Article from www.DrMercer.com
How To Custom-Tailor Pre-Hire Assessments
By Michael Mercer, Ph.D.
Dec 11, 2015, 14:31
Pre-employment tests can help you hire terrific employees when
you use custom-tailored benchmark scores for each job in your organization.
BEST METHOD TO GET CUSTOM-TAILORED BENCHMARK PRE-EMPLOYMENT
The best way to customize pre-employment tests is to have
your company’s best, “superstar” employees in each job take the tests. The typical test scores gotten by your best
employees in each job should be the benchmark test scores for that job in your
organization. Doing this is called a
benchmarking study or concurrent validity study.
Then, when the pre-employment tests are taken by job
applicants, you immediately see if the applicant’s scores are the same or
different than your company’s benchmark test scores for that job.
For example, let’s say you want to hire great Sales
Reps. First, you test your very best
Sales Reps. Such superstar Sales Reps
are both (A) highly productive and (B) low-turnover. Then, you use your best Sales Reps’ typical scores
If an applicant scored the same as your best Sales Reps,
then that person is worth spending your time to interview and consider possibly
hiring. However, if an applicant gets test
scores different than benchmark scores for your company’s Sales Reps, then you
probably want to (a) stop considering that applicant and (b) find a better applicant!
REFUSE TO USE 2 STUPID TYPES OF BENCHMARK
When pre-employment assessment testing, do NOT use two
methods to get benchmark scores:
1. National Norms
Description-based or Job Competencies
Some companies are too lazy to make custom-tailored
benchmark test scores based on their best, employees in each job. So, they ignorantly use two methods that are
lousy, illogical, and do not give them customized benchmarks.
First, some companies use national norms. Those are the test scores of many people with
the same job title in many companies across the nation.
But that is a dumb method you should NOT use. Why?
Because the employees across the nation included in national norms
likely are NOT the same as your company’s best employees!
For instance, I have many companies in the same industry
using my pre-employment tests. Each
company’s employees have similar job titles, e.g., Sales Rep, Driver, Warehouse
Worker, Customer Service Rep, and more. Although all these companies are in the same industry, the
Sales Reps’ benchmark test scores in one company are different than the Sales
Reps’ benchmarks in another company.
Similarly, I find statistical differences in the benchmark
pre-employment test scores for each job.
Second, do NOT choose pre-hire assessment test benchmark scores
from (a) job descriptions or (b) job competencies lists Reason = Job descriptions or competencies
models often list work qualities that are NOT really qualities possessed by
your company’s best employees.
For example, I often see a job’s description or competency
model stating “Creativity” is needed in the job. But, when we test the best employees in that
job, their pre-employment test scores clearly show the best employees do NOT
use creativity on-the-job! The best
employees often get test scores that are the opposite of creativity,
specifically, (a) low scores on Creativity Motivation and (b) high scores on
Rigidly Following Rules, Policies, & Procedures.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTS’ BENCHMARKS
Pre-employment tests are your most scientifically-based,
objective method to assess job candidates.
When you objectively find custom-tailored benchmark test scores based on
your company’s best employees, you increase your odds of determining which
applicants have qualities similar to your best employees. And that is what you want, isn’t it?
Benchmark pre-employment tests by (a) testing your company’s
best employees in each job and then (b) using their typical scores as your
company’s custom-tailored benchmark scores for each job.
Importantly, do NOT use two methods to choose benchmark
scores. Do NOT select benchmark test
scores based on (1) national norms nor (2) job descriptions or lists of job
Instead, use benchmark assessment test scores based on how
your company’s best employees’ actual test scores.
Give pre-employment tests to job applicants. Then, you wisely can consider applicants who
get assessment test scores the same or very similar to your organization’s
Such customized pre-employment tests help you hire
superstars, i.e., productive, low turnover employees. COPYRIGHT 2015 MICHAEL MERCER, PH.D.