Benefit Predictive Assessments

There are plenty of assessments that are validated for other purposes. Many of these can be categorized as Style or Type assessments. This group of assessments are most often used for team building, identifying a person’s leadership style, behavioral style or type, communication style and perhaps his/her sales style. It is important to understand that while these are very good things to measure, a person’s style or type may not be a factor in determining job performance.

We have all witnessed the consultant who has attempted to convince his/her client that his/her assessment has credibility. They will say the assessment has been given to a similar group of workers, the scores have been calculated and a benchmark created. Be careful of this approach! That average or benchmark means nothing. It is the average of the best, the average and the below average. It does not mean it predicts job success.

Since becoming certified in identifying, understanding and appreciating behavior in the mid 70’s it has become agonizingly apparent to me that attempting to hire a job candidate on behavior alone is courting disaster.

A person’s behavioral type or style, by itself, is not a valid indicator of his/her potential for success in a specific job. There are many tools in use that predict behavior in a general or overall sense, but they do not predict job performance or are they job related. For an assessment to predict the potential for job success they must be validated against job performance.

So, does this mean you can’t use personality assessments to predict the potential for job success? Not at all! But, you will need to use personality assessments that were designed for the selection process. The assessment must be job related and validated against a given job and the performance required to be successful in that job.

This will almost always eliminate the use of Ipsative assessments for selection purposes. This type of assessment uses the Most – Least word descriptor approach to identify a person’s personal preferences. It can provide insight into the person him/herself, but not validated information to be used to make a selection decision. This type of assessment does not provide the necessary or right type of information to do a true validation study.

Good assessments consist of measuring the factors that contribute to job success. These factors are obtained by psychologists conducting well-constructed job studies to determine the personality traits that contribute to job success. They gather data of on the job performance for top and bottom performing job incumbents, along with collecting performance ratings of supervisors and managers and production in the case of salespeople.

Why collect data for a validation study on top and bottom performers? Good question! A well-validated assessment should have the ability to predict potential success, as well as the potential for job failure.

This is why a “one test fits all” mentality comes into question. Different jobs have different success patterns. One test cannot come close to measuring the varied and numerous traits and abilities necessary to perform a given job successfully.

Don’t be fooled or talked into “benchmarking” your top 5-10 performers. They are good compared to what? What if your top producers looked exactly like your bottom producers? Was the benchmark valid, did it predict success? Maybe and maybe not! Benchmarking only your top performers is a formula for EEOC disaster.

Yet, a client will say, “I want to test my top performers and create an average, so I can hire more people that look like the average of my top performers.” That’s not a good idea. Averages can mask the differences between co-workers. In a recent article, benchmarking was described by saying, “If you averaged the athletic ability of all the members of the top professional team and compared that to the average of the bottom professional team in the league, you would see very few differences.

Both numbers may be fun, intellectual exercises, but tell you nothing about test scores and performance.” A good validity study will demonstrate that high scores match high performance and low scores match low performance. That’s validity, developing averages is not validity.

So, what counts in using personality assessments in the selection process? What contributes to success on the job must be identified, defined and measured.

Once those steps have been completed a true study of the top and under performers in the job in question can begin. Typically, psychologists collect data on a minimum of 150 individuals and as high as 300 or more. Assessment scores are collected, along with performance ratings for each group and the results are statistically analyzed.

For the assessment to predict success on the job there must be a mean difference between the test scores and performance ratings. Without being able to correlate assessment scores with performance an assessment is not useful in the selection process. It is wise to use an assessment developed specifically for selection to use in your hiring process.

How do I have a validation study conducted for a job in my organization?

First, you can use assessments that have already been validated for jobs that are similar to jobs in your organization. This allows you to begin using validated assessments without having to make a large investment of money.

The second method is for you contract with a reputable psychological firm to conduct your in-house validation study mentioned earlier in this article.

I often hear the question, “Are assessments legal?” The short answer is, yes! When you compare your present process of mostly subjective interview techniques and the lack of a structured interview process to avoid what is called a “soft interview.” This is where candidates for the same job are asked different questions by the interviewers. Interview questions that are not criterion and face validated. And hiring to jobs that do not have defined job requirements.

Compare those legal issues to an assessment where the job has been well researched and defined. Assessments where validation studies conducted by licensed psychologists have identified the personality traits that contributes to success in the job. Assessments that have been constructed to identify those personality traits contributing to job success and predict the candidate’s probability of success on the job.

Tips To Hire Millennials

My hiring research using pre-employment tests and in-depth interviews reveals common negative comments about hiring Millennials is like the Yogi Berra phrase: “It’s like déjà vu all over again!” Yes, I notice managers and publications express panic, concern, and disdain for Millennials.

