Question: What’s the easiest, cheapest and fastest way for PHCP/PVF distributors to have profitable, productive and honest employees

Answer: Hire profitable, productive and honest people!

Unfortunately, managers sometimes hire folks that don’t fit the above description.

Fortunately, pre-employment tests give managers a scientifically-researched, objective, easy-to-use, customizable tool to determine which applicants you may (A) want to hire or (B) not want to hire.

Good news: You can quickly use custom-tailored pre-employment tests for specific PHCP/PVF jobs in your company, e.g., outside and inside sales reps, counter sales, branch manager, administrative employee, warehouse worker and driver.


The only reason to screen applicants

The only reason to assess/evaluate applicants is to predict – or forecast – how an applicant will work on the job before you hire the person. You know it is crucial to predict this before you hire an applicant rather than finding out the expensive way after you hire the person!

Methods used to predict if an applicant will succeed on the job include interviews, reference checks and pre-employment tests.


Some alarming research

Unfortunately, large-scale research discovered most interviewers and reference checks make lousy and incorrect predictions of actual on-the-job performance. Interviews and reference checks often are as useful as flipping a coin!

On the bright side, pre-employment tests prove to be the best forecasters of actual on-the-job performance. The reason? Tests are developed with scientific research techniques so they objectively predict how an applicant will act on the job. In contrast, interviews and reference checks typically give you only subjective “guesstimates” of an applicant’s work potential.



The qualities of employees you must assess before you hire someone are:

A = Abilities: Mental abilities – brainpower needed on the job;

B = Behavior: Interpersonal skills, personality and motivations on the job; and

D = Dependability: Responsibility needed for the job.

Importantly, you can use tests to predict applicants’ abilities, behavior and dependability.


Mental abilities tests

Did you ever hire someone and later feel horrified that the person has the IQ of tire pressure? That person did not have the mental aptitude to (a) learn the job or (b) correctly think on the job. Abilities tests help you hire applicants who have the mental aptitude to learn and do the job.

Here are five mental abilities tests that will tell you how well the applicant handles:

  1. Problem-solving;

  2. Vocabulary;

  3. Arithmetic;

  4. Grammar, spelling and word use; and

  5. The small details.

You can use all five mental abilities tests for PHCP/PVF jobs, such as outside and inside sales reps, branch managers and administrative employees. Most of these tests are applicable as well to jobs such as warehouse worker, counter sales rep and driver.


Behavior test

Each job requires crucial behaviors. To help you, behavior tests forecast applicants’ interpersonal skills, personality and motivations.

For instance, a behavior test predicts three interpersonal skills: (a) friendliness, (b) assertiveness and (c) teamwork. Personality traits assessed include (a) energy level, (b) optimism, (c) objectivity, (d) procedure-following and (e) focus. Motivations uncover if an applicant strives to do a good job to (a) make lots of money, (b) provide good customer service, (c) do creative work, (d) learn or (e) follow up with customers.

Example: My consulting to PHCP/PVF distributors shows superstar sales reps often get high test scores on behaviors such as money motivation, optimism and assertiveness.

You will use the behavior test for PHCP/PVF jobs such as outside and inside sales reps, counter sales, branch manager and administrative employee.


Dependability test

Did you ever hire someone who had a lousy work ethic? Acted impulsively – and had accidents or acted horribly? Stole from your company? Abused alcohol or drugs? Lied or was dishonest? That cost your company a lot of money and time! Dependability tests help managers avoid hiring irresponsible, problem employees.

A good dependability test helps you predict five important work-related dependability factors:

  1. Honesty;

  2. Work ethic;

  3. Impulsiveness – resulting in accidents, waste, rudeness;

  4. Theft/stealing concerns; and

  5. Substance abuse concerns.

When you hire a dependable, responsible employee – and avoid hiring an undependable, irresponsible person – you can make a big increase in your company’s productivity and profits. You can use the dependability test for jobs such as driver and warehouse worker.

Try using behavior tests, plus tests of all five mental abilities for inside and outside sales rep positions, counter sales, branch manager and administrative employees. Use the dependability test plus three subjects from the mental abilities tests (problem-solving, arithmetic and handling small details) for jobs such as warehouse worker and driver.


Custom-tailored testing

I highly recommend you customize the mental abilities tests and behavior tests by uncovering “benchmark” test scores for each job in your company. You can customize pre-employment tests by conducting a benchmarking study – to discover test scores of your “superstar” – best – employees in each job.

Example: Let’s say you want to hire terrific outside sales reps. First, test your “superstar” outside sales reps. Then, pinpoint your superstars’ typical or “benchmark” test scores. Then, when you test an applicant for an outside sales rep position, you immediately see if the applicant’s test scores were the same – or different than – your “superstar” outside sales rep “benchmark” test scores.

You, of course, would prefer to hire applicants (1) whose test scores are similar to your superstars’ test scores – plus also (2) impress you in interviews and other prediction methods you use.