Case Studies

Restructuring

Having decided to close its foundry and concentrate on its assembly line operation, the organization needed to redeploy as many of its foundry workers as possible. This involved a thorough assessment process where skills, abilities and attributes were assessed. Those with the requisite skills were offered jobs on the assembly line. Redundancies were kept to a minimum through natural wastage and by increasing the assembly line headcount.

A heavily unionized workforce meant that before embarking on any assessment shop stewards had to be reassured that the process would be robust and relevant and not disadvantage any individual. A number of meetings were held with union representatives and HR to discuss and agree the design of the assessment process and the benefits to the organization and workforce. It was also agreed that the same assessment process would be used in any future recruitment for assembly line workers.

Job analysis was used to ensure the process was legally defensible, reflecting the job demands as closely as possible. To give the union representatives more reassurance they were invited to participate in the first assessment centre. Their feedback was very positive and they were satisfied that the assessment would introduce some objectivity into the selection process.

We assessed approximately 200 men (there was no females in the pool) over a period of weeks. The data from the assessments was combined with information from interview performance, attendance, sickness record, job performance, work history etc, and those most suited to the role were appointed.

Assessment data also beyond the immediate remit of the project revealed skills that had previously not be identified and the company’s objective was met – a skilled and expanded assembly line, redeployment of staff and a relatively low level of compulsory redundancy.

For future recruitment the company wanted a process that could be used in house. Valerie trained HR staff to administer the same tests and an automated scoring and interpreting system was created for them. This meant that the process was standardized and significantly reduced the potential for human error.

Specific elements of project:

  • Present proposed assessment plan to a team of shop stewards, staff and managers
  • Job Analysis exercise to determine the most appropriate assessment methods
  • Agree assessment design with HR Director and shop stewards
  • Design and validate assessment process
  • Deliver assessments to shop stewards
  • Deliver assessment centres over a period of weeks to correspond with shift patterns (including night shift) to all those individuals being considered for new roles on the assembly line
  • Preparing feedback to the organization and individuals
  • Training HR staff to administer tests for future recruitment
  • Designing scoring and interpreting system for HR team