Observation: The criticisms and complaining about Millennials is essentially the exact same criticisms and complaining people expressed about all other Generations. This includes Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, Millennials, and any other so-called “generation” with a cute label.


In my research to help companies hire terrific employees, I always custom-tailor pre-employment tests. To scientifically custom-tailor benchmark pre-employment test scores, I have the company test some of its best employees in each job. I call those employees “superstars.” These terrific employees have two important factors: They are both
1. Highly Productive
2. Low Turnover

When I test superstar employees to create custom-tailored benchmark pre-employment test scores, I NEVER ask for nor find out nor take into account any personal or genetic data, including if the person is in Millennial generation. I only use pre-employment assessment or test data that is (a) factual and work-related, and (b) not related to non-work-related factors.

Results: Superstar employees are successful in their jobs, regardless of whether they are Millennials or Generations X or Y or Z or Baby Boomers!


For example, let’s say a company wants to test job candidates so it can hire terrific, superstar Sales Reps.

First, I benchmark pre-employment personality and intelligence test scores of the company’s best Sales Reps who are both highly productive and also low turnover.

My research often (but not always) finds superstar Sales Reps get high test scores on six personality traits:
* Money Motivation
* Motivation to Follow-Up
* Friendliness
* Teamwork
* Self-confidence
* Optimism

Also, I sometimes discover a company’s best Sales Reps also get high scores on three intelligence test scales:
* Problem-Solving or Reasoning Ability
* Arithmetic or Math Ability
* Ability to Handle Small Details

Notice: A person of any generation, age, or gender can get high test scores on those six personality test scales and three intelligence test scales. Job applicants who get high scores on those nine pre-hire test scales can be members of the Millennial or any generation!

Another example: Let’s say a company wants to test applicants so it can hire productive, low-turnover blue-collar workers, such as Warehouse Worker.

For blue-collar pre-employment testing, I use two tests: (1) dependability or reliability test and (2) intelligence or mental abilities tests.

I start by having the company’s best, superstar Warehouse Workers take the pre-employment tests. From that, I statistically find the benchmark or typical test scores of the company’s best, highly productive, low turnover Warehouse Workers.

Recently, I did this with a company, and found its best Warehouse Workers got high dependability or reliability test scores on six measures
* Honesty
* Work Ethic
* Thinking First (not being Impulsive)
* Not Stealing
* Not Being Substance Abuser
* Ability to Handle Small Details

They also got average scores on two intelligence test scales:
* Arithmetic or Math Ability
* Ability to Handle Small Details

Notice: Any Millennial can get these pre-employment test scores. The age or generation of the applicant has nothing to do with whether or not an applicant gets pre-employment test scores similar to that company’s superstar Warehouse Workers or other employees.

First, on pre-employment tests, do research to make custom-tailored benchmarks based on your company’s best, superstar employees in each job.

For white-collar jobs, use personality tests and work-related intelligence tests.

For blue-collar jobs, use dependability (reliability) tests plus work-related intelligence tests.

Test superstars in each job who are both
1. highly productive
2. low turnover.
From that benchmark testing, statistically determine custom-tailored benchmark test scores for each job in your company.

Second, have job candidates take the pre-employment tests or assessments.

When an applicant’s pre-employment test scores are within the benchmark test scores, you should seriously consider hiring that person, regardless of whether the person is a Millennial or of any other generation.

But, if an applicant’s test scores fall outside your custom-tailored range of benchmark test scores, you should go find better applicants who have work-related qualities more similar to your highly productive, low turnover employees.

Focus on hiring person who objectively has work-related qualities similar to your best employees. Do not take into account the so-called generation of the applicant.

This scientific hiring method makes it irrelevant if the applicant is a Millennial. So, you are wise to use custom-tailored pre-employment tests and other screening methods in your quest to hire good employees who are both highly productive + low turnover!

Bullies On Work Environment

Obviously, bullies cannot work alone. A triad exists when bullies are present in the work environment, and the triad consists of the bully, the victim, and the bystander. All three groups represent an insidious discontent that overshadows positive efforts to develop a healthy workplace culture. Additionally, when bullies are left to their own devices, victims and bystanders begin mimicking the abuser, which further degrades the workplace environment. Finally, toxic environments create health and wellness issues that increase health-care costs and wreak havoc on retention of talent and brand knowledge. Absenteeism and accident and injury are also likely to be issues when a bully is in the workplace. For example, depression, role clarity, stress, burnout, and fatigue are just a few of the symptoms that finally become part of the demise of the organizational culture when the bully is left unchecked.

