Seventy years ago, Steak n Shake started selling burgers and milkshakes with a special focus on customer service. By last year, service was suffering as turnover topped 200 percent. The company is working to turn things around, an effort that could save several million dollars a year and increase the rate of new-store openings.
Kenexa is screening about 60,000 candidates for Schering-Plough, which will ultimately hire between 400 and 500. It hopes to reduce time to hire, find more sales employees with drug-company experience, and save more than a million dollars.
The cost of employees leaving can be double or triple if they go to a competitor. As the economy continues to heat up, this will happen more often, and employers will have to defend themselves against competitors looking to raid their top performers.
Companies are giving employees debit cards to access funds for flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, transportation reimbursement plans and educational assistance programs. About 350,000 employees currently use debit cards from one vendor, MBI, and that number is expected to increase to more than a million by the first quarter of 2004.
The restaurant company has been pouring energy into retention, recognition and communication. Its motto, in fact, is "Great things start here." But the company acknowledges that an employment brand doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t match the experience of employees. The result is lower turnover, higher sales, increased earnings per share and better customer service at the drive-thru.
It’s a tough road to travel, littered with reluctant hiring managers and the need for cultural change. But VPs of human resources say that outsourcing what is arguably the most important workforce-management function can yield big financial results.
One of the world’s biggest recruiters, the U.S. Army, will spend $250 million to recruit just over 100,000 new soldiers in one year. Like many large businesses, the Army is walking a fine line between selling itself and giving realistic expectations.
Chili’s would love to grow its restaurant chain faster, but finding management talent is a challenge. VP Jan Barr has at least one solution to the problem. An online interviewing system is helping to manage résumé flow and identify stronger candidates earlier in the assessment process.