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How To Hire Applicants Who 'Fit In' Your Organizational Culture



11/13/2011 3:16:59 PM

How To Hire Applicants Who 'Fit In' Your Organizational Culture By Michael Mercer, Ph.D.

Pre-employment tests clearly tell you if a job applicant could 'fit in' your company's culture. But, you must carry out an important step. Specifically, pre-employment tests first need to be benchmarked for each job in your company. For instance, let's say you want to hire great sales reps. Start by having some of your sales reps take the pre-employment test. Use this to find the "benchmark" or typical test scores of your best sales reps. Then, test applicants. Applicants who gets test scores similar to your best sales reps have a good likelihood of -

a. being productive workers
b. 'fitting in' your company's culture

EXAMPLES of PRE-EMPLOYMENT TEST BENCHMARKS REVEALING ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE

The pre-employment tests I created are used by many companies. So, in my consulting work, I conduct huge numbers of benchmarking studies to help companies hire the best. The benchmark research uses two pre-employment tests:

1. Behavior Test - to forecast 5 personality traits, 3 interpersonal styles, and 5 motivators
2. Cognitive Ability Test - to forecast 5 mental abilities or brainpower

Here are examples of pre-employment test benchmarks revealing companies' cultures.

1st Example = Friendly, Service-Focused Company Culture
One company using pre-employment tests from me benchmarked many of its jobs. In every job, the company's best employees got these test scores:

* high scores on test's Friendliness, Teamwork, Optimism, and Helping People scales
* low scores on test's Aggressiveness, Rigidity, and Power Motivation scales

The benchmarks clearly reveal that company's corporate culture.
The test helps that company consistently hire productive employees who 'fit in' its friendly service culture.

2nd Example = Knowledge-Driven Company Culture
Another company sells cutting-edge technology. Its growth potential is huge - but only if it hires the right sales reps.

In the benchmarking study, I found the company's finest sales reps consistently got -

* high scores on test's Learning Motivation and Problem-Solving Ability scales
* low scores on test's Money Motivation and Creativity Motivation scales

The test's benchmark scores stunned the company's VP-Sales. He mistakenly thought his best sales reps were creative and pay motivated. But, actually, the best ones excelled at (a) learning about the technology plus (b) intelligently problem-solving ways the technology would help prospective client operate more profitably.

Wow. The pre-employment test benchmark scores were an eye-opener - and much different than test scores of commission-driven salespeople.

These pre-employment tests enabled that company to peer into applicants' minds - to reveal which applicants would 'fit in' its knowledge-driven culture.

3rd Example = Perfectionistic, Obsessive-Compulsive Company Culture
Another pre-employment test client of mine also had me test its best employees in many jobs, so it could hire applicants with the highest probability of (a) 'fitting in' its culture and (b) being highly productive workers.

Again, pre-employment test benchmark scores revealed that company's culture was ultra-perfectionistic. In every job, the best employees' benchmark test scores included -

* high test scores on Following Rules, Fact-Focus, and Handling Small Details scales
* low test scores on Flexibility and Emotion-Focus scales

Clearly, this company's culture relied on employees being obsessive-compulsive.

When that company hired applicants who got pre-employment test scores similar to its best employees, it hired winners - productive employees who 'fit in' the company's culture. But, when it hired employees who got test scores different than its best employees, they failed on-the-job.

WARNING: 3 WAYS APPLICANTS TRICK YOU IN JOB INTERVIEWS

The problem with interviewing job applicants is this: Most interviewers make mistaken judgments about applicants they interview. Research backs up this assertion. Here are conniving ways applicants trick interviewers:

1. Trained how to job-hunt - so applicant knows good answers to your interview questions
2. Study your company - so they act like they have what you want
3. Charm - so interviewer gets 'carried away' with appealing applicant

OOPS: 8 WAYS MANAGERS HIRE THE WRONG PERSON

Plus, interviewers and hiring managers make many dumb mistakes - resulting in mistakenly thinking a lousy applicant is a good applicant. Here are five ways interviewers make dumb mistakes:

1. Gives away 'good' answers - tells applicant what interviewer is looking for
2. Blabbermouth - talks too much - tells applicant what interviewer wants to hear
3. Desperate - interviewer wants to hire someone NOW
3. Lazy - hiring manager too lazy to find more and better applicants
5. Bullheaded - 'wants to hire whom s/he wants to hire' - despite warning signs

Interviewers also make three dumb mistakes when it comes to pre-employment testing:

6. Wrong Norms - uses national norms - rather than company customized benchmarks
7. Fails to Test Applicant - thus does not have most accurate, revealing evaluation
8. Ignores Test - bets against company's custom-tailored benchmark scores

PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTS MAKE IT EASY TO HIRE EMPLOYEES WHO 'FIT IN' YOUR COMPANY'S CULTURE

Fact: Each time you hire someone you are betting. You bet your career and your company's financial success.

Pre-employment tests using customized benchmarks for your company's jobs make your bets easier, cheaper, faster, and more likely to succeed. Tests objectively tell you if an applicant (a) 'fits in' your organizational culture and (b) has work-related qualities similar to your good employees. Job interviews seldom tell you these important, profit-impacting insights.

You get such profit-improving insights from correctly researched, benchmarked pre-employment tests.

COPYRIGHT 2011 Michael Mercer, Ph.D.
http://www.MercerSystems.com

Michael Mercer, Ph.D., is nationally recognized expert on hiring 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 answers to your questions: See website http://www.MercerSystems.com or Talk with Dr. Mercer - 847-382-0690.

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