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1grnlwn
01-18-2002, 11:53 AM
I am considering giving appitude tests to prospective employees this year. Anybody try this before? I went through 6 people last year for 1 position. And of course I am 1 man looking for help this year. I am starting new ad in a week or so. I am considering trying to keep person all year round if person has mech skills and can think a little. ( wake up Mark time to end dream sequence) Any way what advice can you give ? Are there any sights for App. tests? If I could just get that 1st person to stay I think others may follow.

Thanks

Mark

MWHC
01-18-2002, 01:07 PM
You have to be very careful with the questions you ask potential employees. You may wan't to check with the Dept. of employment for some guidelines in your state.

I have been in your position before. It is hard to find good employees, especially if you desire thinking and problem solving.

Usually the odds come into play and you run across a good employee.

Good luck

Barkleymut
01-18-2002, 01:37 PM
You may want to take that "appitude" test yourself. LOL Just for future reference it is spelled aptitude. Good luck finding a decent employee.

bobbygedd
01-18-2002, 02:26 PM
aptitude tests mean NOTHING! i work full time at a job other than this, and ill tell u what:decent help is real hard to find. so, we decided one must pass the aptitude test to quailify, and the guys that did the best on the test, turned out to be some of the worst employees both to teach, and get motivated.

bullfrog
01-18-2002, 02:55 PM
90% of success is just showing up.

Good luck finding a written test that can predict those who will. :)

1grnlwn
01-18-2002, 02:56 PM
Mut , is it alright if I call you mut? I said, aptitude test, not spelling test. You must be busy correcting all the misspelled words. Do you do punctuation too? LOL But hey you bagged another post, good luck reaching 1000.

Bobby, A test is just a tool and it does not mean a person is good or bad. It just gives more information about a person. I think. I would like to make this job challenging and give the person more responsibility than just running a mower. I would like to work in the shop in the winter and the person would need some hand tool skills. Isn't winter a good time for crazy ideas?

eslawns
01-18-2002, 02:59 PM
I had similar problems as a warehouse manager some years back. When I was hired, I could choose anybody who scored in a certain range on a standardized test. What I found was that smarts don't equal a good employee.

This is what I did to make hiring less of a PITA:

Call references. If I was dealing with a person who was over 16 and didn't list any, I went to the next app. Look for unexplained gaps in their work history. Look for dismissals, and reasons for leaving past employers. There may be perfectly good reasons why someone quit other jobs or was dismissed, so make notes to ask during an interview.

Verify as well as you can what they tell you. The best questions to ask previous employers? Would you rehire this person? If they had 3 or 4 bosses, and all would not rehire them, it probably means they didn't do a good job. Most people are only reluctant to say something negative, so listen to what they don't say.

At the interview, get the person to tell you why they want to work at your company. Ask them why they should be chosen over others, and things like that. Listen in their responses for words like I and me, which indicate a selfish line of thought. Words like you and we usually indicate a team oriented thinker.

Look at their body language. Do they roll their eyes? How is their language? How do they dress? Grooming? Were they on time? Give them some "what if" scenarios and listen to their responses.

What you have to remember is that the person needs to be able to do the job, but they need to be dependable, easy to get along with, and present the image you want your company to present. Otherwise, they're just a warm body. The hiring process is about numbers. If you take 50 applications, you may only get 4 or 5 people who fit what you're looking for. And not all of those people will want the job.

IMO, the effort expended on screening potential help is far less than that spent dealing with an unsuitable employee and the damage they cause.

1grnlwn
01-18-2002, 03:05 PM
Question 1. (multiple choice)

Its thursday night and your friend has just invited you to the Rave of the century, you have to be at work at 7:30 AM you should:

a. Go to the party drink light and go to work tired.
b. Let it rip and call in sick when you wake up.
c. Call in sick immediately, and go to party.
d. Go to the party and go to work hung-over.

It's a start Ehh?

JimLewis
01-18-2002, 04:44 PM
What eslawns said is the best advice so far. I concur with what he said 100%. I've been there many times. So I feel your pain.

