Silverado Implements Behavioral Assessments and Increases Customer Satisfaction

Learn how incorporating behavioral assessments into the hiring process has had a positive impact on several aspects of their business.

About Silverado At Home - Dallas Branch

Location: Dallas, TX

Serves: Dallas and surrounding areas

Overview: Silverado At Home is part of Silverado whose mission is to give life to those affected by Alzheimer’s and other memory impairing diseases. Silverado’s mission is carried out through the services and programs of Silverado At Home, Silverado Senior Living, and Silverado Hospice.

Employees: 49

HealthcareSource Solutions: Staff AssessmentSM

Working as an in-home caregiver for senior citizens is demanding. This type of job requires individuals who are compassionate, skilled at geriatric care, and able to handle unpredictable situations. Finding and hiring people with this unique combination of skills can be a challenge for home care organizations. Many like Silverado At Home have discovered that incorporating behavioral assessments into the hiring process can identify higher quality candidates which results in higher customer satisfaction.

Conventional interviews don’t guarantee organizational fit
Silverado At Home provides in-home caregivers for patients with memory impairing diseases, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.  It’s essential that employees can work flexible schedules, including overnight assignments, and are adaptable when faced with challenging patient behaviors. Each year, Silverado At Home’s Dallas branch hires approximately 20 new caregivers. When Office Manager/Recruiter Jared Wright first started in his recruiting role at Silverado At Home, the organization only used traditional applications and interviews to evaluate candidates.

Finding the best candidates based solely on interviews was a challenge. “During interviews, people would show their best face and give answers that they thought I wanted to hear,” Wright said. It was difficult to ask the right questions that would demonstrate whether a candidate really had the values and skills that aligned with the job requirements, as well as with Silverado’s focus on customer satisfaction. An unfortunate side effect was that the quality of new hires wasn’t always as high as Silverado At Home would have liked.

Silverado At Home’s parent company decided to take steps to address this situation and evaluated behavioral assessment solutions. It selected HealthcareSource Staff AssessmentSM and rolled the product out across all of its divisions. With Staff Assessment in place, Silverado At Home’s Dallas branch began using a more structured, behavioral-based interview process to identify top candidates in July 2009.

Greater insight into candidates before interviews occur
When potential caregivers come to the Silverado At Home office to fill out an application, they also complete an online assessment which focuses on competencies like work ethic, customer focus, teamwork, compassion, openness to learning, valuing diversity, energy, multi-tasking, as well as flexibility and adaptability.

With Staff Assessment, Wright gains valuable insights into candidates before the interview occurs. Because applicants don’t feel under pressure when they fill out the assessment, they tend to give more candid answers than in an interview situation. The way candidates react to the assessment is telling. Most respond positively to the assessments. “Candidates often say that the questions really make them think about themselves and their behaviors in more depth. Those individuals frequently turn out to be the best applicants,” Wright noted. On the other hand, a few people complain about having to take the assessment. Those individuals are unlikely to have the competencies Silverado is looking for, so they are eliminated from the interview process.

More efficient and effective interviews
Staff Assessment offers an online dashboard that clearly displays which applicants are likely to be top performers based on scores related to job fit, such as job performance, retention, and service excellence. “The user interface is very simple to use and understand. It helps me evaluate how well candidates fit with positions. That information helps me decide whether a candidate should move to the interview phase of the hiring process,” Wright said.

The structured interview guide provided by Staff Assessment also provides a consistent set of questions which are tailored to each position. Follow-up questions are provided which are designed to probe more deeply on competencies where the candidate had a low score. According to Wright, asking a consistent set of questions enables him to compare candidates more easily. Before using Staff Assessment, Wright spent 30 to 45 minutes on every interview. Without the assessment results, it took that long to ascertain whether each candidate had the competencies necessary to succeed in the job and shared the values that are important to Silverado At Home. Now interview time is used more strategically. Only the best qualified candidates are interviewed and the custom questions generated by Staff Assessment help Wright focus on areas of concern, based on the assessment results. In the interviews that are conducted, the percentage of quality candidates interviewed is much higher than before Staff Assessment

Higher quality staff translates into better customer service
For Silverado At Home’s Dallas branch, incorporating behavioral assessments into the hiring process has had a positive impact on several aspects of the business. Wright feels that the quality of the caregivers he hires has improved significantly since he started using Staff Assessment. “Staff Assessment increased my productivity as a recruiter and more importantly, we get more compliments on our staff than ever before. Hiring quality caregivers means that we deliver higher levels of customer satisfaction,” Wright said.

When asked what advice he had for other home health and long-term care organizations that are considering a behavioral assessment solution, Wright’s comment was “don’t underestimate how greatly Staff Assessment can improve your customer service.”