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Even in the midst of a global pandemic, employee recruitment remains the pest control industry’s #1 challenge. In fact, for many companies it’s the primary factor limiting growth, prompting NPMA to launch its highly praised Workforce Development Initiative last fall.

“Our members have shared that the number one thing standing between their business and continued growth is a lack of workers,” observed CEO Dominique Stumpf, “and when individual companies are unable to grow, the industry is unable to grow.”

Labor issues are also what’s driving the robust mergers and acquisitions market as companies not only seek to grow their customer base and expand their market footprint, but purchase competitors as a way to bolster their bench, particularly at the management level.

So, given the highly competitive nature of the job market, what’s a company to do to ensure a steady pipeline of qualified employees? HR professionals say one of the most important things business owners can do is weed out unqualified job candidates before they invest too much time and money in the recruitment process. And one of the most effective ways of doing that is through pre-hire testing.

WHERE TO START. HR issues are particularly challenging for small companies, in part, because the owners wear multiple hats — servicing a route, writing sales proposals, managing inventory — all while overseeing the day-to-day operation of the business. For these time-strapped PMPs, pre-hiring processes and protocols are critical to their HR success.

Unfortunately, that’s where many companies, both large and small, fall short. “While pest control companies routinely perform criminal background checks and pull driving records, they don’t typically dig deeper, assessing the behavioral traits of potential employees,” says Dennis Fox, founder and president of The Client Development Institute, a company specializing in predicting and enhancing workplace performance.

It’s at this “granular level” that PMPs can streamline the employee recruitment process by utilizing an integrity testing tool that eliminates bad hires before they damage customer relationships, increase callbacks or destroy a company’s corporate culture.

The Select4Hire tool (S4H) is a pre-hire integrity test used to prevent high-risk job applicants from being considered further during the hiring process. The easy-to-administer test can be completed in less than 10 minutes and identifies a high level of legal self admissions from applicants by using a proven psychological principle known as cognitive dissonance, Fox says.



Simply put, cognitive dissonance is the state of mind where individuals who are involved in ongoing, “risky” behaviors (like theft and/or illegal drug use) will begin to rationalize their behavior as normal. As a result, they have no issue with answering direct questions about current or recent abnormal “risky” behavior, giving potential employers valuable insights into their character … before they are hired.

“Unlike traditional personality tests, S4H is an overt behavioral survey in the form of an online, pre-interview questionnaire,” Fox says. “Through direct questions, PMPs are able to identify high-risk candidates in four counterproductive behaviors: theft, substance abuse, hostility and lying, behaviors that adversely impact service industries across the nation.

“Knowing the pest control industry provides not only commercial-facing but also consumer-facing services, I recognize it’s important to hire employees who will represent your company with core beliefs that are in line with where you would expect them to be,” Fox says. 

“Where background screening will often tell you who someone was in their past, Select4Hire provides PMPs insights into who they are at the time of the job application,” he adds. “It dramatically streamlines the employee recruitment process, identifying potential problem hires before they come on board.”

The test is particularly relevant for the pest control industry because it asks direct questions about behaviors that are common in unsupervised work environments. “PMPs need to know they have employees whose value systems will drive them to make the best judgments when unsupervised,” Fox says.

FEATURES & BENEFITS. Pre-employment integrity testing offers a number of advantages. “Companies using integrity testing increase their earnings through significant reductions in compensation losses and reduced short-term disability claims, as well as decreased turnover and reduced employee theft,” Fox says.

“The high-risk individuals identified by the test are the ones who come to the workplace with an ‘entitlement mentality.’ The overall quality of the workers is improved when high-risk job candidates are culled from the applicant pool,” he says. “Overall, the Select4Hire Integrity Test increases productivity, morale and profitability.”

Because the pest control industry has traditionally experienced high turnover, the Select4Hire integrity test is a “natural fit,” Fox says. “In this day and age, it’s critical PMPs provide a safe and productive workplace for their employees and ensure the health and safety of their customers. That’s why it’s so important for PMPs to take every reasonable step to attract the finest employees possible who will continue to earn the public’s trust.” 

To learn more about the Select4Hire test, contact Dennis Fox at The Client Development Institute, 13051 Starling Court, Suite 100, Fairfax, VA 22033, email him at dennisfox@clientdevelopmentinst.com, or visit www.clientdevelopmentinst.com.

Select4Hire is a registered trademark of the Client Development Institute, powered by Merchant Information Solutions IntegrityFirst service.Pre-Employment Screening 2.0.