Appitude Test

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 1grnlwn, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    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.


  2. MWHC

    MWHC LawnSite Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 217

    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
  3. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,117

    You may want to take that "appitude" test yourself. LOL Just for future reference it is spelled aptitude. Good luck finding a decent employee.
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    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.
  5. bullfrog

    bullfrog LawnSite Member
    from atlanta
    Messages: 13

    90% of success is just showing up.

    Good luck finding a written test that can predict those who will. :)
  6. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    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?
  7. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    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.
  8. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    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?
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    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.
  10. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    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.

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