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Nov 15, 2016
by James

How Standard Interview Guides Helped a $1B Manufacturing Company Reduce Time-To-Fill By 2 Weeks

Posted in Interview Guides

HireBar - HR Manager Manufacturing Plant - Md
If you’ve ever worked in HR for a large manufacturing company, then you know how hard it can be to standardize processes across multiple plants.
“Corporate” is good at driving initiatives down to the plants, but usually do a poor job of adapting programs to the needs of manufacturing employees.

As a result, you end up tweaking the diversity training program that they want you to roll out.   You make little changes to the survey that they want you implement.   You alter the employee communication that they want you to send out.
And before you know it — everyone is doing something different!
But let’s talk about one area of plant HR that you CAN control.   Standardizing your interview guides. 

Using Standard Interview Guides


Most companies that we work with are using a stagnant interview template that lives on the desktops of HR personnel in plants across their network.
Over time, these interview templates get lost, edited or purposely ignored because they’re out of date.
This was the issue for one of our clients — a $1B manufacturer with 15+ plants across the US.
They were able to effectively hire entry-level associates without much problem, but they struggled to standardize the selection criteria for professional positions across their manufacturing network.
That’s when they turned to HireBar for help. 


Building and Storing Interview Guides


At the core of our Interview Guide Builder product is the ability to create standard interview guides and store them, so that anyone can access them across HR.
To pilot our interview guide builder, the Head of HR worked with HireBar to create their version of the ideal Manufacturing Supervisor interview guide.
Using an equal mix of technical interview questions, situational questions and competency-based behavioral questions, we built 5 unique guides for the 5 stakeholders involved in the hiring process.
Since the interview guides are stored electronically in a central location, each plant had access to the original interview forms.    If they wanted to make some minor adjustments to reflect the nuances of their manufacturing process, they could simply copy the guide template and add their custom questions.

Interview Process Improvements


After just 3 months of using standard interview guides across the manufacturing network and rolling out HireBar’s online interview training program, this client reduced their time-to-fill by 2 weeks.
According to the Head of HR, these results were credited to the structure created by the use of standard interview guides in the plants.
Using better interview questions and a candidate evaluation form, the interview teams were able to make more confident hiring decisions in a shorter amount of time.   The interview training also accelerated decision-making by teaching the interview teams how to hold a proper post-interview debrief.
The impact of hiring Production Supervisors 2 weeks faster than normal was compelling enough for this client to begin spreading the use of standard interview guides to other parts of the organization.
Their next project will be to optimize the interview process for their sales representatives. Stay tuned for a mini case study on that!