In-Depth Hiring Proof

The Survey helps hire the right people, reducing turnover.  by Charles T. Kenny, Ph.D. 

A large metropolitan hospital reduced their critical care nursing turnover from 65% to 15% within 18 months using the Simmons Personal Survey! 

 In 1983, turnover in critical care units was a national problem.  It may still be a national problem, but for one large metropolitan hospital, it’s not any more.  In fact, they have consistently held it down for 17 years. 

 When we began working with them, turnover among critical care nurses was running at 65%.  We used the Simmons Personal Survey along with our Insight methodology to identify the factors that were causing high turnover.  Two basic patterns emerged:

 1.)  The Negative Leader.  We identified a group of nurses who shared specific negative character traits.  They were embittered people whose energy was turned against themselves, against their co-workers and employer.  These nurses were operating in a leadership capacity, either formally or informally.  They may be a floor supervisor or not, but by the shear force of their personality, length of tenure, etc., they were operating in a leadership role.  

 They would take a new nurse off to the side and indoctrinate them with their own belief system about the hospital administration, management, and other nurses.  Who are the good guys, who are the bad guys; who wore white caps, who wore black caps.  They indoctrinated new recruits with their bitterness, and it spread like a disease through the unit.

 2.)  The Emotional Character of a Successful Critical Care Nurse.  The emotional make-up of a successful critical care nurse is very different from nurses in other areas.  The ideal CCU nurse does not need a lot of personal feedback or expressions of appreciation, etc.  She’s not going to get it in the CCU from the patients, who are all wired up and unconscious, a certain percentage of whom are going to be lost.  

 If a person goes into nursing because they want to serve and help other people, she gets gratification when she sees the results of her efforts; she gets some “at-a-boys.”  If she needs them, then she doesn’t belong in CCU because she’s not going to get them.

Results:  Once we described the “Negative Leaders,” it was easy to identify them. Everyone knew who they were, they just didn’t realize the affect they were having on other nurses in the unit.  They needed to be isolated or moved out.  To her credit, the hospital vice president was able to devise a plan that accomplished this without any “major surgery.”  Then they began using the Survey to staff the CCU with nurses whose character fit the success profile identified by the Survey.  In six months they could see a marked improvement in the unit.

 Within 18 months, the whole situation had been turned around.  They reduced their critical care nursing turnover from 65% to 15%. 

 Now they use the Survey to identify the emotional profile of all nurses right out of nursing school as well as new hires and in-house transfers.   It allows them to place a nurse in the O.R., general nursing, CCU, psychiatric, etc., by the matching the appropriate character traits to the needs of the unit. 

 They solved their critical problem and have continued to used the Simmons Survey for hiring, placement, personal development, and promotion for 17 years.  


Needles  The Customizable

Case Management Software for Law Firms

 June 6, 2001

As you know, our company, Chesapeake Interlink, Ltd. Has been using your “Simmons Personal Survey” for about eight years now.  I would just like to drop you a brief note to explain to you how pleased and satisfied we are with the results of your product.

 Personally, I’ve discovered, after many years of interviewing personnel for staff positions, that the interview, the resume and the phone calls for references did not give me a full and complete picture of the applicant.  I have sat behind my desk hour after hour, gazing into the eyes of each applicants, hoping that some magic thing would happen that would make me aware of whether or not this person would do a good job as an employee of my company.  It was only after I met you and became aware of your survey that I was made to realize which items or characteristics I had been overlooking.

 Your report talks about Emotional Energy and how an applicant will be able to handle stress in our own environment.

 In some way, your survey measures Commitment.  It is awfully nice for me to know that when I hire someone, there will be some kind of a commitment and I will not have to worry about this employee seeking a position with another company within a few months time.

 You speak about Courageousness.  Is the applicant conservative?  Does he feel failure and want to avoid risky situations?  To me, these are important issues in discerning whether or not to hire an individual.

 Self Directing:  Is this person capable and comfortable working on his own?  Or, if left on his own, will he procrastinate?

 You discuss Conflict and whether or not this applicant is uncomfortable; does he feel that others will disapprove of what he thinks?  I have learned a new word from you, which is Posturing.  This means does the applicant present a true picture of himself or a very different picture of whom he really is?  This is good to know when you have the responsibility of hiring this particular person.

