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Bemis Manufacturing


A safe bet: balancing quality of hire and speed to hire in a competitive job market

The Goal

Bemis Manufacturing Company creates quality, innovative products that make everyday life a little easier. It also has a great work environment where employees are respected and empowered. The family-owned business wants to find more best-fit employees who will thrive in its self-managed workplace.

The Challenge

Unemployment is low in Wisconsin, so hiring managers need to move fast. At times, a good candidate was lost while a sluggish reference checking process dragged on for 30 days or more.
“We need to hire quickly but carefully, to keep operations moving; not having people in place can have a big impact on productivity.”
Scott P. Kuehn

Technical Talent Acquisition Coordinator, Bemis

How We Helped

With SkillSurvey Reference and the Pre-Hire 360 reference process, Bemis Manufacturing doesn’t have to sacrifice quality of hire for speed to hire for its manufacturing roles. Within 2 days, hiring managers have in-depth feedback from multiple references. Reviewing the feedback, along with results from mechanical skills and IQ tests, is the first step in screening applicants.

The feedback has proven so valuable that Bemis now uses Pre-Hire 360 to screen candidates for professional positions as well. Hiring managers can easily select the surveys that are relevant for a particular job. The answers to the questions on behavioral competencies give the company a solid picture of candidates’ past performance.

Scott Kohlahagen, Recruiting Manager at Bemis Manufacturing Company, said, “People can say anything on a resume. The feedback we get through SkillSurvey Reference tells us whether a person can or can’t do a specific job.”

The team at Bemis especially likes the Pre-Hire 360 survey’s open-ended questions where references are asked to list a candidate’s three strengths and areas of development. The very fact that some candidates or their references don’t complete the process can be answer enough.

Jennifer Krugel, Employment Placement Coordinator at Bemis Manufacturing, added, “Some people don’t provide the list of references. That tells us right then and there they lack motivation and drive.”

References say they like the confidentiality and ease of use of the survey. The process is also effortless for the team at Bemis. They can easily kick off the reference process, and follow up with candidates all within SkillSurvey Reference.

“The feedback from SkillSurvey Reference is an added data point on the candidate. It helps us decide if we should bring a candidate in for an interview.”

Scott P. Kuehn

Technical Talent Acquisition Coordinator, Bemis Manufacturing Company

Hiring for Safety

SkillSurvey Reference’s Pre-Hire 360 feature also helps the company get a real sense of a candidate’s attention to safety – an important quality in a manufacturing environment.

The cluster of questions about safety gives former managers and co-workers a chance to weigh in on whether a candidate really followed workplace procedures.

“If a candidate doesn’t have a safety conscious background, all the training and safety procedures in the world won’t help. With Pre-Hire 360, we can ask questions like ‘did they always wear their safety helmet’?”, said Jennifer.

“The quality of the candidates and the people we are hiring today versus before SkillSurvey Reference is night and day. Our operations managers tell us we are bringing in better people.”

Scott Kohlahagen

Recruiting Manager, Bemis Manufacturing Company

The Results


$2,735,000 in costs saved by
hiring best-fit employees


Reduced time to hire
from 30 to 15 days


76% of references responding
averaging 4 per candidate

About Bemis

Bemis Manufacturing Company is a family-owned business that traces its roots back to 1901. Headquartered in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, it has quietly grown to become an innovative international manufacturer serving markets worldwide.

Bemis markets products under its own brands and provides expertise to others, producing private-label products and component parts for a wide variety of industries. The company serves consumer, commercial, medical and industrial markets worldwide and has more than 1,600 employees located in six countries around the world.

Bemis is a Pre-Hire 360 customer through their relationship with SkillSurvey’s partner SageMark HR.

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