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Pre-Employment Tests, Interview Skills & Hiring


3 STEPS TO HIRE THE BEST PEOPLE for YOUR TRAINING or APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM
By Michael Mercer. Ph.D.
Jan 20, 2012, 13:24

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Warning:  Only put people in your training program who are ultra-likely to complete or “pass” the program – and then will stay with your organization. 

 

More companies are creating and operating training programs or apprenticeships – mainly to train people for jobs requiring technical skills.  Reason:  There is shortage of people possessing crucial technical skills, including

*  “blue-collar” technical skills – e.g., equipment maintenance, welding,
      and more

*  “white-collar” technical skills – in computers, healthcare, laboratory work,
      and more

 

This problem is compounded by retiring employees who (a) possess technical skills, (b) remained in same company 20-40 years, and (c) are retiring.  They stayed so long that companies did not train technicians to replace them.

 

 

IMPORTANT:  HIRE TRAINEES WHO WILL BOTH SUCCEED & STAY

 

I delivered a speech at a huge training conference.  The room was filled to capacity with training directors from across North America. 

 

I got a huge audience response when I said this:  Do NOT try to train people who never should have been hired and put in your training program!

 

Specifically, it is an expensive waste to put people in your training program who might

a.  be too stupid or lazy to “pass” your training program

b.  drop out

c.  get kicked out

d.  leave your company after you pay for their training

 

Most training programs cost a lot per trainee. 

 

Question:  Financially, how much is one graduate of your training program worth to your company? 

 

Answer:  Financially, vastly more than your training program’s cost!

 

So, if a trainee fails or drops out or gets kicked out or finishes training and departs your organization, your training investment was 100% wasted.  Plus, your company loses business opportunities due to not having another trained employee.  Then, your company has too few qualified technicians, which harms business growth opportunities.

 

 

3 STEP METHOD TO HIRE APPLICANTS WHO ARE WORTH TRAINING

 

From my experience helping many organizations select the right people for their expensive training programs, I created a three-step hiring method to select applicants likely to

+  successfully complete training program

+  not turnover – stay long-term with the company

 

Recommendation:  Only consider hiring applicants who earn high ratings on all three steps.

 

 

STEP #1:  BRIEF INITIAL SCREENING INTERVIEW (BISI)

Select applicants who have work-related qualities similar to your best, ”superstar” employees in the job.  So, unearth the superstars’ bio-data (biographical data) on job requirements, work experiences, education, and pay.  Then, conduct brief, 15 minute interviews with job applicants to see if they possess bio-data similar to the job’s superstar employees. 

 

Example:  If the job requires machinery operation, ask about applicant’s machinery experiences.  If the job requires laboratory work, ask about applicant’s lab and science experiences. 

 

 

STEP #2:  PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTS

Give pre-employment tests to applicants who do well on BISI (Step #1).  Pre-employment tests are created via years of scientific research.  Well-researched tests are the best proven method to predict if an applicant may succeed on-the-job.  To start, your best employees in the job take the tests.  Their scores become the job’s benchmark test scores.  Then, test applicants.  You would prefer applicants who get same test scores as your best employees.

 

Two pre-employment tests you should use:

*  behavior or personality tests – on interpersonal skills, personality traits,
      and motivations

*  mental abilities tests – e.g., problem-solving, verbal skills, arithmetic, and
     handling small details

 

For certain jobs, you also should administer pre-employment dependability test – so you can evaluate applicant’s honesty, work ethic, safety, stealing and substance abuse concerns. 

 

 

STEP #3:  IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW

Applicants who get good pre-employment test scores (Step #2) should be given a 1-2 hour interview.  Customize this interview to assess the 6-9 most important job talents the applicant must possess.  Ask the same questions to each applicant, and rate applicant on lengthy list of job talent observations.

 

 

OPTIONAL STEPS YOU MIGHT USE

At minimum, hire trainees or apprentices using the three steps of custom-tailored (1) BISI, (2) pre-employment tests, and (3) in-depth interview.  If an applicant earns high ratings on those three steps, then you might put applicants through these optional assessment methods: 

*  Work Simulations – to evaluate applicant on specific job skills

*  Realistic Job Observation – have applicant observe employees doing the job

*  Reference, Background, and Medical Checks

 

 

HIRING GREAT TRAINEES IS ULTRA-PROFITABLE FOR YOUR COMPANY

You operate a training program for one big reason:  Employees completing your training program will become financially valuable – profitable – for your organization.  So, make sure you only hire applicants who are likely to (A) complete your training program and (B) become long-term employees. 

 

You can hire the best trainees using three steps: 

(1) Brief initial screening interview

(2) pre-employment tests – behavior, personality, mental abilities and dependability tests

(3) in-depth interview. 

 

Applicants who do well on all three steps have a good likelihood of completing your training program, and becoming financially valuable employees in your organization. 

 

 COPYRIGHT 2012 MICHAEL MERCER, PH.D., www.MercerSystems.com

 

Michael Mercer, Ph.D., is an industrial psychologist, speaker, and book author.  He wrote 6 books, including “HIRE THE BEST & AVOID THE REST.”  Three pre-employment tests he created are used by many companies to help them hire hard-working, productive employees.  Dr. Mercer also creates custom-tailored job interviews for many organizations.  You can learn about the three pre-employment tests and Dr. Mercer’s “hire the best” methods at www.MercerSystems.com



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