 Finally, is the applicant Cooperative?  Is he a negative person?   Does he need to please others over pleasing himself?  Is he tolerant of the short comings of others?  Again, here are personality traits that would be very difficult to discern from the previous normal channels.

 Is the applicant insecure?  Is he pessimistic about life?  Is he trusting of others?  All of these issues touch on areas that are most important when it is time to make a decision as to whether or not to hire.

 Finally, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.  Since we have begun to use your survey, rarely have we made a mistake in hiring the wrong individual.  Short term employment with our company has decreased dramatically.

 There is no doubt in my mind that the “pennies” I pay you, for your survey pays for itself a hundred times over.

 Thank you so very much for making a very important job around here so much easier!


 Burton L Bank, President

Chesapeake Interlink, Ltd.



Using the Survey for promotion decisions dramatically reduced turnover.  by Wes Crane

 We couldn’t find an answer to our manager turnover problem in the deli and bakeries.  We always promoted experienced good workers, yet they became stressed-out, unsuccessful as managers.  

A colleague at a Seminar told me the Simmons Personal Survey was helping them choose people for jobs that required leadership.  After a two hour conversation with Jack Simmons, I was convinced that this might work for us, but I had doubts that it could do all of this. 

 We started using the Survey for choosing managers in our delicatessens.  Up to that point, we had been turning over a deli manager every two months.  In the six months after we started using the Personal Survey, we did not turn a single manager.  After starting to use the Survey, we only had 2 turnovers in a 3 year period of time.  This was a tremendous success for us because it had been such a serious problem area before.  

 During that period of time, we saw the value of using the Survey in choosing the right people for promotions.  From then on, we gave everybody that was up for promotion in any department the Simmons Survey.  

 Often, we surprised ourselves at the person we promoted.  But it basically proved to us that the Survey was valid and the predictions we would make in an interview were not always the correct one.  We had been looking at work and responsibility rather than leadership traits.  The best sandwich maker got promoted to the manager and failed - not because of technical knowledge, but because of character.  


The Survey is useful in all types of industry.  by Wes Crane

 After 3 years of using the Survey with a major food chain here in the Northwest, I started the company, Second Opinion, and began marketing the Survey.  

 That was in Spring, 1990.  From that point on we have marketed the Survey with many different industries.  I started out with grocery, because that was where I had been for 20 years.  Many of those companies are still using the Survey with great success.  Then we took on many different industries - seafood, shipbuilding, insurance, coastal transportation, airline pilots, furniture stores, even entertainers.

 The Survey was so well accepted in so many different arenas that we have no fear of taking it into any business.  Basically, we are looking at the people skills rather than the technical skills.  It seems that across the board, companies have the same people problems which the Survey does such a good job of sorting out.  The Survey points out strengths as well as problem areas, gets people prepared for the new position or tells us they’re not ready to be promoted yet.  

 From the point of getting the Survey started with grocers, we moved into many areas.  We have moved up into Alaska with several clients.  We have worked with a 4 year college in Sitka, Alaska.  We have worked with a native corporation in Alaska.  We also work with a major grocery trading type organization that has outposts and some type of store in 31 native villages as well as in several of the larger towns.  We have had great success in these areas, helping choose the right people, especially when there weren't many people available.  


Use the Survey to match the person to the corporate environment.  by John Beane

 When you know the company environment well, you can look at an applicant’s Survey and tell whether they will fit or not.  For instance, I work with a manufacturing firm that is very male oriented, patriarchal, chauvinistic.  To be somebody there, you've got to be able to build things - strap on a tool belt, grab a hammer, and drive nails - that makes you somebody.

 When I recommended a female candidate, I knew from her Survey that she was going to be able to put up with the stuff she’d have to take there.  She was the kind who wasn't going to take offense and even though she might get upset, she wasn't going to quit.  She was going to stick around.

 She's been there for nearly 4 years now.  She'll call me every once and a while, just moaning and groaning about the place, but she doesn't quit, she keeps hanging in there.  And that's exactly what I was able to tell them that they would get.     


Finding the right person sometimes takes a while.  by John Beane

Recently I was working with a company who was using the Survey to hire their employees.  It just so happened that for a period of time most of their applicants did not look good for the job, and I did not recommend that they hire these people.  

