Volkswagen, the world’s third largest auto manufacturer, needed to staff a new plant it was opening in Chattanooga, Tenn.—an undertaking that was especially challenging as there were more than 80,000 applications for the 2,000 production, maintenance, managerial, and professional positions.
DDI partnered with Volkswagen Chattanooga to design a multi-step selection process for each of the four job families to include sourcing, screening, assessment, and interviewing. Jobs were posted with a number of outlets to reach the most people and “fill the funnel” with a diverse pool of candidates. Volkswagen Chattanooga’s HR team incorporated DDI’s career batteries to narrow the pool of candidates to those who were well-qualified and also appropriately motivated. In addition, DDI’s Targeted Selection® behavioral interviewing system was used to check for the knowledge, skills, and motivations related to the critical competencies for each job family.
The four selection processes were defined by the best-practice use of simulation and assessment, with different tools employed for each job family. Among these was a state-of-the-art production simulation, in which applicants progress through three hands-on, experiential exercises. Volkswagen Chattanooga evaluates each individual’s quality orientation, safety orientation, and ability to maintain an appropriate pace of work over time. This simulation provided a realistic preview of the kind of work performed on the production line.
Since hiring began in November 2009, over 85,000 applicants have applied for all positions, and over 13,000 have been tested. Two thousand applicants have accepted offers, enabling Volkswagen Chattanooga to meet its staffing goals with high-quality workers. Candidates rated the process a 4 or higher, with 5 being the most positive, on multiple aspects of the selection process.
Among the comments candidates share on the evaluation forms: “I felt it gave us a clear view on what to expect. I appreciate the opportunity and if given the chance I would make a great employee at Volkswagen. Thank you,” said one. “This was a very unique approach to measuring a person’s capabilities…I enjoyed it!” said another. And someone else said a lot with just a few words: “Ready to start today!”