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Personality Test to qualify employees and reduce turnover?

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Aug 16, 2011
Albuquerque, New Mexico
hey fastlaners,

Since first reading the book years ago I've gone through many iterations of businesses and have now built my first business that will cross 7 figures in revenue this year!

I started a residential cleaning business and although we had super low employee turnover the first 2 years, we're now starting to have issues with retaining employees.

Overall, we've built a great culture where everyone loves their job, has fun, gets paid well with a living wage with a bonus incentive which makes them literally the highest paid cleaners in the state. I do think working out some of the kinks in the bonus system is what initially caused some of our recent employee turnover but that's getting better now.

At first we hired employees mainly based on experience... however we realized this usually came with ego, and they were hard to train to our new way of doing things. For example, someone who had cleaned with their mom for 10 years or the hotel down the street had great experience but often times they were set in their ways and hard to train often times with push back.

So moving forward thinking we want to hire people that fit our culture, have a great personality, etc. because anyone can be trained on how to clean the way we do it, just takes practice and a good attitude.

Does anyone have any good insight into what would help reduce turnover, perhaps a personality test that would help us qualify go getters and people with great attitudes and work ethic? Or other ideas?

The goal would be to better align future hires that fit our culture and already have a positive attitude and are coachable to our systems and more likely to stick around, because hiring/training is costly.

Thanks so much for your wisdom and feedback!

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Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Apr 29, 2019
Disclaimer, i have zero knowledge managing people.

From what i've picked up in books i have read, one of the biggest factors is having a nice work enviroment. So that means that they feel valued and listened to.
If you are a great boss that let your employees decide their work day to some degree, help them out etc, make sure they feel heard, that will help a lot.
I imagine picking up people that have just come from unemployment or a shit-tier job will let them appreciate a good enviroment. If anyone can do the job as you say, just find people that are physicly able, and that will benefit the most from the job.

I dont know how the regulations are where you live, but here we can have a trial period for jobs, so you can try different personalities and backgrounds and let them go if its a bad match.

Jon L

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Aug 22, 2015
Bellevue, WA
I personally suck at hiring people, so perhaps I shouldn't be one of the first to answer this question.

The only way I've figured out to reliably see if they fit is to do a trial run with them. People can talk a great game, say all the right things, etc, and then be sub-par. The opposite is also true. Some people don't interview well. If you're hiring them for a non-sales type position, they may be a great fit even if they're awkward during the interview.

From what I hear, asking the right questions, checking references, pretty much all the standard interview process stuff, can improve the quality of the candidate you bring in. I haven't hired enough to bother with that though.

What's more important is what you do with them after they're hired. Open conversations, setting expectations, discussing thoughts on their role/the company/etc is important.

I brought on a guy recently that sounded great on paper, interviewed well, etc. But, he couldn't take charge. And in his role, that was an absolute requirement. We talked about that a number of times. Finally, it became clear that it wasn't the right time in his life for a role like he'd stepped into.

I reread your original post. Something I'd like to add is to start 'coaching' them during the interview. See how they respond to it. If they're offended/haughty/etc, that's a clue. Its important to discuss the why's of how you do things, though. Someone with a lot of experience will have a set way of doing things that makes perfect sense in the context they're used to doing them in. Explaining your whys will help sway them to your side. They need to be swayable, though. If you see that they're not easily moved, mention that they seem stuck on a particular way of doing things. See how they respond. You should be having these types of conversations with them pretty frequently as they start the new job, so see how they take to it during the interview.
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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Dec 22, 2018
Personality tests are fine, but I would understand what culture exactly you're looking for first.

I work for a Fortune 500 company and every person who interviews has to pass a IQ and EQ test before we interview them.
Our interview questions are focused on a couple of themes: Leadership, Innovation, Teamwork, and Execution Capability. Our goal is to find leaders who can work well with others.
We ask a lot of situational interview questions to get a good idea of how this individual would respond to to common scenarios in our work place.

After you hire them, I would place them on a 3 month probationary period where they can be let go for any reason. Most of the time they'll be fine, but this can cover you if a unqualified person slips through.

For managers we have a lot of different personality/strengths tests. The best one I've done is StrengthFinders (I think it's called CliftonStrengths now). It provides good insight as to what roles this person is best suited for (operations, engineering, R&D, working with people or working by themselves, etc.) but our company is big enough that we can move a person into a different role if that's better for the organization.

Lastly we also do an exit interview for all employees who leave the company, with more emphasis on the regrettable attrition. We don't exit interview individuals whom we have let go.

I strongly agree with hiring for culture fit and training the skills after.

My wife's company only hires people who have been referred to them by others, which is another approach to the same problem. It hurts them because they're not able to grow as fast as they want to, but at least they don't take a step back every time one of their people leaves the company.
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Johnny boy

Platinum Contributor
Speedway Pass
May 9, 2017
Washington State
Cast a wide net.

Hire people fast.

Give them structure and policies that make life hell if they don't want to conform.

The shit employees will leave and the good ones won't.

I have a lawn care company. The bad employees used to stick around and suck, until I created an employee policy agreement with "demerits", "warnings", "disciplinary actions" and all that fun bullshit that corporations have. Worked like a charm. My employees dropped like flies and got replaced by good people who show up on time and work hard. Thank God they're gone. They literally had a 60% on time attendance record. What a joke. People suck. Go through a lot of them until you get good ones. It's like dating.

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