Four years ago, 78.2 million American workers aged 16 and older were paid at hourly rates. Hourly workers now make up 58.5 percent of the workforce, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics . In other words, the hourly workforce makes up over half of the jobs in the US and continues to grow at a rate of about one million new jobs per year. Obviously, there is an increasing need to fill hourly roles and thus a need to develop assessments for hourly positions.
While researching employers’ top concerns about requirements for an entry-level hourly role, four distinct needs emerged:
- The need for employees who are hard-working and dependable.
- The need for employees with interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with others.
- The need for employees who adhere to policies and avoid counterproductive behavior.
- The need for employees who are committed to the organization and will remain with the firm (i.e., lower turnover).
Putting a “competency” definition to these traits, employers should look for an assessment to score candidates on the following:
Dependability & Work Ethic—Individuals who score high in this competency are hardworking, thorough, and responsible. They follow instructions and complete assigned tasks and duties. They are described as persistent, hard-working, persevering, reliable and self-disciplined. In psychological parlance, this is part of the “Big Five” conscientiousness factor that focuses on work ethic and dependability.
Customer Service & Teamwork—Individuals scoring high on this competency genuinely like people and enjoy the company of others. They also engage in helping others and are attentive to the needs of both external and internal customers. They are typically described as being courteous, good-natured, friendly, service-oriented, gregarious and responsive to the needs of others.
Principled Conduct—High scores on this competency indicate a willingness to adhere to an organization’s rules and restrictions. Individuals who score high are typically described as being principled and forthright.
Retention—Individuals who attain high scores on this competency are committed to the organization and are less likely than their work colleagues to leave the company.
Other competencies also address the requirements needed for successful hourly workers. They include Safety Orientation, which is especially important for manufacturing jobs, and Stress Tolerance, which is critical in deadline-driven roles.
A review of commercially available tests revealed that several tools are available for addressing each of these needs, but they tend to focus on one specific issue or topic rather than being omnibus in nature. For example, there are a number of good tests for measuring counterproductive behavior. Others focus solely on customer service, and still others measure conscientiousness. But few attempt to address all four major needs in a single instrument. The Devine Hourly™ was developed to provide users with a relatively short but viable selection inventory that addresses all four critical needs.