Screening New Hires Yields Dividends

Any organization’s most important asset is its people. Success depends on their ability to work efficiently and effectively, particularly in challenging environments such as the forestry industry where supervision is low, revenue is directly tied to employee productivity and they are being entrusted with equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, training a new employee to operate equipment has a negative short-term impact on output and revenue, increasing the importance of finding the right person the first time. While traditional interviews have proven to be an inconsistent indicator of how well a candidate will perform, the HR Screening process designed by High Performance Logging program (HPL) helps identify all-star candidates before they are put in the field.  High Performance Logging (HPL) is a partnership of the Canadian Woodlands Forum and BioApplied Innovation Pathways with the aim of providing solutions to continually improve operational efficiency and business performance in today’s forestry operations.

The screening process includes an initial filter of applicant resumes, after which HPL applies the following forestry industry-specific filters:

  • Harvest Simulator – tests hand-eye coordination and other physical attributes required to successfully operate a piece of forestry equipment. Each applicant receives a score, which is compared with the historical performance of qualified operators helping you to understand how they’ll likely perform in the ‘real world’.
  • Profile XT – A tailored behavioral assessment, designed to test how well a candidate fits the requirements of the position.  How are they motivated? Do they enjoy working in a dynamic environment? Do they need to be supervised at all times? Answers to these questions help distinguish highly productive, long-term employees from those who aren’t likely to stick around.

The process was created in 2016 when High Performance Logging designed and delivered a new training program for forestry equipment operators in Nova Scotia. The program was tailored to new operators without any experience in forestry equipment and included both classroom and on-the-job training. Program applicants were put through this rigorous HR Screening process, and those who were successful were then interviewed by forestry contractors who had signed up to hire graduates. Of the enrolled students, 80% are employed as highly skilled, productive equipment operators today. By all accounts, the program was a huge success, due in large part to the HPL HR Screening process.

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