Some people in their office became very critical of using the Survey.  Since they were so shorthanded, it was frustrating when I kept saying no to all their applicants.  

Finally, we found three people that really fit their needs.  Later the boss called me and said, "Boy, I'm sure glad you made us wait.  This is the best team I've ever had."

Disregarding character, causes problems.  

An owner of a software company in the eastern United States has had several cases where he has sent Surveys through and I have recommended not hiring the people.  Unbeknownst to me, he had gone ahead and hired two people I had recommended against.  Within a month to two months of hiring them he turned around and let them go, basically for the same reasons that I had told him not to hire them.  

Good work experience doesn’t necessarily make good mangers

A manufacturing firm was preparing to open a new plant.  They had gotten word of a gentlemen who was a 25 year veteran of the industry, highly thought of by everyone.  They had tons and tons of good reports on this guy.  

When I did his Survey interpretation, there were several things that bothered me.  For instance, he was neither goal oriented nor a self starter. This led me to believe that he would probably not be a very good leader to take this plant from start-up to the high production rate they expected.  And yet their main reason for hiring him was the fact that they felt he could get it up to speed really quickly.  But in the absence of strong management characteristics, I said I wouldn't recommend hiring him.  

The president of the company called me and said, "Well, you know, I've got such good reports on him from all of these people in the industry.  You're the only one who says don't hire him."  And I said, "Well, it's your money and you can do whatever you want, but here's what's going to happen.  If you hire this gentlemen, within 9 or 10 months you're going to let him go because he's not a self starter.  He's not going to lead the plant, and you're going to do his job for him or it won't get done."

They called two weeks later and said, "We’ve decided to go against you’re advice and hire him because he had such a good reputation from the industry."  I said, "That's fine.  It's your money.  No problem."  

I did about 4 months of training sessions with the new supervisors and this plant manager, teaching them how to set goals, etc.  On the side, from the supervisors I was hearing, "Well, you tell us all this neato stuff, but the plant manager never does anything about it."  

So I began to very firmly set specific objectives for the manager, with instructions to report back on his progress at the next training session.  He'd come back next time and say, "Well, I didn't have time, we were just so busy, ...”  Nothing ever got done.

Before long, the only way I could find the president of the company and the vice president of manufacturing was to go down to the new facility, because that's where they were, each running a half of an assembly line and doing the job of the plant manager.  After about 6 months like this, I said to the president, "It looks to me like you have a decision to make.  Are you going to be the plant manager or are you going to be the president of this company.  Because if you're the president, I would expect to find you in the president's office, not running a line down at this plant."  

Three weeks later, they finally decided that the manager was not capable of doing the job, fired him and found someone else.  This time they heeded my Survey recommendations and chose a man who was successful as a manager and figured they could teach him how to build their product.  

Knowing character helps you avoid bad hires.  

A client sent me a Survey to evaluate as a sales manager for one of their offices.  I faxed them my report saying I would not hire this individual and gave them the reasons why.  

The next day the president of the company called me and said "John, I just wanted to fess up to you and tell you that he had already worked for me.  I have already fired him and I was just testing you.  If I’d done the Survey before I hired him and then listened to you, I would never have had the problems I’ve had."

The Survey can even predict what you will see in an interview.  

A manufacturing firm had an applicant whose Survey revealed he was highly verbal, very negative, very much into interpersonal conflict.  I said, "This is the kind of person that, when you tell him he doesn't get the job, he's going to really become abusive and more or less attack you for your stupidity for not hiring him.”  

The president of the company told me later what happened when he called the applicant.  “I told him that we appreciated him coming in but we had made a decision in another direction.  True to his Survey and your prediction, he became highly abusive and started to tell me I was going to really regret not hiring him, and so on.”  His own response proved the Survey correct and further verified their decision.  


The Survey works well in management and sales hires.  by Jerry Turk

For me, the Survey absolutely nailed the personality attributes that, on one end of the scale could have been negative to the job at hand, &/or those attributes that on the other end of the scale, indicated that this was the very right person for doing the job.  I have used the Survey in selecting sales oriented people and in various levels of management selection.

