Engagement Predicts!

Posted in Hirepayoff News


Screening For Both Competencies And Employee Engagement

“Recent HR analytics show how using employee testing to screen for both competencies and the likelihood of growing employee engagement helps produce a clear bottom line return, ” says Dr. David Jones.

March 26, 2013 – Recently, Dr. David Jones, author of Million-Dollar Hire: Building Your Bottom Line, One Employee at a Time and founder of HirePayoff™, produced a release that described how to use employment testing during recruitment and selection to screen candidates on their likelihood of showing, and growing, employee engagement once hired. (See the HirePayoff™ release Engagement is Predictable! )

In the release, Jones built on research reported by Dr. Leaetta Hough, Chief Science Officer with HirePayoff™, where she described how special recruitment and selection tools can be used in the employment testing process to predict whether candidates to new positions will become engaged – involved with, committed to, and satisfied working in an organization. (See the HirePayoff™ release Employee Engagement – A Two-Way Street) According to Dr. Hough, “Results are showing more and more payoff in finding candidates with an inclination to engage, resulting in, among other things, a reduction in the business’s employee turnover rate.”

In Engagement is Predictable! Jones showed how the HirePayoff™ online employment testing tool’s Engagement scale put Dr. Hough’s ideas to the test with a group of nearly 300 retail sales employees. Analysis of the employees’ scores on the HirePayoff™ Engagement scale were found to predict the same workers’ self-reports of employee engagement, based on their answers to classic survey items used today to measure levels of employee engagement.

As Jones reported, “Using the HirePayoff™ Engagement score to reject only about one-quarter of those tested, the makeup of the remaining group changed substantially. In the group that “passed” the assessment, there was an approximately 35% reduction in the number of Fully Disengaged or Disenchanted employees. The percent of those Highly Engaged increased by nearly 27%,” added Jones.

In Engagement is Predictable!, the HirePayoff™ employment testing tool produced scores on candidate competencies, including Skill at Learning and Applying What’s Learned, Drive to Succeed, Dependable Commitment, Team Play, and Taking the Lead. Most important to the study, though, was the HirePayoff™ Engagement scale, a score focused on predicting whether a candidate will develop strong employee engagement once hired. Unique to the project was its assembling of both HirePayoff™ employment testing data and measures on on-the-job employee engagement.

“But we didn’t stop there,” reports Jones. “The team also assembled on-the-job performance data for the same retail sales employees. This was the third leg under the stool – now we could examine how pre-employment testing scores, measures of employee engagement, and bottom line sales performance all connected… what we call test validation,” says Jones. Major results of analytic work showed:

    • As expected, scores on the HirePayoff™ employment screening test predicted employees’ bottom line sales performance. Those passing the employment test’s qualifying standard – about 80 percent – differed from those failing the standard in major ways. Those passing received:


  • Also expected, as indicated above, those passing the HirePayoff™ employment test’s Engagement scale – approximately 72 percent – reported higher levels of employee engagement. Those passing were:


When the group was held to both the HirePayoff™ performance screening standard and the HirePayoff™ Engagement standard, results showed clear bottom line payoff. Most dramatic were results for those who failed the standards. According to Jones, “With an initial employee screening tool like HirePayoff™ -  one that “passes” a majority of those who complete it – the major questions are ‘Did we reject the right people?’ ‘Did we choose the right candidates to pursue further in the hiring process?”

As the team reviewed the data, the “doubly rejected” group showed major differences from those who passed the two HirePayoff™ standards. This group’s performance showed:

Finally, when the team reviewed aspects of job performance linked most strongly with employees who reported being Highly Engaged, the answer was interesting. “The dimension of job performance most distinguishing those Highly Engaged was how effectively they “Meet and Greet” customers entering the sales process. True, Highly Engaged employees performed higher overall, but customer interaction dimensions showed them most different from those who reported being Disengaged,” says Jones.

Jones summarizes the latest HirePayoff™ data analytics, all supporting the concepts in Dr. Hough’s Employee Engagement – A Two-Way Street:

  • Yes, screening on ‘Can Do’ and ‘Will Do’ competencies to find top-performers is possible with employment testing tools like HirePayoff™
  • Yes, screening to find those likely to grow employee engagement also is possible with tools like HirePayoff™ Engagement,
  • Yes, those showing high employee engagement perform better, and
  • Yes, screening for both competencies and employee engagement
    maximizes results, largely by avoiding those who lack the needed ‘Can Do’
    and ‘Will Do’ competencies and the likelihood of growing engagement.

According to Jones, “This is where 1 + 1 = 3… use an employment testing process to tap both competencies and employee engagement… and build the bottom line.”

About HirePayoff™

David Jones, PhD, author of Million-Dollar Hire: Building Your Bottom
Line, One Employee at a Time
, published in April, 2011 by Jossey-Bass, is among the few Business Psychology professionals to found and grow a major internationalconsulting and HR recruitment and selection process outsourcing business. In Million-Dollar Hire he explains how, even in a slow economy, U.S. employers make millions of hiring decisions every month… and in today’s demanding environment,
companies no longer have room to get it wrong. Every hire is an investment… everydecision carries risk. Done well, every one can pay a return. Using practical, real world illustrations, Jones uses the book to show there are tools that help treat everyhiring decision with the same focus a business follows in acquiring other high-value assets.

Today, Jones is president of Growth Ventures Inc., whose HirePayoff™ division works with employers to tap candidates’ ‘Can Do Will Do’ competencies. Through HirePayoff™, Jones helps companies re-invent their online recruiting and hiring process. The target – find new hires with employee engagement, strong sales performance, solid employee retention, and bottom line drive. All the HirePayoff™ online recruitment and selection tools are supported by sound test validation and uniquely driven by Six Sigma continuous improvement. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Dr. David Jones
President & CEO