Tips From The Top: One On One With Charlie Wonderlic, President And CEO Of Wonderlic Inc.

I spoke to Charlie Wonderlic, President and CEO of Wonderlic Inc., about the power of testing and how a test made famous by the NFL is impacting companies across the country

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Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to go inside your unique journey. First things first, though, can you describe your upbringing and the role it played and continues to play?

Charlie: Wonderlic is now into its fourth generation with our roots going back to my grandfather, Al Wonderlic, who started our business in 1937. It was impossible as a Wonderlic family member not to be involved in the business even at a very early age. It was a topic of conversation, particularly around how to assess different characteristics people have and how they relate to success on the job, as well as different ways to measure those characteristics. Wonderlic now takes this to the next step by providing these services to employers, particularly small and midsize employers who don’t’ have the staff and resources required to make consistently good hiring decisions.

Adam: So how did you get where you are now?

Charlie: I see things in terms of digits, and I always excelled at math. I had a real interest in business, and that led me to get my bachelor’s degree in finance from Miami University in Ohio. From there, I thought I would take the typical path of a person with a finance and work for a larger organization, helping them make wise financial decisions. I had been working for the Barclays International in South Africa, and then Barclays in London, and then Household Finance in Illinois, and I realized that while I enjoyed working with numbers, it wasn’t rewarding without human interpersonal contact outside the four walls of the company. I decided that the family business was the better choice for me as it combined my two passions, numbers and people.

Adam: How can companies use testing to improve their hiring process?

Charlie: Companies can reduce the time and cost of pre-qualifying online job candidates by including professionally developed personality, ability, skills and/or knowledge tests as part of their online application process. As a result, many are now using these types of tests to systematically pinpoint and connect with top talent, before their competitors have finished reviewing and parsing resumes.

Adam: If companies are thinking about incorporating testing into their evaluation process, what should they consider?

Charlie: Companies that are considering incorporating tests into their hiring process should seek expert advice from one of the many well-established test publishers. This advice should include recommendations about the types of tests that are most appropriate for their job(s), how to interpret test results and how to integrate tests into their current selection process.

Adam: What do you believe testing measures most and least effectively?

Charlie: Professionally developed employment tests are very effective at helping employers quickly and objectively differentiate qualified from unqualified job candidates. They should be used to validate, versus replace information gathered from interviews and reference checks prior to making a final hiring decision.

Adam: How has your relationship with the NFL and the publicity received through the NFL Draft impacted your business?

Charlie: Professional football fans recognize the relationship between player selection and team performance and most are aware that the NFL has a long history of using the Wonderlic Personnel Test for this purpose. While we receive a tremendous amount of publicity during the NFL Combine each Spring, many fans may not realize that Wonderlic Tests are helping thousands of business of all sizes and industries make better, faster and stronger teams and that we are here for them as well.

Adam: In your experience, what are the defining qualities of an effective leader? How can leaders and aspiring leaders take their leadership skills to the next level?

I’m a strong believer that the most effective
leaders are truly capable of engaging the hearts and minds of the people who
follow them. You can identify great leaders because they’re surrounded by
people who aren’t looking to be led, but looking to be given the opportunity to
grow. They can take their skills to the next level by displaying their willingness
to go above and beyond what is asked of them, showing their ability to shine
and move their team forward.

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