One gentleman’s Survey showed very strong sales attributes but it also revealed him to be very rigid and inflexible.  His position required that he incorporate the ideas of other people into his work environment.  While he could admit that he was inflexible, he was unwilling to take any steps to change it.  His strong sales abilities enabled him to last two more years, but it was his inflexibility that eventually caused his dismissal. 

In other areas, I’ve relied very heavily on the Survey to measure management potential.  We found it was very significant, and we tried to hire people who ranked very high on the management scale.  It’s proven to be valuable for all levels from sales management through bank presidents.

We just wouldn’t hire anyone who did not score strong enough on the management scales.  I have that much faith in the accuracy of the instrument.   


The Survey helps to pick the best professional football players.  by Dave Michiels

As an Industrial Relations Consultant, Dave Michiels has been using the Survey for selection and development with great success for collegiate and professional football teams.  In the last five years, 90% of the NFL players drafted have been Surveyed.

Prior to the 1997 NFL Draft, Michiels completed Personal Surveys and individual interviews on over 400 players, compiling reports that identify and rank the 14 different traits that scouts and coaches want to know about an athlete.  By draft day, the teams using the Surveys have studied the reports in conjunction with their own information.  Michiels says, “A lot of times, if the coach and scout differ on a choice, they will refer back to the Survey and then say, ‘I'm going to go with yours.’   They have that much confidence in it because they’ve seen the difference it can make.”

“Coaches are becoming more aware of the character of the players and how it affects their potential for success.  (Unfortunately, football develops characters, more than it develops character.)  The scouts love it because it gives them a reliable tool that they didn't have before.”

At the Super Bowl, Green Bay Packers’ coach Ron Wolff said, “If we win this thing, then you can claim some of the victory because of the work you did with the Survey early on.”  

During his tenure as Head Football Coach at Tulane University, Mack Brown gave credit to the Survey as “a very positive influence in our three-year turnaround of the Tulane football program.  I would recommend the testing as well as the counseling program to anyone in business that deals with people.”

“I’ve done extensive research on testing over the years,” Michiels reports.  “The Survey is far superior to anything else on the market.  The Union says you cannot do psychological tests and the Survey is not a psychological test.  It is the most objective character evaluation that I am aware of, and it has no racial implications or biases.”  

“One year I personally validated 132 Surveys.  I asked their coach, advisors, and people that knew them very well, “How accurate is this description?”  All 132 were validated as accurate.”

Among the professional teams who have used the Survey are the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, and Dallas Cowboys.  Collegiate teams include among others, U.C.L.A., Tulane, University of Oklahoma, and University of North Carolina.


Nellie Miller, Director of Human Resources 

Landau Uniforms, Olive Branch, MS 

  The Simmons Survey has been a primary component in our selection process for over 16 years, especially with management.  After two or more staff have interviewed an applicant, we compare our notes with the Survey results.  If it backs-up our findings then that verifies what we saw.  If on the other hand the Survey results are different, then that tells us we need to take a closer look.  The Survey measures such specific job related characteristics that we know exactly how to check out. 


Barbara Davis 

Selmer Apparel, Selmer, TN 

 “The Simmons Survey helps us reduce management turnover costs by letting us know what the person’s really like before we hire them.”


Patty Camps, General Manager 

Metal Products, Memphis, TN               


Our number one use of the Survey is for hiring.  We’ve learned to pay attention to it, sometimes we’ve learned the hard way.  

 I had an applicant who was just fabulous in the interview, said all the right things, and looked really strong.  Her Survey showed somewhat less than that.  I thought, “Well, it can’t always be right.”  But in the long run, it was the Survey that we should have been listening to.

 Everybody wants a job and a pay check.  They can “put out” for the interview and maybe for a while.  But if the commitment to work isn’t a real part of their character, it will begin to fade.  

The person had sold me on their enthusiasm and willingness to work hard.  After an initially strong effort, their effectiveness tapered and then began to roller coaster.  There was more of a desire to socialize than do the work and help the client.  Then one day she just up and left without notice.

I was stunned.  I went back and looked at her Survey and there it was staring me in the face.  The Survey had revealed a low commitment to work along with high sociability.  

You can get a gut feeling sometimes in an interview and you don’t know whether to go with it or not.  But the Survey is consistently correct.  It showed tendencies that we could not have foreseen in the interview.

A stable sales force reduces training costs and increases customer satisfaction.