Good screening and having MANY applicants will help your odds a little. But it's no fail safe. The only thing I've had really good success with is when I hire someone and it's obvious within a few days or even weeks that they are not cut out for this job, I just get rid of them. I know that sounds cold, but it's really not. I loathe firing people. But this is business. YOUR business, to be exact. And you can't put a higher priority on someone's feelings over your pocket book. So I evaluate the new person over a period of days, weeks, months. If at any time I can tell they are not going to work out, for whatever reason, I immediately begin interviewing and I replace them. It's that simple.

One time, a few years ago I went through like 5 guys in one month. That sucked for me and them. But eventually I wound up with two guys who stayed with me for over a year. One is still with me, my foreman, 2 years later.

So my advice is; Cut out the bad guys quick. And promote, give raises to, etc. the good guys. Inspire them to stay with you. My foreman just negotiated a $3 / hr. wage increase with me for another year. And it was worth it. He had some good points. One was, he can do the work of two guys. He was right. I can't argue that. He can. Two, he thinks, problem solves, handles customers flawlessly, always shows up, and has proven himself to be 100% loyal and trustworthy. And if I ever lost him I don't think I could find another guy this good for under what I pay him. So I had to do it. Find guys like this. Then keep them. You don't have to give big pay raises like I just did. That was only after 2 years of hard work and small raises. Point is, keep the good guys happy.

1grnlwn
01-18-2002, 05:36 PM
Good advise guys, I've heard the hire slow fire fast advise. I tend to work with what ever I get and they quit before I can fire them. Good interview questions Eslawns, I will be using some of those.

fireball
01-18-2002, 07:00 PM
It all depends on what you value most. Brain power or physical prowness. The physical test should consist of picking up a 21 inch trim mower with one arm and placing it gently on top of a backpack blower in the back of a truck. The ability to weedwack while driving a 48 inch walkbehind in a figure eight pattern. The ability to send a weedwacker through the rear window of a pickup truck from 33 feet away, how many times do you pull the start rope on a mower in 5 minutes before you discover a broken plug and shut off fuel line. How long can you hold on the spark plug wire while it is running
1grnlwn was going down the right path on the brain test
How many times can you attend your mother's funeral?
a.once
b.twice
c.as many times as it takes to bury her
d. she's not really my mother

Atlantic Lawn
01-18-2002, 07:57 PM
Was the answer to Question 1 ....C ?

Turfdude
01-18-2002, 07:59 PM
Kudos to ESLawns!!!

He must've applied for my company some time ago, or just been a fly on the wall. I hate placing ads in the paper, because most guys DON'T read them properly anyway.
"Valid D/L, experience w/ 36"/larger mower, transportation need only apply". I weed out 75% as they fall short on 1 or 2 of above all the time. - Don't bother wating your time w/ this type of person as you will only be grossly disapponted!
We had one guy smooze his way through his interview. Was an ESLawn "instant hire for me" at $9.75/hr. Guy could runn equip fine, but attitude kinda sucked, alwaaaaaays late, wore uniform occasionally.
Do as ESLawns suggested, but make sure you also have something to offer. Healthcare?? $ vacation, $ sick days, $ holidays?? It costs money to find quality employees. The other option is to offer $100.00 to a current employee who finds you a new one - the catch is- they receive $ if new employee lasts 1 month and if they do, you know they're good, and the $100.00 is less than a 5-7 day ad in the paper. You win big.

good luck,

Bob

Randy Scott
01-18-2002, 09:45 PM
Wutz n attipude test? :confused:




Just kidding, this has got me the most nervous about my own business is hiring help here in the near future. Just too many morons taking oxygen these days.

plymouthvaliant73
01-18-2002, 09:57 PM
The best applicants are probably interviewing the employer.

1grnlwn
02-09-2003, 04:11 AM
It's too bad the appitude test is to hire for 4 weeks before you witness the temper tantrum.

