NV5 | Thomas.co


Case Study

NV5: Reducing turnover by finding candidates that fit the company culture and the job requirement



Engineering & Construction
United States
Aptitude (GIA)
Personality (HPTI)
Behaviour (PPA)

It is beyond me why companies are not using these tools as a key element of their recruiting.

Mark Eaton
Head of Human Resources and General Manager

The Challenge

Several years ago, the business was experiencing challenges in recruitment and retention. Several new hires were not fitting into the company culture and most importantly, they were leaving sooner than NV5 had hoped for. This resulted in high expense for the business as they could not capitalize on their investment in the training and development of new recruits because of turnover in the first few months. Mark Eaton joined the business, as the head of Human Resources and General Manager. Mark was quick to find the challenges in the recruitment process. He had experience with Thomas assessments in the past and knew from that, how psychometrics could help him find the candidates who would fit the company culture and the job requirement, and that in turn would result in lower turnover. Mark’s primary focus became talent acquisition – to and grow the team of engineers to satisfy the needs of their client base.


The Solution

The first step to closing the gap in recruitment was to get the senior leaders on board with Thomas tools. Once Mark had the support of the senior team, he got the “keys to the kingdom to do what [he] does to help build a great team of employees for the company”. The solution to the recruitment gap was to implement the Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) and the General Intelligence Assessment (GIA). The PPA, which is a work-based behavioural assessment, provides an accurate insight into how people behave at work, answering questions such as: what are their strengths and limitations? How do they communicate? Are they self-starters? What motivates them? The GIA which is a cognitive ability test can identify those who can think on their feet, and the people better suited to methodical problem solving. These two assessments combined with the job function, led Mark to create the best recipe to hire the right candidates.

The key role started with building a Job profile that fit a) the desired behaviours in the role and b) the complexity of the tasks required. Mark worked with the hiring manager and used the job description to guide the discussion. They collaborated and built the ideal Job profile, using the “Job Create” tool on the Thomas HUB system. This helps determine what type of behaviours are drivers of success in a role. The ideal candidate needed to be accurate, carful, logical (etc.) as well as have high cognitive processing, specifically in Spatial Visualisation, which is all about the manipulation of objects in one’s head. Crucial for an engineer! With job profiles in place, the recruitment drive began. The candidates who met the threshold criteria took the PPA and GIA. Those who had close matches to the job profile came for interview; Mark knew the candidates who were the best fit for the job profile were more likely to excel in the role, enjoy the work and stay longer.


The Results

  • By working with Thomas and the assessments, turnover has been reduced from 16% to approximately 5%.
  • The PPA and the GIA are key elements in all recruitment at NV5.
  • Mark has expanded his knowledge, use, and certified practitioner status to all four of Thomas’s suite of assessments. 1) PPA. 2) GIA. 3) HPTI: High Potential Trait Indicator – personality assessment with an inbuilt Leadership benchmark. 4) TEIQue – Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire – a person’s emotional blueprint - key for those aspiring to managing others. 
  • The TEIQue and PPA are foundational in development with team leads and their teams, which has led to greater team performance.
  • The HPTI will be rolled out to identify the next senior leaders from their pool of High Potentials at NV5.

Mark has said in his own words that hiring candidates without psychometrics is “No longer [based on] an opinion, you have these tools that are backed by science that tell you what you need.” He says “it is beyond me why companies are not using these tools as a key element of their recruiting.” Mark’s feedback to the Thomas Team is it’s “Refreshing to work with people who know what they are doing, know what they are selling, and understand it all. They are passionate people who love their work. They know the products like the back of their hand”.

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