Hiring new employees is always risky, and the stakes are high for any business. The hiring process can be especially challenging for employers in physically demanding industries like warehousing, and the stakes for these employers can be much higher. Getting it right the first time means gaining a new worker who will be an asset to your business, while making a bad hire is a significant liability.
A bad hire in any industry is costly, but workers that are poorly matched to the physical demands of strenuous warehousing jobs, such as manual material handling, shipping and receiving, or loading dock work, for instance, can generate high workplace injury rates. High injury rates, then, can generate very high injury costs.
Since these employers face more challenges in hiring capable workers and demand more of them once they are hired, a very thorough and accurate pre-employment screening process is necessary. That process should include a solid pre-hire Physical Abilities Testing (PAT) program.
How can PAT help in the warehousing industry?
PAT offers warehousing employers an accurate, objective assessment of the physical capabilities of potential new hires as they relate to the essential functions of the jobs for which these candidates have applied. This gives employers the ability to ensure that the people they hire are well-matched to the physical demands of the job – fit, healthy, and capable of performing safely and efficiently in the workplace. In short, it reduces risk of bad hires in these tough jobs.
However, the benefits of a good Physical Abilities Testing program extend beyond avoiding wasting time and resources on bad hires.
- Warehouse employees who are well matched to their jobs are easier to train for those jobs, saving time, effort and money.
- They are more likely to remain in your workforce long-term than workers who struggle with their daily duties, thus improving employee retention rates.
- Employees who have proven themselves capable of handling the demands of their job by passing a job-specific PAT are much less likely to be injured on the job than workers who have not – which is why employers who implement PAT programs typically see dramatic reductions in workplace injury rates and workers' comp costs.
Show me the facts
At this point, any good business person will be looking for hard numbers to back up these statements. Supporting evidence is easily available in a number of studies that prove the effectiveness of pre-employment Physical Abilities Testing.
For instance, a two-part study published in the journal "Work" examined the results of implementing a pre-employment PAT program to test applicants for strenuous warehouse jobs across three different industries. Results showed a 47 percent drop in workers' compensation injuries in tested employees as compared to untested workers, along with a 21 percent higher retention rate.
Here's the bottom line:
A good Physical Abilities Testing program can add accuracy to your warehouse's hiring process, decrease the time and money you spend on hiring by reducing turnover, and deliver great results in controlling injury rates and workers' comp costs. All of this adds up to an impressive return on the investment you will make in implementing a solid PAT program for your workers.