New Reference Tool Could Save KHN More than $5 Million a Year in Turnover Costs

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A $35,000 investment could save Kettering Health Network more than $5 million a year by making the correct hire the first time, KHN Human Resources officials announced today.

A $35,000 investment could save Kettering Health Network more than $5 million a year by making the correct hire the first time, KHN Human Resources officials announced today.

“We figured these substantial savings based on a four-month pilot project where we avoided hiring 23candidates who were not right for the position,” said Sherri Herrick, manager of recruitment and workforce development at Kettering Medical Center. “Based on average wage rate, turnover cost for hiring these employees would be $1.75 million over the course of a year. If you project that out to include a whole year’s worth of inappropriate hires, you are talking about $5.25 million dollars in a year. ”

Utilizing a web-based tool called Pre-Hire 360® from SkillSurvey, Inc., Network entities are now able to ask job candidates to invite references to evaluate their past performance. These references are asked behaviorally-based questions about the candidate and their responses are recorded in a database. Answers are reported in aggregate form, so nobody has to fear legal retribution for a bad reference.

“Naturally, we were quick to appreciate how SkillSurvey’s automated solutions would allow us to outsource reference checking, thus freeing us up for other responsibilities,” said Joan Swenson, KHN’s chief human resources officer. “This product allows us to move to more fruitful reference assessment that also aligns with the same style questions conducted in our interview process. We’ll be able to provide hiring managers with comprehensive and comparative analyses of the candidates they want to interview—all in a fraction of the time it used to take simply to verify employment dates.”

Swenson adds that the anonymous, on-line format promotes more candid insights into a prospect’s past on-the-job performance. References rate the prospect in 18 different areas, with questions addressing the quality of employee interaction, productivity, capability and commitment to personal values. They rate the prospect on a 1 to 6 scale in these areas, with a 6 being the best.

In addition, they are asked if they played a hand in hiring the person and “Would you work with this person again in the future?” Lastly, references are asked to offer written comments on the prospect’s strengths and weaknesses. A composite rating is offered for managers’ responses, and there is also a composite rating for all references.

“Kettering Health Network is recognized by national rating associations and known to the community it serves as a progressive, top-quality, and caring institution,” adds Ray Bixler, CEO of Skill Survey. “Institutions can only achieve that level of success—not to mention sustain it—through careful employee selection. Our enterprise solutions are designed to ensure that organizations screen for the competencies and attitudes that define excellence on a daily basis. It is no coincidence that so many of our hospital clients are in Kettering’s league.”

KHN hospitals are using this tool for pre-screening and as a coaching tool. The product also provides a database of passive candidates made up of those giving references. “Roughly half of the references we asked said they would be interested in employment opportunities here,” Herrick said.

SkillSurvey serves hundreds of clients representing more than half a million candidates or reference providers in over 100 countries. In addition, the SkillSurvey Passive Candidate Compiler™ has over 500,000 active names within the community for clients to use for proactive sourcing of candidates. More information is available at


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Darica Ward
SkillSurvey, Inc.
610-947-6300 ext. 1225
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