Being a small company, we prefer to hire people who want to stay for a long time.  This isn’t just because of the dollar cost of hiring and training, which is important.  But more significant to us is the consistency of service we can provide to the client with a stable sales force.  

High turnover within sales seems to be prevalent in the industry.  They seem to always be looking for greener pastures.  Since we’ve been using the Survey, we’ve been able to keep people on much longer.  We can identify the type of people who will want to provide long term service and still have the skills for selling.  It’s an unusual mix and hard to find, but the Survey has been our key to locating them.


Rita Johnson, Human Resource Reprensentative

Mountaire Farms,  Selbyville, DE   

The Survey gives us an additional tool in the interviewing process to select the candidate with the best fit for our company.  The right fit is very important, sometimes more than specific skills.

For management and support staff, we find the full range of character traits on the Survey very helpful to find the best fit for job requirements and team compatibility.

A person’s technical skills are not always enough for success on the job.  


Gray Rawlings, Vice President of Administration

S & K Menswear, Richmond VA

 Assessment for Management Candidates

Employees that we believe are good candidates for a management position are brought to Richmond for four days in our Corporate Management Awareness Program.  With 220 stores in 26 states, we can’t possibly get to know all of them personally.  The Survey backs up what we think we know or points out character traits that we would not be able to discover, even with interviews and the five day training.  

It’s a great tool for us because it gives us additional information that we have found to be true to character.  The Survey shows us how they relate to people, which tells us how they might handle customers and employees.  We look for what kind of leadership potential they have to handle the hiring and training end of the business also.

 Human Resource Process

As Vice President of Administration, I am responsible for human resources, training and benefits.  As corporate liaison with the stores, I am a part of the manpower committee that makes the choices for in-house promotions.  The Survey has become a very valuable part of what I do.  

 By and large, retailers are having a difficult time finding good management candidates in the work force.  There are simply not very many at your beck and call at any given time.  Since the corporate office cannot possibly be familiar with all of the job markets in 26 states, we rely on our District Managers to be instrumental in the hiring for these stores.  So we rely on the Survey to give us an overview of their leadership abilities - to tell us if they have the character traits necessary to handle the hiring and training end of the business.

Looking for long term employees

People don’t seem to have the commitment that we found 10 years ago.  Overall, individuals in the retail industry develop no loyalty to the employer.  They will go to the highest bidder at the drop of the hat.  They don’t have an eye for developing any long term career potential.  

We are looking for people who are interested in a retail career.  Retail is certainly not the ideal career for a lot of people.  You have to love it, really be interested in it.  It’s not necessarily the highest paying career but there is a lot of opportunity associated with it.  There is a lot of growth potential if you’re willing to give some commitment to it up front.  

Job hoppers are the most frustrating piece of our employment scenario.  When you spend over $5,000 in time and resources to train each manager, it’s disheartening to find that, after 3 months, someone else has offered them another $2,000 and off they go.  The Survey helps us avoid that.

We’ve grown from 500 to 620 managers in one year and we’ll be doubling our size with the next 2 years.  The growth has been healthy but, on the employment scene, it’s been tough.  The Survey has helped us find the very best caliber person that is suited for this kind of job.  


Anthony Dagastino, District Manager

Wenco Franchise Management Inc., Memphis, TN

 The Survey is valuable because it allows us to accurately predict individual performance issues, like their commitment to work, tolerance, etc.  

The Survey helps the person understand why they do what they do, which is the only way they can improve.  It becomes the basis for their training.

Honesty testing:  We chose five honest individuals who had proven over a period of time to be of high integrity.  Each one fit the “Honesty Traits” to a “T”.  I believe using the Survey to hire managers will significantly reduce turnover due to integrity issues on the job. 


Doug Haile, Human Recource Manager

O’Sullivan Industries, Lamar, MO

We’ve used the Survey for hiring, training, promotion and team building for over 15 years.

The Survey shows us employee attitudes that affect their ability to use their job skills.  For instance, our draftsmen need to have the ability to sit at the desk, stay at the task and do repetitive types of work.  

We might hire someone who has all the right technical skills, but they’re a little different type of individual.  Well, that’s OK, we can work with that, as long as we know that going in.


