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Brinker International


Securing the ideal candidate

The Goal

The PeopleWorks team at Brinker – the multinational company that owns Chili’s Grill and Bar – are an innovative bunch.

So when they started using SkillSurvey Reference® and SkillSurvey Source® and saw the kind of data they could get on candidates, they set about maximizing the value of that data.

“We have a great leadership team that really pushes innovation. We’re always looking for creative technologies that can help us find the best people.”

– Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition, Brinker International

How We Helped

When the recruiters at Brinker first started sharing their statistics with the leaders of their PeopleWorks team, the reaction was instantly positive.

The senior manager recalled, “The recruiters were just wide-eyed, in awe of how quickly we were getting reference feedback. It’s just such a challenge even getting references anymore. All you get is when people worked.”

More importantly, the results spoke for themselves. With turnover for management currently 13 points below the national average of 32, they could see their efforts paying off.

But being convinced they’d found a winning solution wasn’t enough for these recruiters. After using it for some time, they decided to integrate the data they were getting from references with the data they were getting from their self assessment tool.

They pulled their data together to create a view of what a successful candidate may look like, and it has helped them understand a lot. They developed a set of KPIs and expect candidates to model specific behaviors or they won’t bring them on board. It’s a bar they’re also pushing higher and higher.

The team at Brinker recalls a few instances where people were hired – against the recommendation of the talent acquisition team – because the hiring manager had a strong feeling about the individuals.

The talent acquisition team was hesitant because the candidates failed to meet Brinker’s threshold and the guidelines established by senior manager and his team; yet the candidates were brought on board at the insistence of the manager.

The manager noted, “These are almost like little tests for us. And they’ve really validated the power of our talent analytics – work we couldn’t have done without SkillSurvey Reference.”

Also, his team is using SkillSurvey Source to actively recruit references enabling them to opt in to Brinker’s talent network.

Nearly 30% of references have submitted their names for consideration, and typically 2 of these passive candidates are hired per month.

“We are turning over about 60 less candidates per year. When you look at it in a dollar sense, we’re saving over $1.5M.”

Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition, Brinker International

The Results

We’re big fans of the way Brinker approaches the hiring journey. It’s a triumph of data-driven recruiting.


On average, references take less
than 2 days (1.85 days) to respond.


$1.5M in potential turnover
costs saved per year


On average, 4 references
respond per candidate


Brinker’s 12 months rolling turnover
for management is 13 points lower
than the national average of 32


Brinker averages 4 potential hires each
month that don’t move forward because of
insights gained through reference feedback


On average, Brinker hires 2 candidates
per month recruiting references through
SkillSurvey Source

About Brinker

Brinker International is a global enterprise responsible for some of the world’s favorite casual dining experiences including Chili’s Grill and Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurants.

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