Risk & Business Magazine JGS Insurance Magazine Fall 2019 - Page 24

PERSONALITY TESTS PERSONALITY TESTS Are Scams In Selection … And Here Are Two Great Solutions, Free. BY: BRAD SMART Q UESTION: Brad, I’ve taken personality tests and my spouse says they are quite accurate. Why shouldn’t I use them in selection? ANSWER: Because a) you KNOW from experience your hiring has not improved using them and I know, from properly validating them that if your test has a cutoff score that eliminates candidates who score below it, that test eliminates as many A Players as C Players. Is this you? Do more than half the people you hire turn out to disappoint you? You are sure some mis-hires have conned you, am I right? So, you try to find a screening tool – something to cut down the number of resumes to a few candidates you can interview. And what do you find? Many managers screen candidates using personality tests, a $4 billion industry, including the money they have taken from you. Too bad – you got conned by the personality testing companies. To clarify: THERE ARE A LOT OF GOOD ABILITY AND KNOWLEDGE TESTS. BUT EVERY PERSONALITY TEST I’VE PROPERLY VALIDATED HAS FLUNKED. Dr. Brad Smart is an internationally renowned management psychologist and is generally regarded as the world’s leading expert on hiring best practices. He has written five books on hiring including the New York Times/Wall Street Journal best seller Topgrading: third Edition. Topgrading methods have enabled hundreds of small companies and leading companies such as General Electric, American Heart Association, and Barclays to more than triple their success hiring high performers. TOPGRADING.COM 24 SOLUTION 1: Test the test: This is what I did with 10,000 candidates for jobs in one of the big box retailers. It took two years and cost $100k, but you can do it easily at your company. Administer the personality test to all candidates (BEFORE they are hired, so a lot will fake their answers), don’t score the test, put away the tests for six months, score them, and make a simple chart: on the vertical axis show Performance Rating and on the horizontal axis put the test score with the cutoff score. If the dots are straight as a pencil from lower left to upper right, Brad Smart is full of BS – the test is valid in a USEFUL way! But you’ll see the dots in a perfect circle, showing it has zero practical validity. Look at who would have been eliminated by the cutoff score: I’ll bet you’ll see as many As as Cs would have been eliminated. Thankfully you did NOT use that test and eliminate candidates for six months! SOLUTION 2, FREE: Without the personality tests, here is a time-tested suggestion for screening candidates, and it’s 1,000 times more valuable than personality tests and … it’s free: email candidates a “truth serum” saying, Thank you for your interest in the (sales rep) job at ACME. We’d like to continue the hiring process but want to be sure you’re okay with our policy: a final step in hiring is for candidates (that’s you) to arrange reference calls with managers. If you’re okay with this, Reply and we’ll be in touch. Low performers, who are the BSers, drop out so you now have mostly the sharp, honest candidates to interview. Hundreds of companies have used it. The most famous is General Electric under Jack Welch in the 1990s … and GE became the most valuable company in the world and the most respected. Wow – this solution solves two big hiring problems: candidate dishonesty and lack of verification. The truth serum and your talking with the managers when your finalists arrange the calls will be the best verification of what candidates said. +