September 13, 2002, 12:00 AM

Retailers’ job-app kiosks are moving to the web

One third of the 13,000 kiosks that Unicru has deployed in retail locations to accept job applications are web enabled and the rest are moving toward the web, Unicru says.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor


One third of the 13,000 kiosks that Unicru Inc. has deployed in retail locations to accept job applications are web enabled and the rest are moving toward the web, Chris Reed, Unicru’s vice president of marketing, tells

Retailers have installed the kiosks to accept job applications. The web allows the kiosks to display more graphically-appealing forms and communicate more information to prospective employees than do telephone connections, Reed says.

Retailers using the kiosks report that they have streamlined the hiring process and attracted a higher caliber of employees. “So far, it’s been phenomenal,” says Kevin Rutherford, vice president of human resources for Houston-based Garden Ridge Inc., which has installed hiring kiosks in more than 40 stores. “Store managers are extremely excited. They’re getting more candidates and not spending so much time interviewing candidates that don’t work out.”

When a prospective employee fills out the application, which takes about 10 minutes and includes personality and skills tests, results are sent to a server at Unicru headquarters in Beaverton, OR. A program instantly measures the results against performance parameters set by Garden Ridge. Within minutes, Unicru’s computer system sends the applicant’s scores back to the store. Store managers get near real-time notification via a pager alert whenever a desirable candidate has filed an application.

Rutherford says the system has attracted applicants and improved the quality of the applicant pool. Garden Ridge now rejects 11 applicants for every one it hires. Before it was hiring 50% of applicants. While Garden Ridge for now sends the data to Unicru via a phone line, it will be moving to the web next year. Garden Ridge says it also is considering using an e-learning system that Unicru is developiong for delivery over the kiosks.



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