The Imitation Game: Flattery for Expr3ss!

Posted by Carolyne Burns | May - 6 - 2016 | 0 Comment

If imitation is, indeed, the highest form of flattery.

All of us at Expr3ss! are extremely flattered to learn that companies worldwide are following our lead and using technology to identify top candidates based on proven algorithms, to increase productivity and profitability and to reduce expensive employee “churn”.

Expr3ss! sees a Kindred Biz Spirit in US business Pal’s.

Recently, the Harvard Business Review published an article on an American fast-food chain called Pal’s Sudden Service. While many things contribute to the success of Pal’s, its focus on hiring the right employees has led to great things. With a dedicated and well-trained workforce, Pal’s has achieved mythic success in a highly competitive market by

  • Delivering orders four times faster than the competition nationwide. 
  • Achieving a rate of accuracy in transactions that is ten times higher than average (one mistake in every 3,600 orders). 
  • Achieving unprecedented levels of customer loyalty.

 We know how busy you are, so we’ve mined some of the most golden nuggets from the story to share with you here.

Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill

Pal’s Sudden Service profits are thanks, in part, to its employee workforce. Ninety-percent of the employees are part-time, and 40% are between the ages of 16-18. The fast-food company has been able to manage this notoriously difficult employee demographic successfully thanks to the help of a screening system:

Based on the attitudes and attributes of Pal’s star performers, that does an uncanny job of predicting who is most likely to succeed.

It’s the approach that Expr3ss! has used successfully for 10 years, and we’re flattered by Pal’s imitation. We’ve revolutionised recruiting to help our clients pinpoint applicants with the

  • Right skills
  • Appropriate attitude
  • Cultural fit

Create Opportunities for the Greater to Become Greater

Even the most productive employees need periodic reviews to ensure that they are working to their potential. Workers at Pal’s must complete 120 hours of training before they are certified to perform their specific job. As the president of Pat’s told

“Certification means we’re saying take the knowledge you’ve been given and prove to us under full pressure of the busiest periods we have that you can do everything 100% and stay on standard 100% of the time. If they can, we say they’re certified.” – Thom Crosby, Crosby, President-CEO, Pat’s Sudden Service

What makes Pat’s approach to training unique is what happens after certification. Every day, computers at each restaurant in the chain randomly select 2-4 employees to be spot-checked for skills. If they fail, they are retrained for that job before they can do it again.

Leaders are Teachers at Pal’s

The financial bottom line at Pal’s is tied to the company’s bottom line philosophy regarding leaders:

Leaders who are committed to hiring the best must also be committed to nurturing the best.

It is all too common for employees up and down the corporate structure to feel abandoned by their bosses once they’ve been hired. This isn’t true at Pal’s, a company committed to ongoing teaching, training, and coaching. The benefits of the approach are tangible:

  • Only seven general managers have left the company voluntarily in 33 years.
  • Assistant manager turnover is just 1.4% in an industry where company-jumping is common.
  • Front-line employee turnover is one-third the national average. 

“All leaders are teachers, whether they realize it or not,” Crosby says. “(At Pal’s), we teach and coach every day.”

Would your business benefit from an infusion of creativity and innovation? If so, we invite you to contact us to get on the Expr3ss! right track to predicting who is most likely to succeed.