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YMCA of Dallas Shifts Mindset and Uses ZRHS Tools to Reach Hiring Goals

The YMCA is one of the most recognizable community-based organizations in the world. Their model is to establish affiliates such as the YMCA of Dallas throughout the U.S. and internationally to serve local communities by developing a healthy “body, mind, and spirit.”

The challenge for Suzanne Goswick, the SVP/Chief HR Officer for YMCA of Dallas, was to implement a consistent hiring process across all 22 Dallas branches and hold hiring managers accountable for their hiring decisions.

Why was this important? Each YMCA affiliate is run like its own business with roles that include CEO, Senior Vice President, Executive Director, Chief Human Resources Officer, other full-time staff, and part-time roles. Across the 22 branches, the YMCA of Dallas has approximately 2,500 employees at their peak during the summer season and $72 million in annual revenue. That means considerable oversight is needed to effectively manage each arm of the business.

To help manage the hiring process, the YMCA of Dallas implemented ZERORISK HR tools to reduce turnover costs from hiring the wrong candidates and grow their revenue by hiring the best candidates.

How the YMCA of Dallas Achieved Their Business Goals

YMCA of Dallas began using ZERORISK HR tools in 2006, initially to help hire full-time staff members. They used a pre-employment assessment and learned how to ask behavioral interview questions to identify the best candidates for each job opening.

Then, Suzanne Goswick started to see other advantages to using the ZRHS tools. Instead of limiting their usage to full-time staff openings, the organization needed to identify employees who could sell memberships to help drive revenue growth.

Here’s what happened: each employee that was responsible for memberships completed an assessment and Suzanne discovered that some individuals did not have confidence required for the role. While these individuals could perform the task of selling, it took a lot of energy and often led to demotivation because they were not a natural fit for the role. The employees became frustrated and eventually quit.

Suzanne realized they needed to hire individuals who matched the competencies of a salesperson who had confidence and could communicate with prospective members. This shift in the hiring process helped the YMCA of Dallas achieve their business goal of selling more memberships.

This measure of success led to the next step of developing a consistent hiring process for all positions across their branches.

How Do You Develop a Consistent Hiring Process for 22 Branches?

After seeing results from shifting the approach to selling memberships, Suzanne set out to implement a consistent interview and hiring approach in every Dallas branch. There were three main objectives to the implementation strategy:

  • Develop a repeatable process to measure the success or failure of each branch’s hiring decisions.

  • Use the metrics to hold hiring managers accountable for their hiring decisions.

  • Reduce turnover by establishing the benchmarks of top performers in each role to compare to candidates.

To achieve these objectives, Suzanne progressively rolled out a hiring process in select YMCA of Dallas branch locations.

Interviewers were held accountable for using the assessment results of candidates as an interview guide to weed out bad candidates.

  • Why was this important? Suzanne calculated $8,000 in cost for a wrong hire, eating into profits.

Hiring managers were held accountable for whether their hiring decisions aligned with the assessment results and behavioral interview answers.

  • Why was this important? Hiring managers had inherent biases hiring the person they were most comfortable with versus the best candidate for the job.

Executive directors were only hired if they had clarity in vital competencies such as intuition & empathy and self view.

  • Why was this important? Because the YMCA is a community, they could not hire executive directors who lacked relationship-building skills or were too direct with staff and volunteers. The wrong executive director could negatively impact the culture, leading to increased turnover throughout the branch.

Using the assessment results to guide the interview process, the YMCA of Dallas was able to develop a consistent method in these select branches to reduce turnover and positively impact the company culture.

“It is solid data. Out of all the assessments that I’ve seen out there, this is the one I like the most,” says Suzanne Goswick. “It gives me more information about the person that they cannot fake.”

A Growing Partnership: YMCA of Dallas & ZERORISK HR

ZERORISK HR is proud of our long-standing relationship with the YMCA of Dallas. We are excited to be part of the organization’s growth from hiring full-time staff members to implementing a process to hire for all 22 branches.

We believe that our working relationship has positively impacted the local Dallas area by supporting the Y in their mission to serve the body, mind, and spirit of residents. We look forward to seeing how their organization continues to grow in the years to follow.

To find out how ZERORISK HR can also support your company or organization -- no matter what stage of your hiring process -- contact our team today to discuss your specific needs and challenges.

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