Case Studies

Thomas assessment tools prove instrumental in helping Yellow Pages to create a benchmark that has resulted in lower turnover rates


reduction in employee turnover rate

Yellow Pages at a glance

Yellow Pages is a digital media and marketing solutions leader that connects people and businesses in neighbourhoods across Canada through their digital properties and services.

Yellow Pages engaged Thomas International to explore the relationship between employee behavioural preferences and job performance in order to reduce staff turnover and improve revenue.

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The Challenge

Leaders at Yellow Pages engaged Thomas International to complete a statistical analysis and benchmark project with the aim to examine the specific behavioural profiles that drove revenue and activity metrics, both across Yellow Pages and for specific sales roles (i.e. call center, face to face and the managers). Yellow Pages and Thomas International partnered to assess 78 Yellow Pages employees to explore the role of behavioural preferences in predicting indicators of specific job functions.

The aim of this project was to investigate how the behavioural preferences of 78 Yellow Pages employees co-related to their performance over time. Thomas International first looked at the overall group of 78 to determine any trends and then by position, comparing the role of behavioural preferences for two types of sales roles (Advantage and Acquisition) at Yellow Pages.

Yellow Pages’ focus for this project was to improve performance in these two roles and specifically focused on:

  • Reducing turnover
  • Improving revenue
  • Meeting and exceeding activity targets
  • Improving new business
  • Mitigating refunds

Yellow Pages pic 2

The Solution

During the needs-analysis and review process, Thomas International and Yellow Pages collaborated to develop a solution that was specific to Yellow Pages’ unique business environment. The overall solution included Thomas’ Benchmarking analysis, along with the use of the Personal Profile Analysis (PPA), a workplace behavioural assessment.

Thomas’ Benchmarking analysis is a service that helps organizations understand the characteristics that make for success in their roles. Assessment results along with key performance indicators (KPI’s) for the role, are reviewed using statistical analysis methods.

Detailed reporting on probability values that meet statistical significance, along with findings from regression analysis are presented back to the organization. Included with this are recommendations and strategies to apply the findings to talent acquisition and management processes, all supported by the scientific findings from the Benchmarking analysis.

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 KPI’s for both the call center and face to face roles were supplied to Thomas’ psychology team. The KPI’s included metrics such as:

  • Revenue Before Service (RBS)
  • Revenue After Service (RAS)
  • Percentage Target RAS
  • Net Gain – in revenue amount and in reference to target
  • New in Net Account (NINA):
  • Number of new accounts
  • Total Revenue from new accounts
  • Average Revenue Per Account
  • Claims
  • Call Activity:
  • Average Call in Minutes
  • Revenue generated on calls
  • Average number of calls per day

Yellow Pages pic 3

The Results

Yellow Pages found that about 5 years ago there was turnover of 20-25% for these two roles. They took their best performers in both the call center roles and the behaviours that were present in their role to create the ideal job behaviours. The findings from the benchmark study lead to the creation of two ideal behavioural job profiles leading Yellow Pages to reduce their turnover to now 12%.

Today, everyone applying to Yellow Pages for a role that is related to the sales roles must go through the assessment process and complete the PPA+ evaluation. This step is integrated in their hiring process after the telephone interview and before the in-person interview so that they already have some insight on the candidate and they can focus on the touch points related to the role during the interview.

Leaders at Yellow Pages notice that new hires that were selected are now performing at a higher level and they have reduced their time to productivity. New hires are stronger, they are meeting expectations and they have higher performance rates.

Along with these tangible results, the assessment tools have also been leveraged with management, coaching and feedback between managers, supervisors and the employee. The assessment data can also be used to determine the best training and coaching opportunities for each employee’s specific gaps to the role.

Feedback from Yellow Pages concluded that working with Thomas and using the Thomas assessments made this process fast, easy and effective. The reporting provided once a candidate completes the PPA+ is easy to comprehend and easy for the candidate to understand when they are being interviewed. They added that the team at Thomas is very responsive and always ready to help.

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