Work ethic is crucial when hiring. Companies grow when employees exhibit strong work ethic. But, companies waste a lot when they hire lazy bums or slackers.
It is important to hire employees with a good work ethic. Avoid hiring slackers and hire applicants who show up, work well and are productive. So stop wasting time by using tests that measure integrity and good work ethic.
Two Types of Employee Work Ethic
There are two types of employees: Employees with a good work ethic and those with a bad or lousy work ethic.
Employees with a good work ethic exhibit the following traits. They
+ show up on time
+ put in a day’s work (or more) for a day’s pay
+ do work in careful, conscientious manner
+ take pride in being productive
+ realize their work contributes to their employer’s success
+ feel irritated by lazy, unproductive employees
Employees with lousy work ethic are
– are lazy bums or slackers
– fail to show up or are late
– do only enough work to not get fired
– ridicule productive employees
– do not care about employer’s success
– adore other lazy bums!
There are several steps to help you hire employees who have strong work ethic plus avoid hiring lazy employees.
Here are these important steps:
1st STEP = REVIEW APPLICATION OR RESUME for WORK ETHIC CLUES
Look for steady employment, promotions, and staying long time in jobs.
IF you give positive rating to application or resume, you proceed to next step.
2nd STEP = 10-15 MINUTE, FAST PHONE INTERVIEW
There are a few items to observe at this point. Notice if applicant sounds like person who could succeed in your company. Observe voice tone and energy level. Do they match your company’s needs? Did applicant work in high school? In my consulting to many companies, I found superstar employees almost always worked during high school.
Reason = Working during high school demonstrates work ethic.
Briefly, ask what they liked or disliked in jobs. People with good work ethic focus on how they enjoyed jobs. But, people with crummy work ethic badmouth their jobs.
IF you give positive rating to 10-15 minute phone interview, then give applicant Pre Hire tests.
3rd STEP: EMPLOYMENT TESTS: PERSONALITY + INTELLIGENCE TESTS
Pre-employment tests give you research-based insights into applicant’s
+ personality relevant to job
+ intelligence or brainpower to learn and do job
My research on great employees found employees with a good work ethic often get certain pre-employment test scores.
Here is my definition of a good employee is as follows: Great employees are both
1. Highly Productive
2. Low Turnover
Therefore the optimal way to use pre-hire tests is to make custom-tailored benchmark test scores based on your company’s best employees in each job.
To custom-tailor pre-employment tests, have your best employees in each job take the personality and intelligence tests. Their typical scores are custom-tailored benchmark test scores for that specific job in your company.
For example, let’s say you want to test applicants for Sales Rep jobs. First, your company’s best Sales Reps take the personality tests and intelligence tests. Their typical test scores become your company’s custom-tailored benchmark test scores for your company’s Sales Reps. Use same pre-hire test benchmarking method for every blue-collar and white-collar job in your company.
Recommendation = Seriously consider applicants whose test scores are same or similar to test scores of your best employees in each job in your company.
On employment personality tests, my research with my own pre-employment tests usually finds productive employees with good work ethic usually get these test scores:
High scores on
+ Work Ethic
+ Following Rules, Policies, & Procedures
+ Reacting Maturely to Pressure or Tension
+ Motivation for Their Work
+ Energy level
Low scores on
– Desire to Challenge Rules, Policies, & Procedures
– Lack of motivation
In addition to Work Ethic, on employment intelligence (mental abilities) tests, you should focus on hiring applicants who have the level of intelligence or brainpower required to handle their specific job. A book entitled, “The Bell Curve” cited research proving each job requires a certain level of intelligence on the bell curve: (a) Lower-level jobs require lower intelligence levels and (b) Higher-level jobs require higher intelligence.
In my pre-employment testing experience in many companies, I repeatedly find terrific, superstar employees in each specific jobs require certain levels of intelligence, e.g., (1) Problem-Solving Ability, (2) Math Ability, and (3) Ability to Handle Small Details.
Low-level superstar employees usually get low scores on intelligence tests.
Jobs = Warehouse Worker, Driver, Order-Picker, & Clerk
Mid-level superstar employees usually get average scores on intelligence tests.
Jobs = Inside Sales Rep, CSR, Technician, Installer, & Supervisor
High-level superstar employees usually get high scores on intelligence tests.
Jobs = Manager, Branch Manager, Executive, & Outside Sales Rep
Warning: Some applicants get good personality test scores, but score lower than your benchmark employees on intelligence tests.
Fact = You cannot stuff more brains into a person’s head! Beware = When applicant scores lower than your company’s benchmark test scores on intelligence tests, that person may have difficulty (a) learning the job and (b) correctly thinking through situations on-the-job.
If an applicant gets scores similar to your best, benchmark employees, then you do In-Depth Interview
4TH STEP = IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW
At this time the interview digs deeper. This is completed by uncovering the applicant’s successes, failures, likes, and dislikes.
Beware = Whatever applicants says about their employers and jobs, they may say about you! If an applicant badmouths their employers or jobs, you may expect that person to badmouth your company or job if you hire that applicant! So, incorporate applicant’s disparaging remarks into your decision about hiring that applicant.
Here are two tricky interview questions I find reveal a lot about an applicant:
Ask, “After you finish all your work, what do you like to do?”
- Applicants with strong work ethic say they ask their boss for more work or help co-workers. Applicants with bad work ethic say they do non-work activities.
- After applicant tells you big achievement, ask: “Whom can I contact to verify what you just told me?”
Remember = Applicants might lie or embellish achievements. Someone who did big achievement instantly tells you their supervisor’s name. But, applicants who lied about achievement hesitates telling you whom to contact.
IF you still like applicant after In-Depth Interview, then proceed to next steps.
5TH STEP = REFERENCE CHECKS, REALISTIC JOB OBSERVATION, & WORK SIMULATIONS
When done thoroughly, these prediction methods give you extra insights into whether you might want to hire or not-hire the applicant.
SUMMARY OF HOW YOU CAN HIRE APPLICANTS WHO HAVE GOOD WORK ETHIC
Employees with good work ethic aim to help you improve your company’s productivity and profits.
You need to carefully evaluate applicants, focusing on
+ Job-related experiences
+ Employment personality and intelligence tests,
Compared to your company’s best employees’ test scores
+ In-depth interview
+ Other prediction methods
In conclusion: Using custom-tailored pre-hire test benchmark scores and other methods, you can forecast which applicants may possess a good work ethic.
They can become highly productive, low-turnover employees who help you grow your business.