Pre-employment Testing for New Hires

Attrition is almost always a problem for employers. Significant costs are attached to the advertising, recruiting, screening, processing, and training of new hires, so most businesses would much rather keep their current employees than get new ones.

One of the major causes of attrition is physical incapacity. For each type of work, there are certain physical criteria that potential employees should possess in order to be a good fit for the position. Workers need to be physically able to safely perform the essential tasks of their job over the long-term. This is why comprehensive pre-employment testing for new hires is so important.

Based on an article on the WorkSTEPS website, pre-employment testing is best performed after the applicant has passed the core skills portion of the hiring process, but before a job offer is made. That way, the pre-employment testing is reserved for those who are already qualified for the job. The last bit of screening would be for physical fitness.

Pre-employment testing should not only be confined to the passive health profile of the applicant, such as existing conditions, medical history, and medical measurements. The testing program should also test the strength and endurance of the applicant by taking cardiovascular and muscle tone measurements. The applicant must pass minimum lifting requirements for the job for positions that will require it.

Such a pre-employment testing program should also measure the capacity of the applicant for repetitive motion when appropriate. Carpal tunnel syndrome and similar injuries resulting from repetitive movement is the cause for lost ways of work for a growing number of employees and is of concern for employers and workers’ compensation insurance companies.

An effective and comprehensive program of pre-employment testing for new hires will pay back the employer what it cost in spades. It will result in lower attrition, fewer lost days of work and workers’ comp claims, and a safer and more efficient work environment.  All these benefits translate to higher productivity and better profit margins.