Companies using pre-employment tests I devised want to hire the best. They want to hire employees who will be
1. highly productive
2. low turnover
Summary: They want to hire the best.
So, I tell them about something I saw.
TRUE STORY on HIRING THE BEST
I was in a restaurant with a company was holding its holiday party. The company hired a DJ from a radio station be master-of-ceremonies (MC) at the event. For entertainment, the MC ran many contests – each one involving five or so employees standing on a little stage to compete in fun and funny competitions.
After each contest, the MC announced the winner and everyone clapped. Then, the MC interviewed the winning employee a little, and awarded a prize.
Well, I particularly remember one employee who won a contest. The MC jumped on-stage, and asked the winner, “What do you do?” – meaning what is your job title.
But, that employee did not say his job title.
Instead, the employee smiled – and proudly replied, “I do it right the first time!”
The MC looked puzzled. He did not know what to make of that answer. So, he asked again, “What do you do?”
Again, that employee proudly answered, “I do it right the first time!”
Wow. That is a fantastic employee. He defined himself by doing perfect work “the first time” – and not by his job title. As far as he was concerned, his actual job is to “do it right the first time.”
When I tell this anecdote to managers, they always say, “Yes, that’s the type of employees I want to hire – people who do their jobs right the first time.”
Question = So, how can you hire employees who do their work assignments right the first time?
Answer = Here are six applicant methods to improve your odds you hire employees who “do it right the first time.”
1. PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTS – to HELP YOU HIRE THE BEST
Pre-employment tests readily can be customized for each job in your company. For “white-collar” jobs, use two types of tests: (a) behavior or personality test plus (2) intelligence or mental abilities test. Doing so, you find out if the applicant has both the required work behaviors and brainpower to learn and correctly do the job. Customize these tests by testing your excellent employees in each job. Their scores become the job’s “benchmark” test scores. Then, you do the logical thing: Focus on hiring employees who get pre-employment test scores similar to your excellent employees.
For “blue-collar” jobs, use pre-employment tests assessing dependability factors. Such factors evaluated by a good dependability pre-employment test are honesty, work ethic, impulsiveness, substance abuse, and theft/stealing. You, of course, could prefer job applicants who score low-risk on the five crucial dependability factors.
2. JOB INTERVIEWS – CUSTOMIZED for EACH JOB
Never do the typical job interview. The typical interview fails to reveal if the applicant has key qualities you are looking for. Instead, you must customize job interviews for each job. First, make lists of key job talents you absolutely need in each job. Second, make customized interview guide forms – to help you observe if the applicant has the key job talents. Ask only open-ended questions for each job talent – plus rate applicants on a list of observations you make to assess each job talent.
Suggestion: Two managers should simultaneously interview each applicant. This tag-team method keeps both interviewers on their toes, and increases odds they may make useful observations of the applicant.
3. BIO-DATA – HELPS YOU SUPER-QUICKLY
Uncover biographical data – “bio-data” – your best employees in each job have in common. For example, let’s say your best employees in one job had these four bio-data in common: (a) 2-3 previous full-time jobs, (b) received specific educational degree, (c) earned less than your company will pay them, and (d) worked during high school. You can focus on giving pre-employment tests and interviews only to applicants who have all four bio-data in common. Bio-data helps you quickly weed-out applicants you should not waste your time interviewing or testing.
4. WORK SIMULATION – ‘KEEP IT REAL’
Make the applicant perform actual job tasks. For example, if the job requires using MS Word and Excel, then you make a work simulation. This simulation forces applicants to show you how well they can use MS Word and Excel – importantly – in work tasks similar to what they would do on-the-job. Then, you see first-hand if the applicant has crucial work skills needed to succeed.
5. INTERROGATE + 1 MORE THING
Ask the applicant for many, many specific situations that may show if the applicant was highly productive in previous jobs. For example, if applicants say they helped “improve profits” for their jobs, then interrogate for specifically (a) how much, (b) doing what, and (c) over how long a period of time.
Then, you zap the applicant: Ask for names of people who can verify what they just told you. Observe how readily or hesitantly the applicant tells you. Their answer reveals a lot.
6. REALISTIC JOB OBSERVATION (RJO) – SEEING IS BELIEVING
Get applicants to observe the job being done for a half-day. Applicants who get RJO (a) are less likely to accept your job offer – but, (b) if they accept job offer, are more likely to feel satisfied in the job. Reason: They saw for a long time, a half-day, what the job entails – not simply a verbal or written job duties description. So, applicant can see if they really want to do that same job.
YOU CAN HIRE GOOD PEOPLE – WHO “DO IT RIGHT THE 1st TIME”
Hiring involves a type of betting. So, you boldly stack odds in your favor by using
1. Pre-employment Tests
2. In-depth Interviews
4. Work Simulations
Your doing using these six applicant evaluation methods vastly increases your odds you hire employees who proudly say their job is to “do it right the first time.”
COPYRIGHT 2010 MICHAEL MERCER, www.MercerSystems.com
Michael Mercer, Ph.D., is an industrial psychologist – who helps managers hire the best using pre-employment tests. His 5 books include “Hire the Best – & Avoid the Rest(tm).”
Dr. Mercer created 3 pre-employment tests – tests to help companies hire outstanding employees: (1) Abilities Forecaster(tm) Test, (2) Behavior Forecaster(tm) Test, and (3) Dependability Forecaster(tm) Test.
You can get information – or get answers to your questions:
> see website = www.MercerSystems.com
> talk with Dr. Mercer = (847) 382-0690