Welcome to the July 26, 2006 of The Total View
published by Success Performance Solutions, Written by Ira S. Wolfe
1. Hiring the Right Employees:
Union National Banks on Success Performance Solutions
The following column was featured in the 2006 Central Penn Business Journal Profiles, published in July 2006.
When a landmark Lancaster County bank decided to create a branch unique to its market, it called on Success Performance Solutions to help select employees who could deliver an above-average outcome.
Dr. Ira S. Wolfe, Founder and President of SPS, and Marilyn Walker, Director of the SPS Assessment Center, met with leaders of Union National Community Bank and helped them identify the core competencies that would be required to work at the bank’s new Gold Café, a coffee shop that also happens to be a bank.
UNCB is cultivating new ground with Gold Café, and it needed to have the right people in place when the café’s doors opened. So competitive is the regional banking industry, UNCB could not afford to make any hiring mistakes.
SPS is a workforce consulting firm that specializes in helping employers to make predictable hiring decisions. Using its proprietary CriteriaOne® assessment tools, SPS custom designed a recruitment and screening strategy that not only attracted a wave of fresh applicants but incumbent bank employees, as well. “Our whole process ties people to a business strategy,” Wolfe says. To qualify, the café employees had to fit the job, the team and the new culture.
The first step was to brainstorm with UNCB leaders and create a description of a Gold Café employee. R. Michael Mohn, senior vice president of organizational development at UNCB, says with Wolfe’s guidance, the bank identified five critical skills: communication skills; human relations skills; the ability to think on one’s feet; team work; and sales ability. The goal? Combine good customer service and a great cup of coffee to create a banking experience like none other. The result: Grow the bank’s customer base and
capture more of the region’s market share in deposit, loan and investment revenue.
The ultimate challenge for UNCB was to find people who fit the job and the new culture, without alienating valued current UNCB employees, says Wolfe. “UNCB realizes good customer service is not just about being friendly, it’s about getting results,” Wolfe says. “If a top performer can get the job done now, will he be able to get it done when the job or environment changes?”
SPS assessments are “not based on personality alone,” he says. “Our reports describe how an employee would use his personality to get results.” Besides helping UNCB identify the critical skills required of a “financial barista,” SPS helped write the interview questions.
Mohn says he likes the CritieriaOne® assessment model because it can be used in the upfront hiring process, as well as in employee evaluations and succession management. “Because we hired on a specific set of competencies, we can evaluate ongoing performance and growth on those competencies,” Mohn says. He adds the model can be expanded to all positions at the bank and can work as a career-development tool for UNCB employees.
Of Gold Café’s seven employees, four were hired internally, says Mohn. The café opened in April. So far, he says, the team has met expectations in delivering exceptional customer service, as well as brewing new profit for the bank.
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2. Perfect Labor Storm Alerts #556 to #559
Fact #556: Florida, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are the oldest states where 17.6 percent, 15.6 percent, 15.3 percent of the population is elderly respectively. (Source: Census Bureau, National Institute on Aging)
Fact #557: Three quarters of the 10.5 million older Americans living alone in 2003 were women. (Source: Census Bureau, National Institute on Aging)
Fact #558: In 1960, just 1.6 percent of older men and 1.5 percent of older women were divorced. By 2003, 7 percent of senior men and 8.6 percent of senior women were divorced and not remarried. (Source: Census Bureau, National Institute on Aging)
Fact #559: The percentage of elderly holding at least a bachelor’s degree rose from 3.4 percent in 1950 to 17.4 percent in 2003, and is expected to top 25 percent by 2030. (Source: Census Bureau, National Institute on Aging)
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3. Customer Service Skills
Customer Service Skills Profile
This easy-to-use assessment solves one of your biggest headaches in customer service – ensuring consistency in your staff’s performance.
How? By giving employee a clear picture of their unique strengths and areas they need to work on – and the motivation to acquire all the skills of an all-around good customer service giver.
Employees can rate themselves in seven competency areas widely considered to be critical to the ability to provide exemplary service:
Temperament / disposition
Engaging in joint problem solving
Building warmth and empathy
Learn more about Customer Service Skills Profile:
4. Quotes from Hire Authorities
We’re under-investing in the business because of limitations of hiring…..we are unquestionably not getting the quantity of top applicants that the company seeks.
Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, February 9, 2005
5. NEW! Basic Office Skills Testing
Employment tests are an important part of the hiring process, as they objectively assess proficiency and give employers quick results. Good testing software will help eliminate guesswork and ensure that you find the right person for the job.
We are pleased to introduce an office skills testing package which includes assessments to evaluate ten basic office skills. Our testing software makes it easy to determine a candidate’s abilities in the areas of typing, data entry (both numeric and alpha numeric), ten key, grammar, basic math, proofreading, vocabulary, filing and spelling.
In addition to our standard tests, we also offer testing on MS Office products such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook and others.
If you wish to purchase our office skills tests, you may either purchase software for PCs or buy them online, on a pay-as-you-go or unlimited usage.
More about Office Skills Tests:
Success Performance Solutions 2137 Embassy Drive
Suite 218 Lancaster, PA 17603
Ira S. Wolfe Copyright 2006 – All Rights Reserved. Reprints and other distribution by permission only.