial-organizational psychologist.

Rob Ployhart, an associate professor of management in USC’s Moore School of Business, and his colleagues, Jeff Weekley of Kenexa and Jase Ramsey at USC, have completed a study providing hard evidence that hiring better people contributes to better store effectiveness in terms of sales figures.

“Intuitively, every hiring manager knows that employing better employees is going to lead to better results,” Ployhart said

“The reality, though, is that many retailers maintain a certain amount of skepticism about the value of investing in frontline service employees. With high turnover rates, a problem many HR managers face, and few apparent differences among applicants, many organizations simply opt to fill their sales and clerical staffs with enough warm bodies to meet their staffing demands,” he said.

The researchers set out to provide proof to HR managers that hiring better people can increase sales revenue. Their study will soon be published in the Academy of Management Journal.

Working with a large retail department store chain headquartered in the United States, they examined 114,198 employees across the country.

Employment applications and individual test scores were analyzed using scientifically proven practices to determine job-related knowledge, skills and abilities of the employees. The tests were based primarily on personality, situational judgments and experience and provided an indication of whether applicants possessed the abilities to perform the retail job.

Ployhart noted that when it comes to making sound personnel selections, industrial-organizational psychologists have a proven track record of developing and assessing employment tests. “Their knowledge is based on evidence and scientific principles,” he added.

Unfortunately, he said, little of this evidence-based knowledge makes its way to HR practitioners, who, too often, use hiring procedures that are not scientifically valid. “However, the retail chain in our study used scientifically valid hiring practices,” he said.

In the study, stores with a greater percentage of employees with higher test scores outperformed those stores with workers who had lower scores.

In fact, stores with the higher skilled employees averaged about $4,000 of sales per employee per quarter more than those stores with employees whose test scores ranked lowest. That’s an average growth of 3-5 percent per quarter, which accumulates over time and can be quite significant, noted Ployhart.

All stores have good sales people but there must be a critical mass of them to make a real difference, says Ployhart. “Having good people throughout the store increases the likelihood of customers returning and spending money. There is also the positive promotion of the store through word-of-mouth testimonies from satisfied customers.”

One of the keys is to match sales people with the job. That requires knowing the characteristics of the position and then putting the right people into that area. “No matter what methods a store employs to hire its employees, it is important to match people to the demands of the job as well as the goals and realities of the organization,” he said.

So, how do hiring managers improve the hiring of frontline retail service associates?

“It can be done by using proven recruiting, selection and retention tools,” said Ployhart, adding that though it may be more costly than many of the tests on the market, it very likely will be an investment that will reap dividends. Moreover, he points out the results can be measured in dollars and cents figures so that HR managers will have hard facts proving the value of their selection procedures. That, in turn, can be convincing to top management.

“Anything that will improve the profit margin is something they understand. So placing greater emphasis into the selection process can result in the hiring of higher caliber employees and that means better sales figures,” said Ployhart.

“That’s the main message of our study,” he added.

For more information, contact Ployhart at the University of South Carolina at 803-777-5903.

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) is an international group of more than 7,000 industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists whose member’s study and apply scientific principles concerning workplace productivity, motivation, leadership and engagement. SIOP’s mission is to enhance human well being and performance in organizational and work settings by promoting the science, practice and teaching of industrial-organizational psychology. For more information about SIOP, including Media Resources, which lists nearly 2,000 experts in more than 100 topic areas.

Ployhart | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.siop.org/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>