Bullies can be found in every organization and level of operation, and bullying can result in behaviors that range from being openly hostile to discreetly manipulative. Women are bullied more often than men, and women-to-women bullying is more common than men bullying other men. Bullies are more likely to be found in management, and they tend to create an infrastructure of bully-like controls so that the fortress they create can be maintained as they continue to pillage other peaceful areas in the workplace. The infrastructure may consist of faulty performance review processes, unrealistic employee goal setting and promoting a culture of faultfinding and distrust. Also, administrators often see the bully as an internal misfit, but bullies may also work outside of the organizational structure to reduce external customer satisfaction and investor confidence.

Victims waste time at work and at home building a defense against the abuse, politicking for support, and just running scenarios in their mind trying to form a corrective plan of action. Behaviors such as these interfere with productivity and employee motivation and eventually leave the employee with a sense of diminished self-efficacy and self-worth. Additionally, innovation in the workplace suffers because creative energies are redirected to meet unmet needs and to protect marginalized victims. Victims are known to create silo mentalities where information and resources are hidden to reduce the chance of interference from the bully. Silo mentalities are behaviors that are great time wasters for other more productive teams because of the restricted communication that it creates between departments, divisions, and partnerships.

Bystanders comprise the largest percentage of the workforce when it comes to the tyrannical destruction and rantings of the bully. Bystanders see the injustice that occurs when bullies are present in the workplace, and they often begin to distrust the organizational culture and purpose. After all, bullies are sometimes rewarded for their behavior, promoted, or ignored and left to operate as the status quo. A reward process based on bullying creates a misguided blueprint for otherwise mission-driven employees to follow in their efforts to climb a rather explosive ladder to the top. It is important to realize that bystanders are the voice of the organization and will reveal a company’s true level of organizational wellness to potential candidates, customers, vendors, and competing industries.

Did you hire a bully? Understanding the dynamics of the workplace bully and the interaction of the bully triad will help with management and the prevention of bullies in the workplace.

All About Talent Acuquisition

In the recent years, talent acquisition has undergone major changes. With the growing popularity of online job sites, it has become easier to seek talent. But it has made recruitment a more comprehensive process as applicants are becoming more divided across the web. Though every other company is using social media or online job site as tool to recruitment in today’s increasingly competitive talent industry but it is becoming tougher to get a response from candidates. So what should a hiring manager like you do to succeed? The answer lies in getting updated with the latest trends in talent acquisition. This will not only let you develop the best recruiting strategies but also help you hire the best talent in the industry.

• Enhance candidate engagement and experience

Recruiting has evolved more as a transactional process rather than being impersonal. Thanks to the rise of internet andonline job sites. Applicants appreciate interaction, transparency and interpersonal communication in the hiring process. They are active and go through the content written about the company before applying to the job.

• Employer branding strategies

Optimising your employer branding skill is a must to funnel the best talent to your organisation. Follow an honest approach and share the top employer profiles and content related to the work culture of your organisation.

• Make use of technology

The concept of manual labour has been completely eradicated with the use of technology. Online portals have been proved as a blessing to find the best talent in the industry. These technologies can help recruiters to stores profiles and other crucial information, give time to connect with the candidates and also aid in developing a strong talent pipeline for the company.

• Use trending marketing tactics to target applicants

With applicants dispersed across social media, you need to incorporate multi-channel approach to reach out the desired candidates. Screening and engaging with your clients become indispensable in order to find the best talent. If you want to captivate the attention from candidates, you need to evolve your content strategy. Creating videos of success stories, projects, work culture, using impressive formats such as blogs and e-books are some of the appealing steps to arrest the attention.

Online job portals play a major role in talent acquisition. These online job sites have revolutionized the recruitment landscape increasing the efficiency of the hiring process. Candidates can easily find jobs online through numerous online sites that are available round the clock. You will certainly understand the significance of online job portals after knowing its few benefits-

  • The major benefit of online job portals is that they are cost-effective. You can search and apply jobs online without paying any fee.
  • One of the amazing features of the online job portal is to maintain confidentiality of the job seekers.
  • Online job portals offer you a sea of endless jobs.
  • Provide facility of regular job notification.

There is also a paradigm shift in the way employers have started recruiting talent. The credit goes to the value, efficacy and easy-to-use online job portals. In the quest of skilled candidates, online job portal has become and inevitable part of the hiring process. The benefits of online job portals to employers-

  • E-recruitment allows for immediate real-time interaction and 24*7 hiring activity that in turn saves time.
  • Posting jobs and searching for candidates on job sites save cost-of-hire.
  • Online job portals provide wider reach for employers.
  • Offer state-of-the-art filtration tools.
  • Allow employers to use sophisticated management tools to submit jobs online.
  • Allows for confidentiality.
  • Employers can save profiles of prospective candidates for future use.

Online job portals have only made it possible for employers to hire and job seekers to search for jobs in short time span. Due to the internet penetration ever skyrocketing and need of professional mobility, this medium is definitely here to stay.