Tom Howard, V. P. Human Resources, Wang's 

International, Inc. Memphis, TN 

 "100% of the Surveys we have processed have been accurate and were verified by other reli­able infor­mation.  The Survey has consis­tently helped us hire good employees, reduce turnover, greatly enhance performance, and increase cus­tomer satisfaction."


Carl Ring, President, Ring Can 

Corporation, Oakland, TN 

 "The Survey helps me place employees into jobs where they can be most success­ful.  In this way, strengths can be best utilized and limitations are minimized.  The Survey also helps me assess readiness for advancement."



Simmons Personal Survey Validity Study 

with CSR American Aggregates

Date:  November, 1995

 CSR/American Aggregates is a subsidiary of Australian based Consolidated Sugar Refineries.  With 1100 employees located in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Ohio, they produce stone for the concrete, asphalt, and construction industries.  

The company has been using the Simmons Personal Survey on a regular basis for hiring supervisory personnel and have been very pleased with the quality of employee the Survey is helping them to obtain.  They have also been using the tool to help their leaders make the personal changes necessary to successfully practice the new team management style that the company has put in place.  

At the present time, they have begun an in-house study to statistically verify the accuracy, validity, and usefulness that they have seen in the Simmons Personal Survey.  While the total process will include over a hundred employees, one part of their study is described below.


         1.  The Simmons Personal Survey was processed on five job candidates.  Steve Fleming, a Human Resource Executive within the company, scored and ranked the candidates from 1 to 10 on several critical job success factors, based entirely on his evaluation of their Simmons Profile.  Throughout the applicant rating and ranking process, Steve had no other knowledge about the applicants.  

            2.  Five highly-skilled, well-trained interviewers from American Aggregates interviewed each of the five candidates.  Their in-depth process included meeting with the appli­cant at their current place of work and talking with people who worked with them.  From their testing and interviews, each interviewer individually scored the applicants on the critical success factors for the job and placed them in rank order from 1 to 10.  Throughout the interviewing and ranking process, the interviewers had no knowledge of the Survey rankings.

Results.  Steve Fleming reports: 

 "My interpretation of the Simmons was precisely in line with all five interviewers in scoring success factors and in rank order.  That's tremendous credibility!  We are seeing that this tool is so powerful."  

"We are finding so many other uses for the Survey that go beyond the selection proc­ess.  We are using the Simmons as a tool for both individual and company suc­cess.  We use the Simmons to an­swer questions in three critical areas:  Can the person do the job?  Will the per­son do the job?  Will the person fit on the team?  We're going to perform a Sim­mons on every person in a supervisory capacity."

This story about American Aggregates is a powerful demonstration of the Survey's re­markable accuracy.  This accuracy is helping them to choose the best persons to fit the job.  It is also becoming the tool for en­couraging the growth and development of their current employees.

 American Aggregates uses the Survey:  To hire employees best-suited for participatory management.

 To assist current employees in making the personal changes nec­essary to succeed in the team structure.

To reduce an extremely high turnover rate.

 Companies around the world are struggling to find their way in to­day's changing economic environment.  While Total Quality Man­agement has been highly promoted as the path to financial survival in the future, it requires huge culture changes within the company.  Steve Fleming, of CSR/American Aggregates, reports:  "Serious paradigm shifts are necessary to make TQM successful.  We feel the Simmons Personal Survey is the tool that can help us do that."


Keith Floto

 The Survey’s tremendous value has been in selection and team building.  The restaurant business traditionally has an incredibly high turnover rate industry-wide. The Survey really pin-pointed those characteristics important for success. 

Keith Floto was a Human Resource consultant for a large Wendy’s franchise.  Their 57 stores were experiencing a turnover rate of 50 to 100% in management.  “While courses in better interviewing techniques had been helpful, they were not enough to tell us who we were dealing with in the interview.”

Many applicants present themselves as enthusiastic hard workers; “I’m a work-a-holic.  I’m not afraid to work hard and put in long hours.”  But the Survey would tell you whether that was real or not.  Having a dependable way to identify their commitment to work, positive attitude, emotional energy and decision making levels helped us choose managers that were right for our situation.  The Survey was a vital part of our hiring process for management positions.


Character Measurement Produced Tremendous Turnover Reduction.  Pat Sumpter, Management Consultant

I began using the Survey in 1990 as store manager for a supermarket chain.  I was the strongest “nae-sayer” of all in the beginning.  I thought tests were hogwash, just a waste of time and money. 

