Engagement Profiles

Leading Retailer Streamlines Talent Management

Client Opportunity

Building a Foundation for Enterprise Talent Management

A rapidly growing, multibillion-dollar discount retailer with nearly 2,000 stores nationwide and hundreds of thousands of employees worldwide recognized the need to integrate its talent management tools, processes, and systems in order to sustain success in an increasingly competitive marketplace. For starters, thousands of job titles had to be classified into logical, manageable groups that could then steer specific talent management assessment, selection, performance, and development initiatives precisely aligned with the company’s strategic priorities.


Job Analysis & Classification: Identifying Job Families and Worker Requirements for Every Job

PDRI, a CEB company, conducted a customized job analysis encompassing every position in the company, from entry level to senior management. The first step of this analysis, designed to help streamline all talent management activities, required partnering with the client’s HR teams to precisely define the desired job analysis outcomes and design a study that would meet these objectives. It was deemed critical to capture details associated with high-volume jobs as well as more specialized functions since both significantly impact the retailer’s success.

The next step involved interviews, job observations, and focus groups to gather data on critical tasks and knowledge, skill, ability, and other (KSAO) requirements for the jobs. Thousands of employees worldwide, at headquarters and in the field, then completed a customized online survey. Informed with statistical data from the survey, PDRI created a hierarchical job classification system in which more than 2,500 job titles across the enterprise were classified into 30 job families. Tasks and KSAO requirements were identified and rank ordered for each job and job family. Cost-effective, off-the-shelf talent assessment and selection recommendations were made for each job family.

In a related effort to evaluate the retailer’s senior leadership bench strength and develop a more effective performance management system, PDRI defined key success factors, potential career derailers, and target behaviors for senior management through executive levels in the organization.

Employee Selection: Identifying and Validating Assessments

In a follow-up engagement, PDRI provided a unique solution that enables efficient identification of assessments for any job at any level. PDRI constructed, validated, and delivered a new selection test battery for exempt individual contributors and entry-level leaders. Leveraging the job analysis described above, PDRI identified the appropriate solution components from SHL’s Talent Measurement assessment library. The validation strategy combined a traditional criterion-related study with an award-winning synthetic validation approach (previously developed by PDRI). This strategy provided the organization with the benefits of scientific rigor combined with time and cost savings. The assessments demonstrated high validity in predicting job performance and low adverse impact for each job family.


Increased Efficiency and a Workforce Poised for Continued Success

PDRI designed and implemented a flexible system that the enterprise can rely on as it continues to evolve. The company now owns an efficient and repeatable internal process for classifying and incorporating new job titles into its unique job families. Hiring managers can quickly and effectively:

  • Develop a job description
  • Create a job posting
  • Classify a job into an existing job family
  • Identify the appropriate selection test battery and create legally defensible documentation

Using the same battery of tests across all jobs within a particular group and interviewing only qualified candidates dramatically improved efficiency. The tools and processes that hiring managers need are all in place, significantly expediting time to hire. Also, applying a rigorous, job-specific selection process increases the potential for good fit between applicant and job, which decreases turnover and empowers an organization to accomplish its business objectives.

PDRI’s comprehensive job analysis for the client created a solid foundation for integrating all of the company’s talent management initiatives, from hiring and assessment to learning and development, performance management, and succession planning.