From turnover to time-to-hire, every HR challenge should be approached with a multifaceted
solution in mind, says Jasmine Viera.
That has been the spirit behind the
bulk of her work at Crawford & Co., a
claims-management company based in
Atlanta. As HR director, Viera brings a
process-oriented mindset to the company,
which employs 9,000 people worldwide.
“There are often several different
problems at once, and several different
solutions to a problem—if you just
Band-Aid one area, you’re not really
fixing things,” she says.
A Multipronged Approach
Viera kept that idea in mind when,
in 2016, a year after joining Crawford,
she turned her attention to the
company’s turnover rate, which was
particularly high for new hires in the
At Viera’s direction, her team—
which today consists of seven
employees—developed a behavioral-
based interview guide and training
for 130 managers, based on a survey
targeting key employee competencies,
to enhance the employee-selection
process. Viera also revamped the exit-
interview process, including changing
a paper evaluation to a digital one, with
Within a year, the turnover rate in
the business division decreased from
14. 2 percent to 11. 2 percent.
Also in 2016, the company decided
to transition work in its IT unit to India
to cut costs, resulting in a reduction
of force in the 175-person department.
Viera oversaw the selection of which
employees would be laid off—including
leading a needs assessment and an
adverse-impact analysis—and ensured
compliance with federal regulations.
“I had done some reductions in the
past here and there but this was the
largest project I had ever managed
throughout my entire career,” Viera says.
In addition to drafting manager
communications, Viera advocated for
re-employment services for workers
who were affected.
“We didn’t have the money
that a lot of large companies do to
hire outsourcing services to help
employees with these types of things.
I had to come up with ways that were
inexpensive but that would still set up
employees for success in their next
career,” she says.
Viera filed Trade Adjustment
Assistance petitions in each of the three
states affected to secure training and
job-search assistance for employees.
She also worked with state and local
agencies to organize on-site meetings
about unemployment benefits and other
resources. The company offered to pay
for training for affected employees to
become licensed adjusters.
“At the end of the day, employees
came up to me and said, ‘We understand
this was a very difficult decision
but we want you to know you did
everything you could to help us.’ As
HR professionals, we have to have
empathy but we also have to set our
emotions aside and get through some
tough decisions to be strong for the
Employee Feedback is Key
Ensuring the voices of employees
are heard has been a cornerstone of
Viera’s work at Crawford & Co.
During the turnover-reduction
project, Viera launched stay
interviews to “understand what causes
[employees] to jump out of bed in the
morning or what causes them to hit the
snooze button,” she says. “That was
She convened round-table
interviews with 350 employees who
worked in high-turnover departments
to glean insights on the root of the
“It was really huge for the
employees to feel like their voices
and their concerns were a part of this
process,” she says.
Employees were also an integral
part of a project Viera led to boost
applications and reduce the time-to-hire
rate for Broadspire, Crawford’s third-party administrator that services claims.
She launched an employee-feedback
campaign to encourage workers to
share their thoughts about Broadspire
on job site Glassdoor, on which the
company also began advertising open
positions. Viera made sure policies
and practices were in place if negative
employee feedback arose.
“If [negative comments] are not
addressed,” she says, “people will fill
in the unknown with their own truths.
The employer should respond, show
them that they care, that they’re heard.
And the employer needs to know if
something is going on so they can dig
in, understand it and fix it.”
The campaign led to a sharp
increase in positive employee
feedback on the site, and an uptick in
the company’s Glassdoor ratings in
every category. It is also credited with
helping reduce Broadspire’s time-to-fill
rate from 48 to 35 days.
Proactive, Not Reactive
While Viera has spent the last
decade honing her HR skills—
The same holds true for her work at
Crawford & Co.
Viera spent much of her first
year on the job learning the ropes of
insurance, an industry that she says
struggles to garner a foothold among
young talent. She recently took over
the attraction and selection initiatives
for the company’s domestic talent
acquisition, and aims to get ahead
of the ongoing talent shortage by
changing the narrative about careers in
“If you want your career to keep
moving for ward, you cannot sit back
and wait for the business to present
problems to you,” she says.;“As HR
professionals, it is our responsibility to
insert ourselves, ask questions, seek
to understand the business strategies,
the pain points, research the situation
and offer solutions that take into
consideration the business needs, the
law—because there’s almost always
guidelines—and what’s best for the
Crawford & Co., Atlanta
Greatest HR Achievement:
Overseeing an employee-reduction
project that met the company’s needs
while also connecting employees who
were laid off to training and resources.
Greatest HR Challenge: Developing
and communicating the employee-value proposition to a pool of
talented, young candidates who
often think of the insurance industry
as “stodgy and outdated.”
Jasmine Viera is using a proactive, well-rounded
strategy to improve Crawford & Co.’s HR capabilities.