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Mott Community College


Getting honest feedback to make the right hires

The Goal

The college has a super reputation in its local community, the state of Michigan, and nationally and wants to hire only top-notch candidates. To help the institution retain this stellar reputation, the staffing team strives to make the best hiring decisions while creating a great overall experience for everyone involved.

The Challenge

Identifying the best people to help Mott achieve its institutional mission requires honest feedback and assessments of job candidates. The institution needed to get more insight out of prior colleagues, peers and employers but continually found that ‘old school’ reference checking only yielded surface information.

The process was also time consuming: phone tag spanned 3 to 10 days, many times delaying the college’s offer to its top finalist. The inefficiencies were frustrating for the college and their candidates. Sharon Ewles (who recently retired) and her staffing coordinator took on the challenge of making improvements.

“We live in a litigious society. Even when a reference was expecting our call, they would send us to HR who only gave us the basics: dates and titles.”
Sharon Ewles

Retired, Mott Community College

How We Helped

References are more candid when they use the Pre-Hire 360 reference check in SkillSurvey Reference, and their feedback provides a unique level of insight about the candidate’s past performance. In fact, Mott is able to get input from former managers about areas of improvement for more than 85% of their candidates.

Our Candidate Comparison report makes it easy for managers to see the strengths and weaknesses of all candidates, and develop a list of finalists. And they can probe areas of concern identified in the reference feedback during interviews.

Sharon added, “We are always striving to recruit the best and most qualified candidates. One of the most significant ways we’ve advanced our process is with SkillSurvey Reference.”

Mott decided not to consider two people for a position in public safety after a Pre-Hire 360 report noted that their references shared the same IP addresses as the candidates, without a reasonable explanation.

SkillSurvey Reference also alerts the college if a candidate is possibly misusing the system or being less than honest.

“The comments we receive from references are invaluable. We are getting honest feedback, and using it as a tool to evaluate candidates, interview better and make informed decisions.”

Sharon Ewles

Retired, Mott Community College

The Results


The college saved $600,000 in
turnover costs within 3 years


On average, 5 references
responded per candidate


Reference check time decreased
from 1 week to 1.34 days

About Mott Community College

Mott Community College has been recognized by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program as one of the Top 10 community colleges in the country, and was ranked as a Top 100 Degree Producer by Community College Week.

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