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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri

Able to Hire

Workforce Challenge

Able Manufacturing and Assembly in Joplin, MO needed a full scale, integrated solution for recruitment of qualified candidates. Ideally, the solution would screen potential employees by measuring basic workplace literacy and soft skills, and by matching the results and the candidate's experience with the requirements of Able's open jobs.

Workforce Solution

In 2008, the Joplin Career Center began administering an assessment called WorkKeys on behalf of Able Manufacturing. The assessment is an exceptional tool for filtering out applicants not fully committed to a successful job search. “We no longer accept applications at any of our facilities, and work with both the Missouri Career Center and Kansas Works to encourage to completion of the WorkKeys assessment by all candidates,” according to Sue Adams, Director of HR at Able. “While there are sometimes inconveniences, such as longer lead times between job postings and receiving WorkKeys results, we feel these are more than compensated for by the reduction of Able staff required to hire new employees, the increased level of candidates’ basic skills and our reduced turnover rate.”

Outcomes & Benefits

In one example, following the assessment opportunity, a field of twenty-one candidates yielded six candidates qualified to receive an on-site interview. The efficiencies achieved in an Able staff person working with six filtered applicants versus twenty-one casual applicants are obvious. Sue noted that using the Missouri Career Center’s services has saved the hiring of a staff member in Human Resources, offering additional cost savings for the company.

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