Increasing retention and reducing cost of service


A not-for-profit organisation (NPO) came to us with concerns about its increasing costs of ongoing recruitment and associated operations. The senior management team had noticed higher levels of absenteeism and turnover, coupled with a drop in the calibre of recruits being supplied by agencies, all of which was having a negative impact on both staff morale and the bottom line.

The National Call Centre supplies 65% of the national weekly donations required to support this critical community service, but the cost to meet weekly targets was growing, in the form of overtime, reputation and team morale. This was compounded by a change in the business-funding model, meaning the call centre also needed a new way to source, collect and manage donations. This dramatically changed their approach and capability, meaning they needed to attract a different sort of person into the organisation who would flourish in that environment. The management team therefore took the decision to establish a new best-practice recruitment function in-house; and we were needed to help get it set up.

Approach and Tools

Facet5 Audition was introduced to the new recruitment manager from other areas of the business already using Facet5 successfully across the employee lifecycle. Integrated into a multi-phase recruitment process, it is used to inform the interview process following pre-selection activities such as short phone interviews.

By defining the core requirements of a role, Facet5 can then be used to link candidates to that template, showing how closely they fit with the established ideal.

Audition is essentially Facet5’s way of relating candidates to specific roles. By defining the core requirements of a role, Facet5 can then be used to link candidates to that template, showing how closely they “fit” with the established ideal. Facet5 then goes a step further, creating a detailed interview guide detailing which areas to focus on and what questions to ask – and what to look for in the answers given.

The focus was to minimise costs, so the recruitment team underwent Facet5 accreditation to build their ongoing internal capabilities. They then engaged the people managers in the recruitment process and in the use of Audition. In this way, the recruitment managers could leverage the knowledge and experience of the team leaders to best understand what types of candidates had been most successful to date, in both the role and organisation. Taking on board the new requirements, they were able to identify the key characteristics for the ideal new candidates. The interaction between recruitment and team managers was pivotal in this process.

What was the outcome?

After implementing Audition as part of the recruitment process, the organisation increased retention, drove down the cost of service, increased engagement across the National Call Centre and improved fit to both role and organisation – and all within a shorter time frame. The organisation now has an 80% success rate in the retention and performance of its new hires, an increase of over 50% in the 12 month period since the new process, and Audition, were introduced.

The business is experiencing a lower cost of service and meeting its ‘just-in-time’ supply targets without the need for crippling overtime rates. A spokesperson said, “We are seeing greater levels of service to clients and the business from our teams; they really getting what we do and the difference they can make”.

The call centre has observed a positive change in the dynamic of its teams. With lower turnover rates and a better fit with both role and organisation, the recruitment manager says “We have stopped putting out spot fires in our teams and are focusing on moving them from being “Good” to “Great”. Having a better process and better fit of person working here helps enormously.”

The call centre managers are also seeing some unexpected benefits of their use of Audition. They now have a common language that helps them describe the behaviours and capabilities of an ideal candidate. Using this as a reference they are significantly reducing the number of pre-selection activities and feel they are better at describing both the requirements of the role and organisation, attracting a new type of applicant.

With a new language and deeper understanding, people managers are now engaging their new recruits on a more personal level, understanding their strengths and development areas.

With a new language and deeper understanding, people managers are now engaging their new recruits on a more personal level, understanding their strengths and development areas. This is fast-tracking the ability of individuals to contribute successfully to the team and generating stronger engagement from day one.

Through the implementation process the National Call Centre has now identified the need to recruit for two distinct roles, an inbound and an outbound customer service agent. Using Audition’s role profiling process and the expert judgment of the people managers, they will define the two role profiles and apply them to the recruitment process. This will allow them to attract and select the right talent for the job and the organisation.

Ongoing engagement of the people managers in the recruitment process will be critical. Their knowledge and expertise is invaluable in the future development of profiles and using Facet5 data to integrate and development their talent and to deliver on the National Call Centre business strategy. Thanks to the accreditation process, the recruitment team has the skills and tools in-house to continue this successful approach, increasing empowerment and morale while reducing time-frames and overheads.

For more information on this case study, please contact Facet5 Australia

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