Focus on: Human Resources


RadioShack has improved its hiring decisions chainwide with the use of a behavioral assessment solution. The Web-based solution is designed not only to make the overall hiring process more efficient, but also to improve performance and reduce turnover by helping to identify the candidate who is the best fit for a given position and is thus more likely to perform better on the job. 


RadioShack has deployed the technology, from PeopleAnswers, to assist with hiring for positions in its corporate offices, as well as its nearly 5,800 company-operated stores and kiosks across the United States and Puerto Rico. The retailer uses the solution to prescreen, assess and hire candidates for sales associates, store and district managers and corporate jobs. 


With RadioShack attracting an estimated 1 million job candidates per year, the PeopleAnswers solution has the scale to evaluate candidates as needed, 24/7, and also to integrate with job boards and track candidates’ progress through the application and hiring process. Managers can also use PeopleAnswers as a guide for interview content.


RadioShack started using the program some 18 months ago, initially to help in the selection and hiring of its district managers nationwide. As the chain got close to ramping up its hiring for holiday 2010, it decided to extend its use of the solution and use it to hire its store managers and sales associates as well, establishing a consistent hiring platform chainwide. 


What made the chain decide to roll out the solution for all positions? 


“Success in the tool’s ability to help find ‘best fit’ employees and act as an applicant tracking system,” said Jill Jaynes, senior director of human resources, RadioShack Corp., Fort Worth, Texas.


The PeopleAnswers assessments, which are generated instantly once a job candidate completes the online behavioral questionnaire, include four recommendation levels to assist in the hiring selection process. Each level reflects how well the candidate’s score matches established index parameters related to the open position’s Performance Profile. 


“We start by creating a customized Performance Profile for every position within a company,” explained Ira Grossman, COO, PeopleAnswers, Dallas. “These profiles, which identify the behaviors that top performers in specific positions in the company share, provide a highly predictive model for analyzing who will be the best fit for the positions. Our software compares the behavioral DNA of the job applicant against the customized Performance Profile to quickly identify a company’s next top performers.”


The system has been well received by RadioShack store managers. 


“It helps managers stay organized, which helps their productivity,” Jaynes added. 


RadioShack store managers can log in to the system and locate quality candidates who have applied directly to their location or another location in their general area. They can identify who is in the pipeline, and move candidates who are the best fit with the performance profile to the top of the queue. 


It is equally easy for potential applicants. 


“The system is very intuitive. The candidates access it through any of our job postings, as well as RadioShack.com,” Jaynes said. 


As to whether the solution has helped RadioShack reduce turnover, it is too early to tell, according to Jaynes. (It typically takes 12 to 18 months to get real, quantitative results.)


Brown Shoe has been using the software longer than RadioShack. In a three-year retention study (2007 to 2009) of workers at the footwear chain, turnover reduction was confirmed in three categories:


  • At the 30-day interval, “Recommended” employees posted a 33.62% lower turnover rate;

  • At the 90-day interval, the “Recommended” group had a 13.52% lower turnover rate; and

  • Overall, “Recommended” employees posted an 11.83% lower turnover rate.


mwilson@chainstoreage.com