3 Pre-Employment Tests - Help Your Window Cleaning Company Hire the Best

by Michael Mercer, Ph.D.

Question: What’s the easiest, cheapest and fastest way for window cleaning companies to have profitable, highly productive, low-turnover, honest employees?

Answer: Hire profitable, productive, honest people!

Unfortunately, many window cleaning companies hire lousy employees. Fortunately, pre-employment tests give your company’s managers a scientific, customizable, easy-to-use, fast way to hire the best.

Only 1 Reason to Screen Applicants

The crucial reason to assess applicants is to predict – or forecast – how an applicant will behave on-the-job BEFORE you hire the person. Important = Predicting this before hiring an applicant is vastly better than finding out the expensive way after you put a person on your payroll.

Three methods used to predict if an applicant will succeed on-the-job are:

  • Interviews
  • Reference Checks
  • Pre-employment Tests

Alarming Research

Large-scale research discovered most interviewers and reference checks make lousy predictions of real on-the-job performance. Sum = 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. Reason: Pre-hire tests are created from years of scientific research, so they objectively predict how an applicant will act on-the-job. In contrast, interviews and reference checks typically offer only subjective “guesstimates” of an applicant’s work potential.


You can use three types of pre-employment tests.

1. Mental Abilities or Aptitudes (Brainpower) Test

Did you ever hire someone and, later, discover the person had the IQ of a doorknob? That person did not have enough brainpower to (a) learn the job nor (b) handle situations encountered on-the-job. Mental aptitude tests help you avoid hiring people who lack brainpower to learn and do the job.

Five work-related intelligence or mental abilities tests tell you how well the applicant handles:

  • Problem-Solving
  • Vocabulary
  • Arithmetic
  • Grammar, Spelling, & Word Use
  • Small Details Speed & Accuracy

2. Behavior or Personality Test

Each job requires job-related behaviors. For example, my research shows superstar Sales Reps get high test scores on money motivation, optimism, and assertiveness. Many office workers or professionals get high scores on teamwork, friendliness, and customer service. To help you, behavior tests forecast applicants:

  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Personality
  • Motivations

For instance, a behavior or personality test predicts three interpersonal skills: (a) friendliness, (b) assertiveness, and (c) teamwork. Five personality traits assessed by the pre-hire test include (a) following rules, (b) handling pressure, (c) optimism, (d) energy level, and (e) desire to focus on feelings or facts. Motivations uncover the type of work the applicant feels enthused to do, e.g., (a) make money, (b) provide customer service, (c) do creative work, (d) exert power or control, or (e) increase knowledge.

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3. Dependability or Work Reliability Test

Did you ever hire someone who had bad/lousy work ethic? Or maybe you hired applicant who was impulsive – and created waste and safety violations or acted obnoxious? Stole from your company? Abused alcohol or drugs? Lied or was dishonest? That wasted your company’s money! Dependability tests help window cleaning companies avoid hiring irresponsible, undependable, unreliable problem employees.

A good Dependability test helps you predict five crucial work dependability or reliability factors:

  1. Honesty
  2. Work Ethic
  3. Impulsiveness [related to safety violations, accidents, rudeness]
  4. Theft/Stealing concerns
  5. Substance Abuse concerns
  6. When you hire dependable, reliable employees, you make a big improvement for your window washing company’s productivity and profits.

    Customize Tests You Use

    I highly recommended you custom-tailor mental aptitude/intelligence tests and behavior/personality tests for each job in your company.

    You customize abilities and behavior pre-employment tests by conducting a benchmarking study.

    Example for “Blue-Collar” or Laborer Job

    When you test Window Washer applicants, test for three job-related mental abilities: Problem-Solving, Arithmetic, and Handling Small Details Start by testing your best Window Washers to find their “benchmark” or typical test scores. Then, when you assess Window Washer applicants, look for applicants whose test scores are similar to your company’s best Window Washer’s test scores. For “blue-collar” jobs, you also want to use a Dependability pre-hire test.

    Example for “White-Collar” or Professional Job

    For these jobs, use both Mental Aptitude Test and Personality Test. Let’s say you want to hire highly profitable, productive Sales Reps. Start by testing some of your best, superstar sales reps. Statistically pinpoint your best Sales Reps’ typical test scores. Then, when you test a sales applicant, you quickly can see if the applicant’s test scores are same as or different than your best Sales Reps’ test scores.

    6 Steps for Pre-Employment Testing – to Help You Hire the Best

    You can hire the best using pre-employment tests by following six steps:

    Step 1: Find a skilled Ph.D. business psychologist whose expertise is in pre-employment testing. You only would allow a skilled M.D. surgeon to perform surgery on you. Likewise, you only want a Ph.D. business psychologist who specializes in testing to help you find, custom-tailor, and use pre-employment tests.

    Step 2: List jobs for which your company will hire.

    Step 3: With your Ph.D. business psychologist’s help, find tests that are (a) job-related, (b) valid, (c) reliable, and (d) customizable for jobs you listed in Step 2.

    Step 4: Customize the tests with expert’s guidance. Statistically determine “benchmark” test scores of your company’s best employees in each job listed in Step 2.

    Step 5: Test applicants. And prefer hiring applicants whose employment test scores are similar to your company’s best employees’ test scores.

    Step 6: Reap the financial benefits of increased profits and productivity produced when pre-employment tests help you hire the best!

    © Copyright 2020 Michael Mercer, Ph.D.

    Michael Mercer, Ph.D., is a business psychologist, consultant, and speaker. He created the 3 “Forecaster™ Tests.” These pre-employment tests are used by window cleaning and other companies to assess job applicants. Dr. Mercer wrote 6 books, including “Hire the Best & Avoid the Rest™.” Subscribe to his free Management Newsletter at www.MercerSystems.com. You can see examples of his “Forecaster™” pre-employment tests used by window cleaning companies by calling his office = 847-521-2554.

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