Call Center Reduces Turnover by Using CBST to Select Employees


Challenge: A call center in the financial services industry wanted to reduce turnover amongst its call center representatives. High rates of both voluntary and involuntary turnover were causing elevated hiring and training costs, and so the company decided to implement HireSelect. They then initiated a pilot program for all new hires over a six-month period.

Solution: The company administered the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST) to 130 of its new hires, and after six months they analyzed the relationship between test scores and (six-month) retention rates.

Results: The analysis revealed a clear correlation between test scores and retention rates. For the new hires who had scored "Low" or "Fair" score on the test, the retention rate was 56%. For those who had achieved scores in the "Good" or "Excellent" range on the CBST the retention rate was 67%. Higher scorers on the CBST were much less likely to be involuntarily terminated (7% vs 14%) and were also less likely to quit (26% vs 30%).

The relationship between CBST scores and retention is displayed in the table below.


CBST Scores and Retention Rates for Call Center Employees

CBST Score % Fired % Quit 6-month Retention Rate
< 32 14% 30% 56%
32 - 40 7% 26% 67%

Based on the results of this study, the company concluded that implementing the CBST would substantially reduce turnover, and so decided to use the test as a selection measure for its entire call center operations.