CVS Wins HRM Impact Award

Erin Iafelice
CVS Pharmacy pill bottle

The HRM Impact Award is presented annually by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to spotlight organizations that have implemented exceptional HR practices proven successful through data-driven analyses. Pharmacy innovation company CVS Health earned the 2017 HRM Impact Award for dramatically improving its hiring outcomes with a Virtual Job Tryout, a custom-built, multi-media pre-hire screening assessment with a realistic job preview developed by Modern Hire and CVS Health.

Innovation born of necessity

High-volume hiring demands at CVS Health created the need for innovation. At the time, the pharmacy company was processing more than 1.75 million applicants each year and screening 90% of those applicants by phone. However, for call center positions, the 10-minute screening calls were not only time-consuming but also ineffective. In the CVS Caremark call center, representatives answer essential questions about callers’ prescription orders and their pharmacy benefits. Some representatives are pharmacists who answer clinical questions about prescriptions and interact with doctors when questions about a prescribed medication arise. It was difficult for recruiters to determine if applicants had the proper skill set and background in the short phone call. As a result, about 50% of applicants were still asked in for an interview on-site. CVS Health’s award-winning project, the Customer Care Pre-Hire Screening Assessment, was a solution that created a measurable business impact by streamlining hiring, identifying the best-qualified applicants, and creating a positive candidate experience.

Building a candidate-centric pre-employment assessment

To build the CVS Health Virtual Job Tryout, Modern Hire identified the job-related competencies employees need for on-the-job success in a CVS Caremark customer care role. The Modern Hire team also identified the rewards and challenges of the role. Using this information, the team built a Virtual Job Tryout designed to measure candidates’ qualifications.

The Customer Care Pre-Hire Screening Assessment is efficient. The automated screening tool integrates smoothly into CVS Health’s online hiring process, enabling the recruiting team to screen quickly and efficiently at scale. It integrates with CVS Health’s applicant tracking system, too.

The pre-hire assessment is also effective: Candidates can experience the job and see first-hand if that job is a fit for them. Also, demonstrated evidence of a positive and significant relationship between assessment scores and job performance indicated that the pre-hire assessment would impact the quality of hire.

Improving CVS Health’s hiring outcomes

Post-implementation studies of the Customer Care Pre-Hire Screening Assessment indicated the assessment has lowered costs, increased profitability, and improved the candidate experience. The assessment has also led to measurable improvement of new hire performance on several operational outcomes, including:

  • Reduced hold times
  • Reduced call transfers
  • Reduced callbacks

Each of these is a critical measure of service for CVS Health. With the increase in new hire service performance, the pharmacy innovation company provides a better experience for callers.

The new pre-hire assessment also enables CVS Health to solve another challenge: Many of its applicants are also customers. The new pre-hire assessment helps CVS Health create positive, personal hiring experiences that meet the same high standards applicants have experienced as customers. Modern Hire congratulates CVS Health on its success in using evidence-based practices to improve the hiring experience and performance.