PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTS PRODUCE EXCELLENT EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

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Published: 26th October 2012
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Use pre-employment tests for two purposes: (1) hiring good employees and (2) developing/improving employees you hire. When properly done, certain pre-employment tests help you develop and train employees to exhibit the terrific qualities of your best “superstar” employees.

1st STEP = BENCHMARK SCORES OF YOUR COMPANY’S BEST EMPLOYEES

Start by having your best employees in each job take pre-employment tests, especially tests of
* Behavior or Personality Tests
* Mental Abilities Tests

Behavior tests assess interpersonal skills, personality traits, and motivations.

Mental Abilities Tests assess brainpower in problem-solving, vocabulary, math, grammar, and handling small details.

Your best employees’ pre-employment test scores are your custom-tailored “benchmark scores” for the job. When you hire job applicants, you could prefer applicants who get same scores as your best employees. That helps you hire applicants who exhibit same work behavior and mental abilities as your best employees.

2ND STEP = USE PRE-EMPLOYMENT TEST SCORES FOR EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT

Sometimes, you might hire an applicant who gets some pre-hire test scores different than your best employees’ benchmark scores. When you do this, you use their pre-employment test scores to identify behaviors and mental abilities on which they need to improve or “develop.”

You sit down with the new employee, and say something like this: “You want to succeed in your job. Also, we want you to succeed in your job. You took pre-employment tests. On each pre-hire test scale on which you scored the same as our best “benchmark” employees, keep doing what you are doing. But on each scale where you scored different than our best employees, I will help you improve or develop – so you will have the qualities our best employees have.”

Example: Let’s say the new employee got same test scores as your best employees on Teamwork. You say, “You scored like our best employees on Teamwork. Keep doing what you do for Teamwork on-the-job.”

But, if the employees’ Friendliness scores are lower than your company’s best employees’ Friendliness benchmark score, then you say, “Our best employees’ pre-employment test scores are higher on Friendliness than your scores. To help you succeed, I’ll help you become friendlier.”

Then, you can use what I did to create ready-to-use Employee Development Recommendations for my Behavior/Personality and Mental Abilities pre-employment tests. Specifically, you tell the employee specific behaviors to use to improve Friendliness. For instance, behaviors you recommend to increase the employee’ Friendliness include (1) Smile, (2) Say “Hello” to a lot of people, and (3) Use person’s name two or more times in each conversation.

3RD STEP = 3 FOLLOW-UP MEETINGS WITH EMPLOYEE

The employee’s manager MUST hold three follow-up meetings with the employee. One meeting is not enough to make sure the employee improves. Reason: Employee development efforts fail when the employee’s manager fails to make sure the employee actually uses the agreed upon employee development actions.

Employee development efforts succeed when the manager
* insists the employee improve on specific behaviors or abilities
* follows-up multiple times in three pre-scheduled meetings

I recommend holding three follow-up meetings. At each meeting, the employee tells the manager specific examples of putting the development recommendations into action. For Friendliness improvement explained above, at all three follow-up meetings the employee must tell the manager specific examples of (1) smiling a lot, (2) saying “Hello” a lot, and (3) twice using name of people they talk with.

USE PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTS TO CUSTOMIZE EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT

Pre-employment tests can serve as objective basis for excellent, customized employee development recommendations. Start by establishing pre-hire tests “benchmarks” based on your best employees’ test scores. Benchmark both behavior or personality tests and mental abilities tests.

If you hire a job applicant whose pre-employment test scores differ from your best employees’ benchmark scores, you should help your new employee improve to become more similar to your best employees. Focus on specific techniques your employee must develop or improve.

Importantly, hold three follow-up meetings with the employee. At each follow-up meeting, insist the employee tell you examples of using the behaviors the pre-employment test indicated the employee need to improve.

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

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