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PRESS RELEASE How new staff selection software is helping Drakes Supermarkets stay ahead of the competition

An innovative new Australian software service that profiles job candidates is making it easier for one of Australias largest independent retailers, Drakes Supermarkets, manage its costs while also finding the right people to help drive growth and expansion. The software, developed by Sydney-based Expr3ss! benchmarks job applicants against the attributes and attitudes of successful high-performing employees using customised screening questions. It eliminates the need for employers to read candidate resumes. Drakes Supermarkets says finding and hiring the right people is a key to its continued growth and success. It has significantly improved its staff retention and quality since it began leveraging Expr3ss! in 2009.

The high-growth South Australian-owned family business has over 5,700 employees and owns and operates 57 stores throughout Queensland and South Australia. It recently hit $1 billion sales mark less than a year after successfully rolling out eight Queensland acquisitions in 24 days. Drakes Chief Executive Officer Roger Drake makes a point of personally knowing as many of his staff as he can by name. This top level focus on the importance of every employee is reflected in the companys innovative human resources management approach.

Dealing with hiring of new employees could be a major challenge for Drakes managers. Expr3ss! staff selection software has helped cut the time and cost of hiring new people and improved the accuracy of the process allowing store managers to meet the demands of rapid growth.

Drakes Supermarkets believes a large part of its success and rapid expansion has been in finding and hiring the right people in a competitive market dominated by two retail giants.
The network of stores has Expr3ss! Software embedded in its website and internal reporting programs. A focus on staff training and development, customer service, innovation and an

expanded social media presence have also helped contribute to the networks growth. Chief Executive Officer Roger Drake said, We continue to punch well above our weight in South Australia and Queensland as local customers look for a greater service experience when shopping. We are battling it out in a competitive market and holding our own against the larger national chains. Our stores compete directly with the biggest names in the industry, Woolworths and Coles. This means we have to be the best across a range of areas. One key to success is finding the right staff. The manager employee relationship in our 57 stores is critical and identifying the right people to build successful teams is essential. Each of
the talented and motivated people who share our values of customer service are an asset to our business, he added.

Lifting productivity
Drakes Supermarkets Human Resources Advisor Felicity Brevi said, Many new employees tell us how much they enjoy working here and how keen they are to take on more responsibilities. This is a significant change from what we have seen before. We can see the system has significantly lifted productivity in every area of the business by having motivated and focused staff.

Drakes has a diverse demographic of employees who are attracted to retail work for a number reasons. Wed like to think we can offer a career path rather than just work while people look for something more suitable. Drakes has a strong family culture which is important to us. Some employees have as much as 30 years of experience and then there are employees who just started work with us today, added Ms Brevi. We have found with Expr3ss! we are more accurately able to identify applicants who display the behaviours of our existing best performing staff. Because we have a single solution for all of our staff processes, the consistency of our operations has improved dramatically and communication across our locations is also better.

"Expr3ss! has helped us become more efficient in our human resources function and reduce the cost of finding people. We're able to do our work better and not have to worry when we need to look for someone to fill an important role. It makes it easier to align individual and team goals with company goals, she said.

Drakes will continue to add more new stores and employees in 2014 and the Expr3ss! technology platforms will be used to support its growth.

Other national retailers using the software include Nick Scali Furniture, Kennards Hire, Harris Farm Markets, Beaumont Tiles, Marcs and David Lawrence, Spend-Less Shoes and sports shoe retailer Authentics Australia. They estimate Expr3ss! staff selection software has helped reduce annual staff turnover from over 20 per cent to as low as two per cent and eliminated the need to use external recruiters and pay their fees. Expr3ss! was founded by entrepreneur Carolyne Burns and Dr Glyn Brokensha. Together with a team of leading software developers they have created a web-based productivity tool engineered to harness the power of cloud-based computing and data.

Rather than sorting job candidates by their experience and qualifications, Expr3ss! staff selection software allows employers to sort candidates on their values and attitudes using an embedded psychometric system. Job applicants complete an online survey comprising a set of optional statements. Dr Glyn Brokensha said, "Most of the time when employees are appointed it is on the sole criteria of a particular skill-set. Whereas when they fail it's almost invariably not to do with skills, but to do with attitudes and values." Expr3ss! staff selection software uses a range of information to create a profile of the companys most successful and productive employees in particular roles.This then seeds development of a benchmark for identifying the characteristics and attitudes of potential new employees in those roles. It allows the business to better understand its hiring decisions and make more accurate hiring decisions. Dr Brokensha said. The software uses a unique algorithm that looks at dozens of multi-dimensional aspects of a potential employee to help predict their suitability for a particular role. With more insight into the values and attitudes of its best employees, employers are able to make more informed decisions. Isolated pieces of information about employees like how often they have changed jobs, where they have lived or what they did before cant always tell an employer everything about a person or predict their behaviour. But when you take into account a whole range of factors based on core beliefs and attitudes, you get a much more accurate and better picture of how that person will potentially perform in a specific role, Dr Brokensha explained.

Measuring return on HR investment

When retailers with large numbers of staff start thinking about wheather they have the right people in place, they then need to figure out ways to identify, measure and match personal attributes, capabilities and experience in a fast and simple manner so they can be ready to fill any gaps in advance.

Expr3ss! staff selection software allows users to identify the attributes of their best employees and replicate these across the workforce. Many CEOs and CFOs find it hard to measure the value and performance of their human resouces departments. Expr3ss! allows them to manage, measure and improve staff selection and the perfomance of this critical process, Dr Brokensha said.

Expr3ss! staff selection software is a web-based recruitment and selection management solution for businesses of all sizes and complexities. It works by capturing tracking and analysing applicants from all advertising sources, and all other channels. The software can show an employer where their best applicants are coming from and where their ad dollars are best spent. It ranks and sorts applicants using a range of screening questions and assessment tools. Employers who use the service can identify and group applicants to multiple jobs and also recognise and track returning applicants. Importantly, the software also allows employers to communicate directly with applicants by email or text throughout the selection process. Effective collaboration between decision-makers, a fully documented audit trail and a suite of process-analysis tools complete the picture. Applicants that were once hard to find and difficult to reach can now be identified and targeted, reducing the time and cost to hire the right staff. See

Pics attached:

1. Drakes Supermarkets Chief Executive Officer Roger Drake 2. Drakes Supermarkets staff 3. Expr3ss! co-founder Dr Glyn Brokensha

For More Information Call:

Dr Glyn Brokensha Expr3ss! (0407) 978 471 Tim Allerton/Andrew Geddes City PR (02) 9267 4511