Case Studies

Associated Bank Reduces Turnover & Produces Quality Candidates

Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE: ASB) is one of the top 50, publicly traded, U.S. bank holding companies and the parent of Associated Bank, National Association. Associated is known for its strong relationships with the customers and communities it serves, and employs more than 4,300 people. Together, they serve more than one million customers from over 200 banking locations.


  The Challenge Associated expressed concerns about hiring objectives not being met and unacceptably high turnover among Tellers. The goals were to use a more objective talent assessment strategy to provide consistency in hiring decisions across multiple locations aimed at increasing retention and quality. Associated also wanted the talent assessment solution fully integrated into their existing ATS platform (Taleo Enterprise Edition), with candidate data immediately available to recruiters upon assessment completion. Further, they wanted the ability to access behavioral interview guides based on assessment results for each candidate.

Assessment Strategy & Key Differentiators

For the Teller role, DeGarmo recommended a combination of work style and work tolerance assessments to measure person-job fit and screen out high turnover risk job applicants.  This assessment platform is one of the most dynamic and sophisticated candidate profiling systems on the market. Through the use of an innovative competency weighting system, the system can evaluate an applicant’s alignment with critical requirements for any job. Candidates who successfully passed the assessment would then be scheduled for a face-to-face dynamic interview where questions were determined based on their assessment performance. Interviews were to focus on at least three assessment-driven competencies relating to successful job performance. Associated representatives cited several features of DeGarmo’s platform as key differentiators that were innovative and unique including online interview data and reporting access, access to metrics to compare the effectiveness and consistency of interviewers, and leveraging assessment content designed to measure behavioral tendencies related to an applicant’s “will” rather than just “skills”.

Profile Build

The design of any well-constructed and legally-defensible talent assessment solution begins with a job analysis-based profile build. DeGarmo’s platform offers customization driven by subject matter experts (SMEs) who independently rate the importance of key job behaviors to successful job performance.  DeGarmo’s process is designed to understand the drivers of success (and failure) at the behavioral level, based on actual job requirements. According to Amy Jo Ganske-Derenne, VP-Lead Talent Acquisition Consultant, “DeGarmo met with a core team including Talent Acquisition consultants to ensure we understood what was behind the assessment. They helped us build a customized assessment to meet our talent needs.” For DeGarmo, SME data has the ability to play a critical role in the scoring of the talent profile that drives effectiveness as well as internal process support. The validation of the profile prior to activation significantly enhances the defensibility of the talent assessment system. Few, if any other assessment vendors, engage in this critical step. “We had several meetings before rolling out the assessment and conducted conference calls to educate our hiring managers on the assessment, its benefits and how to use it” said Ganske-Derenne.

Assessment Impact

The results demonstrated a significant impact for the DeGarmo assessment platform. According to Ganske-Derenne:

“The assessment has significantly helped with narrowing down and identifying quality candidates. The assessment interview guide has helped our managers focus on areas of primary concern. With the use of the assessment, we have decreased turnover and we’ve been able to validate the process.”

  Associated reported that other business units heard how the assessment has enhanced the hiring process, decreased turnover and produced quality candidates. Consequently, they have established customized assessments for their areas including Relationship Banker, Universal Banker, Senior Banker, Virtual Sales Consultant, Credit Analyst, and Bank Manager. According to Ganske-Derenne “Since starting with the Teller assessment, we have added six more assessments and DeGarmo has had a quick turnaround time. We are looking to add more in the future.”

About DeGarmo

 DeGarmo develops and distributes innovative talent assessment and development solutions to help clients maximize revenue growth, productivity, and workforce stability. Our award-winning pre-employment assessments, leadership assessments, and training solutions have been delivered to millions of job candidates worldwide through our talent platform, or through integrations with major applicant tracking system (ATS) providers. More than 10,000 HR professionals have received HRCI or SHRM certification credits through DeGarmo’s webinars on critical HR topics such as talent assessment, interviewing, leadership, turnover reduction, and culture fit.

Contact Information

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