Westport Linen Services is a commercial laundry that serves the healthcare industry. Founded in 1999, Westport Linen has expanded to four plants that serve over 300 hospitals, surgery centers, clinics, and offices with more than 65 million pounds of hygienically clean linen every year.
With a rapidly growing business, the leaders at Westport Linen needed a way to streamline their hiring process in order to identify high quality candidates who would stay at the company long-term.
Nearly ten years ago, Westport Linen partnered with Criteria to start incorporating assessments into the hiring process. They used a wide range of assessments to evaluate candidates for many different roles, including administration, production supervision, general management, and plant employees.
After using Criteria consistently for 10 years, Westport Linen experienced several major benefits to their business, including:
Better Quality of Hire
According to Westport Linen’s CEO Eddie Lefeaux, “once we started using Criteria, we started getting better quality candidates.” Before using Criteria, Westport Linen was relying heavily on the interview, making hiring decisions based on the interviewer’s opinions of the candidate or based on how well someone interviewed. Once they started using the assessments, they found that the objective data gives them “a better opportunity to hire the best candidates.”
Higher Employee Retention
Westport Linen’s employee retention rate tripled in four years after using Criteria. The assessments enable the company to identify candidates who are not only able to succeed on the job, but to be comfortable and satisfied in the role long-term.
Using assessments prior to the interview phase saves Westport Linen a lot of time because it enables them to prioritize which candidates to invite to the interview. At Westport Linen, the interviews can be especially time-consuming because the interviewers are often a production manager or general manager who have to be pulled off the production floor or have to drive in from another location to conduct the interview. Putting the assessments earlier in the hiring process helps to identify which candidates are most likely to succeed, reducing the number of interviews they need to hold before selecting a final candidate.
Broader Candidate Pool
Criteria helps Westport Linen broaden their candidate pool beyond just people who have direct experience in manufacturing or production. According to Lefeaux, they now “look at people from all walks of life” because they’ve identified some of the core transferable skills that their most successful employees have, many of which can be acquired in other industries or roles. The assessments help to provide a base-level understanding of how well a person can successfully do the job, even without direct industry experience.
Especially for management roles, Lefeaux has found that managers “have to be flexible in production, they have to make things happen. You still have to get from A to B, but sometimes you have to cut through C to get there.” And “if you don’t have the soft skills, you can’t manage people.” The assessments ultimately help them find and hire high-performing employees who might have been overlooked based on their resumes alone.
Greater Internal Awareness
One unexpected benefit that Westport Linen has experienced while using Criteria is that it encourages the company to think more deeply about the type of company and workplace it is, and to use that information to continuously improve their hiring process. “It gives us an opportunity to look at ourselves from the perspective of the candidates,” Lefeaux says. “Not only are we drilling in on their personality, their work ethic, their historical data, their intelligence… it also gives us an opportunity to look at us as a company.”
Westport Linen Services is a commercial laundry based in Baton Rouge, LA. Serving over 300 hospitals, surgery centers, clinics, and offices, Westport Linen is an accredited healthcare linen processor that produces over 65 million pounds of hygienically clean linen each year.