Hertz journey to excellence with Christine Schwendemann #KellyTSS

I’m live blogging from the Kelly Talent Strategy Summit in Frankfurt. Schwendemann is the first speaker, and is the manager of global assessment services. The business is going through a process of change to meet the needs of the modern, mobile world where customers value convenience and speed above all else. Changing the business means a global requirement for a different type of hire. Over the last few years, talent management has moved from being local in each country, to a global approach. This encompasses Organisational Development, Organisation Effectiveness, Global Talent Acquisition, Global Assessment Services, Global Performance and other “people” business units.
Schwendemann is responsible for facilitating assessments in the recruitment process around the world. She is quick to point out that assessments are not the complete solution, but are a useful indicator to fit and future performance. Hertz have tests they can apply for all positions in the business, with employees completing on-going assessments throughout the employee lifecycle. This starts with selection and moves on in to performance management and career development.
360 degree surveys look at the past, psychometric testing looks at today, and the assessment tests look to the future. Hertz outsource this function, with tests linked to the competency model of the business. An assessment is a combination of tests such as the Hogan Suite, cognitive ability tests etc, as well as role plays and practical exercises. The tests are integrated in to the ATS (ICIM’s), with each applicant taking a basic test at application point.
Success is tracked by factors like retention, performance etc to identify success and change the assessments accordingly. It is all about data and review. The immediate impact of introducing these assessments globally has been a significant reduction in 90 day turnover. When the pre-hire test was introduced, customer satisfaction went up for recommended hires, and down where the assessment indicated that candidates should not be hired. There was an increase in sales performance by 11.4% after the assessment was introduced, and staff turnover was reduced by 46.2%, with an estimated turnover saving of $1.41Mn. Impressive numbers.
Schwendemann shared the story of the merger between Dollar and Thrifty following acquisition. The plan was to announce a new structure within 3 months, and to treat the new employees to the group the same as Hertz employees, with equal opportunity in the restructured company. All employees in the new and old business completed assessments to build a profile for matching against the roles in the business, measured against the agreed competencies.
All hiring managers get a simple Insights report in order to compare candidates against the same criteria. The key to success is involving all the stake holders from the start, with the participant playing the biggest part. Development meetings and plans are agreed at a three way meeing with the line manager, and HR acting as the supporter/facilitator. All assessments are followed up with a structured feedback call after seven days, followed up by the development meeting.
What Hertz have learned so far is that information on the tests, measures and the process need to be very transparent, with an emphasis on development rather than selection. The roles and responsibilities in the development plan need to be clearly defined, with good support and training for negative results and scores. Feedback and coaching needs to be day to day.
It has been an interesting journey, to centralise what good employees look like, and how they will perform in the future. I will be watching the continued role out of this initiative with great interest.