Some aspects of hiring are inherently subjective. In spite of that, HR pros strive to make the best decisions given the information available. We all want to avoid hiring mistakes. None of us want high turnover or injury rates. So we turn to tools and procedures that can help reduce risk. One option is Post Offer Employment Testing – but how effective are they really?
Post-offer employment testing (POET) can verify each selected candidate’s ability to perform essential job tasks.
Extensive studies have been conducted over the past few decades by well-respected scientists, and the results all point to the same conclusion: Post offer employment screenings are undeniably effective when it comes to reducing workers’ comp injuries and associated costs.
Littleton studied new hires at the University of Illinois in Chicago and found that using POET resulted in:
Harbin and Olson studied hiring practices in a food manufacturing plant and found that POET screening:
When Gassoway & Florey studied nursing assistant applicants at a regional health system:
The Gassoway study also noted that 20% of applicants who were screened failed some component of the test. Those candidates were not hired. This may be the single-most important finding, because avoiding hiring mistakes in the first place saves the most time, money, and heartburn for HR and workers’ comp professionals.
Post Offer Employment Testing Assure the Best Results
While general ergonomic screening has value, POET is worksite-specific and job-specific. Testing prospective new employees by replicating the job tasks and essential functions of their prospective job provides a real-world snapshot of the job they will need to perform.
Jobs vary in terms of required strength or force required for lifting, pushing and pulling. Rrange of motion, specific positions and frequency of repetitive movements also vary— all of which can cause musculoskeletal injuries. POET is effective because it is based on each job’s physical and positional demands, using specific measurements as benchmarks.
You can test each candidate against the same criteria and under the same conditions, to ensure 100% consistency – a tremendous benefit for any employer, especially if your company has multiple locations.
Many industries including manufacturing, waste management, and hospitality now routinely use POET to boost the effectiveness of their hiring programs. They are seeing :
As they test, they also acquire a baseline for each new hire, which supports legal defensibility and provides points of comparison should the hired worker later become injured.
The Bottom Line
You think you’ve found a great candidate: they look good on paper and sound good in their interview. Using POET screening as a condition of employment can verify that each candidate is “fit for duty” physically or point out weakness or pre-existing conditions that make a candidate unable to perform the essential job functions.
You can incorporate POET so it is ADA and EEOC compliant, protecting both you and prospective employees from what could be a poor job match. After all, candidates don’t want to be hired into a job that turns out to be risky for them, any more than you want to hire someone who brings a higher risk of injury.
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