Case Studies

Thomas assessment tools prove instrumental in helping Ice River Springs reduce the cost of recruitment and increase the quality of hires

Ice River Springs at a glance

Ice River Springs is a private label bottled water producer for retailers and food service operators and manufacturer of the Ice River Green brand of bottled water. The company runs a plastics recycling operation that takes bottles collected by municipalities and produces food grade recycled polymer for its water bottles.

Ice River Springs approached Thomas International to find a psychometric tool that they could use for recruiting and developing employees. Specifically, they wanted to find employees that had high levels of emotional intelligence and could cope with lots of change during a period of tremendous growth.

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The Challenge

Ice River Springs began in 1995 as a family owned and operated company located in Feversham Ontario. As demand for bottled water increased, the business grew, with locations across North America.

With its expansion, the need for new skills became evident. They began to search for tools to assist them with the assessment of not only current employees for the purpose of development and promotion, but for those coming into the organization.

Due to the tremendous amount of growth and the pressures that were put on the organization to meet customer and consumer demand, Ice River Springs began looking for employees that possessed large capacity for change, coupled with a high level of emotional intelligence.

They needed employees who could think fast on their feet; problem solve and react in real time to highly charged situations. Managing emotions including stress management and emotion regulation became critical.

JoAnne Thompson, Executive Vice-President, looked for a series of robust psychometric assessments that would assist with this challenge.

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The Solution

JoAnne and Thomas International, through consultation chose two assessments to assist Ice River Springs in their hiring decisions. They selected the General Intelligence Assessment (GIA) which measures a person’s response to 5 different areas of cognition – measuring how fast a person processes new and novel information. Those with higher cognition can process and react faster to new information and adapt well to change.

They also chose the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue) which measures a person’s perceived capacity across 15 different areas of emotionality, including Stress Management, Impulse Control, Adaptability and Emotion Regulation.

Those with higher levels of capacity have the emotional load to deal with rapid change. Initially there was some skepticism within the business about the assessments. After several months of using the Thomas assessments and making a number of hiring decisions despite the assessment results, it became clear that those who were successful at Ice River Springs, fit the assessment criteria. Those who did not, were not as successful within the organization. The business then committed to using the assessments as intended: as data points and for probing in interview discussions.

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The Results

The results are four-fold:

  1. The quality of hires improved dramatically. The assessments helped both the business and the candidate understand their fit to the role upfront, allowing for discussion of any gaps and what coping strategies could help the employee excel.
  2. The Recruitment cycle is more robust. The hiring managers now rely on the assessments as part of the recruitment process.
  3. Cost savings on Recruitment: Recruitment costs are significantly lower. The time to fill a position has been reduced, the resources required to hire have been reduced, turnover of news hires have been reduced, while the speed at which new hires positively impact the organization has increased.
  4. Development: people are gaining self-awareness, so they know how to bring their best selves to work; they’ve gained critical skills, and their managers know what works and does not work for each individual. It also means the employee retention span is extended as people are given the type of work that matches their profiles.

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