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Assessment Tool Shopping

Last month we asked ourselves if implementing standardized tests to candidates was worth the effort. If you are still unsure then take some time to review the past 12 to 24-month history of your employees.

Has an unacceptable percent of your first line supervisors and / or hourly associates left during their first year because they were not a good "job fit"? Do you suspect they were "run off" because their respective manager did not know how to manage them. Or were they terminated due to integrity issues? Has your new sales rep been a major disappointment considering the great interview impression he/she made?

Think back to when these employees were hired. If standardized interview techniques were used, and objective references were called, then do you feel you have been surprised by the unacceptable results? If so, then consider contacting companies (vendors) that sell assessment tools such as personality profiles and aptitude tests.

There are many places to find vendors – but you will not find them in the yellow pages. Start by asking other laundry operators in your cost group, trade association, NAILM chapter, etc. A few months ago when I asked a few operators I was referred to Clyde Johnson of JCM Consulting, Inc. in Salt Lake City. I flew out to Utah to interview Clyde for this article and learned more about assessments than I have space for.

"Fundamental Attribution Error" (what you see may not be what you get), is one Clyde’s mottos. He is a national distributor for several employee selection tools to include Select, Assess, SalesMax, PDP, and Orion. In addition to selection, JCM has, since 1986 developed and sold PEP, Performance Evaluation Program to clients nationally and internationally. Each product has its own niche (sales ability, management style, integrity, development, etc.) Typically, a customer either pays more up front for the "grading" software and less for the individual tests, or pays more for JCM to generate the individual test results. Many products are web-based allowing for even more ease of use. Clyde also offers major price discounts for Laundries. For more information concerning JCM's products visit the Web at www.jcmconsulting.com.

Fitability Systems at www.fitability.com incorporates fifty-question format that candidates can take online at home or onsite at the request of the participating employer. The results are scored in relation to the 5 personality profiles of work, social, tact, stress, and interest as well as to the position category applied for. Fitability has over 750 position categories, including several that match up to non-exempt laundry production associates, laundry production managers, route sales reps, and equipment mechanic. In addition, they have several categories of sales reps, from which our type of selling approach could probably be matched. In talking with Mary Michael Gulden at their corporate headquarters, she pointed out that although they do not provide custom follow up questions for each individual candidate, they can provide standardized behavior-based interview guides to aid the interview process.
 
The ultimate place to research for vendors is where all information is heading and that of course is on the Web. You can educate yourself at your own pace at a time that is convenient for you. Go to my favorite search engine, www.google.com and search for hiring assessment tools. You need to be careful not to be overwhelmed by the amount of information available. While you are on the Web visit www.airsdirectory.com and click on directory and then go to Section 7 titled "Hire the Best". Also, if you have a human resource person who belongs to SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) they can obtain referrals from their local chapter and browse www.shrm.org.

Select and Orion are two popular products used to identify non-productive behaviors for non exempt hiring. ProScan, SalesMax, Assess, PreVue and Caliper are known for their sales and management personality identification.

When deciding on an actual product ask the vendor what type validation study was performed and the year of the most recent validation. Fitability, for example, uses a minimum of 100 individuals to create the norm for each position category, and typically has 400 to 500 per category. The use of assessments are vulnerable to attack, especially in union shops, however, the Atlanta district office of the E.E.O.C. would not commit to any pending litigation involving an assessment product used for hiring selection.

If your management team has average interview skills then consider the products that provide follow-up questions with their report. Ideally your facility needs to have a designated administrator for the assessments – find out what type of training the vendor provides.

Any additional step added to the recruiting process that involves time and money needs a commitment from senior management. It is an easier decision to make if there are glaring turnover problems, or if most of your management staff lacks basic interviewing skills.

If there are laundry facilities out there with vendor recommendations or questions then please contact me through my new website, www.laundrycareers.com.

Craig Lloyd represents LaundryCareers.com, a management search firm specializing in the industrial / institutional laundry industry.  He holds a degree in Industrial Relations from Rider University and has been a Certified Personnel Consultant since 1979.

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Lapauw Acquired By Private Investor

BELGIUM — Lapauw and its affiliate Lapauw France have been acquired by Mr. Philippe D’heygere for an undisclosed amount. The Belgian based manufacturer of industrial laundry equipment officially announced that it has recently sold its rights to Mr. Philippe D’heygere, a successful international entrepreneur with special interests in global expansion.

“I have worked with the Lapauw family for 46 years. Following my first meeting with the new owner, I feel very confident that this agreement will provide the experience and resources needed to expand into new markets and bolster support to our existing distributors and customers,” said Andre Henrard, Export Manager for the countries outside Europe. The current management will remain active and no personnel change is expected.

In a joint statement to their distributors, the Lapauw family announced “Mr. D’heygere has international expertise and will reinforce the position of the Lapauw Group as a successful worldwide leader of premier laundry equipment.”