Article from www.DrMercer.com
PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTS TO HELP YOU AVOID HIRING INTERPERSONAL TROUBLEMAKERS
By Michael Mercer. Ph.D.
Sep 29, 2011, 16:23
Fortunately, pre-employment tests can help you avoid hiring troublemakers – including applicants who have lousy or unproductive interpersonal skills. Three interpersonal skills of major concern are the applicant’s level of = Friendliness, Assertiveness & Teamwork
Here, you will learn how to determine what pre-employment test scores are “good” or “bad. Then, see an example of how to put these “good” or “bad” test scores into action.
1ST = WHICH PRE-EMPLOYMENT TEST SCORES ARE “GOOD” OR “BAD?”
Before using pre-employment tests to weed out interpersonal troublemakers, you should uncover the typical or “benchmark” test scores of your company’s “superstar” or best employees in each job. How? Have some of your best – “superstar” – employees in each job take the pre-employment test. Scores of these “superstars” become the “benchmark” test scores you could prefer in job applicants. Reason: You want to hire applicants who possess qualities similar to your best employees.
Pre-employment tests’ interpersonal skills benchmarks will be on (a) low-friendliness vs. high-friendliness, (b) passive vs. aggressive, and (c) solo-work vs. teamwork. Knowing your company’s benchmark test score helps you avoid hiring applicants whose interpersonal skills differ from interpersonal skills of your company’s “superstar” employees.
EXAMPLE OF PRE-EMPLOYMENT TEST SCORES ON 3
One company that uses pre-employment tests I created wanted to hire great Sales Reps. The company’s Sales Reps took the behavior personality test. On the test’s three interpersonal scales, the company’s “superstar” Sales Reps’ “benchmark” scores were
* Moderate score on Friendliness
* Moderate score on Assertiveness
* High score on Teamwork
So, when the company tested applicants, the pre-employment test showed if applicants scored similar to – or different than – its best Sales Reps.
Now, let’s look at how hiring an applicant with test scores different than the company’s benchmarks can cause trouble. Such trouble harms productivity and profits, plus waste valuable management time dealing with an employee you should not have hired.
Imagine the interpersonal problems – that would impact productivity – if the company hired a Sales Rep whose interpersonal skills differed from the company’s “superstar” Sales Reps.
For instance, the pre-employment test’s benchmark scores on Friendliness scale was moderate Friendliness. A low-friendliness applicant is more shy, withdrawn and introverted than the company’s “superstar” Sales Reps. That spells trouble.
Or, imagine an applicant who scored highly-friendly, which is higher than the company’s benchmark of moderate friendliness. Such a highly friendly person would excessively socialize – so excessively that their boss would need to tell them to “stop socializing, and get back to work!”
Now, imagine an applicant whose pre-employment test scores on the test’s Assertiveness scale differed from the company’s “superstar” Sales Reps. Remember: The company’s best Sales Reps’ benchmark test scores indicated moderate Assertiveness. But, if an applicant scored Passive – i.e., low Assertiveness – that spells trouble. Such a person would be too “laid back” or wishy-washy and fail on-the-job.
And pre-employment test scores showing an applicant is highly Assertive – i.e., aggressive – also spells trouble on-the-job. Applicants who get highly Assertive test scores often act extremely aggressive: They “eat people up before breakfast, and spit them out before lunch.” Since this company’s best sales reps are only moderately assertive, such aggressive, pushy behavior spells trouble.
The third pre-employment test interpersonal skills scale is Teamwork. This test scale is a continuum from Prefer Solo Work to Prefer Teamwork. In example used here, the company’s best Sales Reps scored high, that is, Prefer Teamwork.
Well, imagine an applicant who scores low on the personality test’s Teamwork scale, i.e., scored toward Prefers Solo Work. Watch out! Such an applicant prefers to work solo or alone. Obviously, that would result in expensive trouble on-the-job.
TROUBLEMAKERS COST YOUR COMPANY PRODUCTIVITY & PROFITS
Your goal is to hire applicants who are likely to be productive, low-turnover and profitable for your company. So, you have financial reasons to avoid hiring troublemakers. The most scientific way to determine who may be a “troublemaker” at your company is to do a pre-employment test benchmarking study.
For this, pre-employment test scores of your best or “superstar” employees must be determined. Then, you could seriously consider applicants whose test scores are the same or similar to your superstars’ benchmark test scores.
PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTING RECOMMENDATIONS to HELP YOU AVOID HIRING INTERPERSONAL TROUBLEMAKERS
First, use pre-employment test that measures interpersonal skills like Friendliness, Assertiveness, and Teamwork. Second, do benchmarking study – to find typical or “benchmark” test scores of your company’s “superstars.” Third, seriously consider possibly hiring applicants who get pre-employment test scores the same or similar to your company’s benchmark test scores.
Using these three steps enables you to avoid hiring interpersonal troublemakers – based on applicants’ benchmarked pre-employment test scores.
COPYRIGHT 2011 MICHAEL MERCER, PH.D., www.Pre-EmploymentTests.com
Michael Mercer, Ph.D., is a book author, industrial psychologist, and speaker. His six books includes “Hire the Best & Avoid the Rest(tm).” Dr. Mercer spent many years creating three pre-employment tests that are used by many companies. The tests are “Abilities Forecaster(tm) Test,” “Behavior Forecaster(tm) Test,” and “Dependability Forecaster(tm) Test.” You can subscribe to his no-cost newsletter at www.Pre-EmploymentTests.com