We started out by doing Surveys on all existing management.  When Wes Crane went over the results of my own Survey I was amazed.  “How could you possibly know that from a test,” I asked.  I could see the value of knowing that much about an applicant before we hired him and I was sold on it!

Now I see that the Simmons Survey is not really a test, but rather a remarkably clear picture of who you are at the time.  

We totally integrated the Simmons Personal Survey into our Human Resource procedures, using it specifically at three levels. 

1.  Hiring:  After job applicants were narrowed down to three, all were given the Survey.  We used it for every position, from entry level throughout management.  

Since we originally began by giving the Survey to all of our existing management, we could see how the Survey scores related to success in our stores.  We knew what we were looking for in an applicant, and could choose the one who would fit best.  

2.  Promotion:  We used the Survey to help us know which employees were really ready for promotion.

The Survey showed us if they had good emotional energy, commitment to work, and attention to detail.  Then we looked to see if their tolerance and consideration for others was balanced with the appropriate decisiveness and assertiveness to be a manager.  

We promoted the best candidate, but the benefits of using the Survey went far beyond that.  Each candidate had the opportunity to discuss their Survey with us.  Often those who had not been promoted would say, “I really want to move up into management.  What is it that’s holding me back?”  We would go over their Survey, showing them specific areas that they could work on.  

Providing this assistance in their development proved to be extremely cost effective.  Before long we were promoting entirely from within.  

3.  Department Manager Annual Review:  Each year the Department Managers took the Simmons Survey and compared it to their results from the previous year.  In a meeting with the Store Manager, they would review and acknowledge the improvements they had made.  The employee had the opportunity to make suggestions about what they thought needed improvement, then the Store Manager made his suggestions.  Together they developed specific goals for the next year.  

This development process has double benefits of reducing turnover and increasing effectiveness. 

Within 18 months, the Survey was the key to reducing turnover  from a crippling 172% to a manageable 70%.  When we began, the cost of hiring and training an entry level worker in the supermarket industry was $1000 each.  Management costs rise exponentially from that. 



Case Study by Doug Jones
Corporate Character, Compatibility
COMPANY - A group of nationally recognized hamburger franchise fast food stores (about 7 units). Annual sales ($20 million) Actually, I had two major assignments for this company (call them Burger Buddy) located in America’s heartland. The original assignment was to evaluate management personnel, make recommendations for staff or policy changes to enhance performance. Part of the assignment was to Survey the key personnel, owners, operations manager, et managers and assistants. This was done. Each company has a character and personality, taking on that of the leaders of the firm. Burger Buddy owners were lay back, gentlemen, not the type to run rough shod over people, but good business men. Conversely, the operations manager, though seemingly effective, was just the opposite: dynamic, demanding and high energy. The managers he promoted were “just like him”.. He basically, hired and developed clones of himself.  The results of the subsequent Surveys and leadership study of Burger Buddy personnel were enlightening. In interviews, virtually every management person professed to be happy and motivated in his or her job. However, the Survey revealed that (Note: How?) the vast majority experienced a serious lack of ability to see the job as rewarding. As a support aid, we also employed use of the SMS Team Matrix, plotted results by job category and by store. As a group they were not happy in their work environment. Operations leadership was micro-managing virtually every aspect of their jobs. They were “not allowed to fail”. The Survey showed they felt low involvement (note: How?) in the decision making process, while verbally expressing complete happiness with their job situation. The operations manager left sometime later. My next assignment was to help the two owners find a suitable replacement. Three very excellent, experienced persons applied. Through the Survey and understanding “who the owners were”, I recommended a particular candidate as one who would “blend” well with ownership and their personal philosophies while being skilled enough to get the job done.  My preferred candidate was the one hired and has been in place for about 3 years. The Survey can assist management in “matching” the players who can work successfully within the owners philosophy. Football coaches draft players they feel will work well within “their system”, a matching process


The Survey Helps Companies Succeed Financially:  Susan Dailey, Personnel Director, Shirlo 

Incorporated, Memphis, TN 

"The Survey has helped us decrease our employee costs.  At the same time, it has helped us increase productivity, sales, and profits."