Mark

Farbio
02-09-2003, 05:24 AM
My best employees are those whom I knew prior to hiring them. They are the most loyal and hard working guys I have ever had. I feel this is because they also know me well and dont want to dissapoint me. It also makes work more enjoyable when your with people you get along with.

I wouldn't argue with people who say hiring friends is not a good idea. But it has worked for me. I figure there is more of a mutual respect.

BigJim
02-09-2003, 05:35 AM
Most appitude tests are a total waste of time,I did one a few months back,you just go through it and answer it how the company wants it answered,I find them rather insulting.

If they give their Parole Officer as a reference you could have problems,but often its just a pig and a poke hiring someone...

JVS
02-09-2003, 09:36 AM
Hire slow fire fast

bob
02-09-2003, 01:49 PM
Just for fun I made a lawn test. I'll see if I can find it. I remember some of the questions were something like, "where do you shoot grass clippings"? "When do you turn the blades on"? - I actually had a guy turn the blades on ,while the mower was on the trailer and was going to drive off of it that way! "Which way do you walk (clockwise or counter clockwise) while triming around a pond"?

baddboygeorge
02-09-2003, 03:46 PM
i have found out the best workers are the guys who have families to support . young single guys in the 18-24 range are a total waste of time . i prefer older guys 30-50 range with wife an kids that depend on a paycheck an value there job!

greenngrow
02-09-2003, 06:11 PM
I would give them a small test of 15 V. And then have them tell me why they want to work for you.

Watch the body language and appearance of the person.

I would a probational time period for all new hires. You can set the time.

SLS
02-09-2003, 06:22 PM
I haven't seen one mention of manditory drug testing in this thread.

Along the lines of ESlawns stipulation that a potential applicant must have a valid ID/DL, experience with commercial equipment, and have there own transportation...I feel that the notice of a manditory drug screen BEFORE hiring will definately weed out a bunch of losers BEFORE your valuable time is wasted.

I understand that the guy who takes an occasional toke may indeed be a good worker...but do we want to weed through the cronic users, or meth-heads, to find them???

Let's face it- this industry does not attract brain surgeons and jet pilots when it comes to looking for a hourly-paid helper.

Sadly, several LCO's that I know personally seemed doomed to either have alkies and/or drug burnouts on their crews. They justify it because they pay 'peanuts'. Whatever floats their boat, I suppose. I would get tired of not having them show up a day or two each week...or the liability implications in the event of a accident. :rolleyes:

Offering paid benefits is great for gathering, and keeping, good employees....the trick is getting them on board with the least amount of headaches possible.

Am I way off base here? :confused:

greenngrow
02-09-2003, 07:29 PM
SLS,

You are exactly correct. I am looking to this policy when hiring. And don't forget when a employee has a accident.

If memory serves me correct. Doesn't CDL license holders have to go through random drug screening ever so often???

turfman59
02-09-2003, 10:28 PM
Originally posted by eslawns
Verify as well as you can what they tell you. The best questions to ask previous employers? Would you rehire this person? If they had 3 or 4 bosses, and all would not rehire them, it

Most large companys will not answer this type of question because it will open them up to litigation or can be libelous. How do they know who is really on the other end of the phone.

NC Big Daddy
02-09-2003, 10:49 PM
I was wondering when the drug testing issue would pop up. Well done SLS! I had a sign placed in the front window of my office saying"Everyone who works here is Drug Tested once a month" Guess what? The last four hires have been great, I cant wait till our spring hiring. Just a little note the drug test cost me around $15 per, money well spent. By the way....the sign is also printed in Spanish:D

VLM
02-09-2003, 10:50 PM
Make sure the test is in Espaniol, hehe.

Gravely_Man
02-11-2003, 01:32 PM
If you want to give a test then go for it. I have found that you can teach people what they need to know to do this job. What you need to check is their references and really interview them. Learn about the person and take notes. This will help you to see if they will be a good fit for you and your company.


Gravely_Man

geogunn
02-11-2003, 03:13 PM
how many time s can you take the aptitude test if you flunk it the first time?:dizzy:

GEO