Case Study: STRS Ohio
Download the STRS Ohio Case Study here
State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, with more than 500 associates, is one of the nation’s premier retirement systems, serving nearly half a million inactive and retired Ohio public educators. STRS Ohio is one of the largest public pension funds in the country, partnering with their members to build retirement security.
Transition from “in-person” testing to remote testing for all levels of job candidates.
EmployTest team adapts proprietary and off-the-shelf inperson testing to digital format quickly and effortlessly.
- Remote testing meets hiring process requirements.
- Eliminates HR time proctoring and scoring tests.
- Improves candidate experience and reduced time to hire.
- STRS predicts it will continue to use online digital testing in the future.
As STRS adapted to a remote workforce model, the HR team was challenged to continue hiring without the ability to test job seekers in person. Even in organizations with low turnover like STRS, quality hires that are productive quickly are necessary for successful business operations.
The shift from in-person testing to online testing was needed for the STRS hiring team to meet recruitment goals without sacrificing quality of hires. From basic language skill tests that assure custodial staff can read safety data on cleaning materials, to clerical proficiency tests for higher level positions, STRS leverages pre-hire testing to assure the best possible fit for every position.
When the organization moved to remote work, Michael Mancuso, Talent Acquisition Director, worked with the EmployTest team to convert testing that normally took three hours to administer in-house into a digital online format that could be emailed to candidates.
STRS’s workforce usually sees approximately 5% annual turnover. Their hiring process included a cumbersome physical testing protocol that involved scheduling, proctoring and hand-scoring tests for almost every category of new hire.
At any given time, STRS typically has anywhere between 8 to 20 positions open. “And they really will range from that entire gamut there,” says Mancuso, “from people who clean the building on up through people who invest.” In addition to scheduling time, the HR team can spend three hours per candidate for initial testing. As late as 2019, the non-profit was using hard-copy booklets for office skills assessments. Mancuso said they had to be hand-scored, which was very labor intensive.
After their in-person testing supplier discontinued its product line, Mancuso asked EmployTest if they knew of any company that could take their existing tests and turn them into a digital version. Their account manager, Amanda Buel, replied, “Yes, I can do that for you.” Mancuso worried he’d have to scour the globe trying to find something similar enough to work. Instead, they were even able to customize tests for grammar, attention to detail and filing, which took the place of the old tests that were no longer available.
Some tests were as simple as a text box with a section to respond. Others were more complex. STRS was able to customize existing tests, determine test length and complexity “so time-wise and design-wise, it fit what we wanted.”
“We’ve been able to adapt our tests to what you guys have, use some of your own standard tests that you have in your system, and then also take what we had as proprietary, and have it essentially just rolled over into an electronic test.”
EmployTest provided off-the-shelf call center testing and then transformed the organization’s proprietary tests into online digital versions. Additional proprietary tests, with their financial industry knowledge, were created on the EmployTest assessment platform too.
A TIME SAVER FOR EVERYONE
It’s better for candidates, as well, says Mancuso. Job seekers can take the test at home at their convenience, and not take time off work, which is a huge advantage. Digital testing also eliminates scheduling lag. In a competitive job market, candidate experience and reduced time to hire are critical.
“I think it’s making it easier on the applicant, which is something that you should try to do whenever you can. You don’t want a process that’s going to be so cumbersome that somebody may lose interest in the process of being considered for a position.”
When Member Benefits positions are open, managers often request HR test ten candidates at minimum, a total of 30 hours of testing. Moving to digital reduces time needed, allowing the HR team to focus on more talentcentric tasks. Digital testing represents a huge benefit for STRS and potential new hires.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COMPANIES?
Mancuso says, “EmployTest’s ability to take what we have and to utilize it in different ways, as far as how we use it as a customer, is really a great service. The flexibility of how your tests can be used as is, or can be massaged to say, hey, listen, I want the same test, but I want 10 less questions, because I need to get it done faster or whatever. Or I want to combine these two tests because I need it to look more like this…”
He tells EmployTest, “My boss has been very pleased with it. The managers have been pleased. It’s been a great time saver and the results have been critical for making hiring decisions.”
EmployTest is dedicated to increasing productivity and reducing costly employee turnover through time-tested, customizable screening assessments. The company has worked with more than 7,000 corporate and government partners across six continents. Our customizable assessment platforms administer more than 60,000 tests to job applicants and help save millions of dollars of hiring mistakes annually.
EmployTest’s team spent the time creating online versions of our proprietary paper tests, which allowed us to make the leap from the 1990s to being able to handle things during the transition to remote hiring. My boss and the managers have been very pleased with it. Michael Mancuso Talent Acquisition Director