How Pre Employment Testing Can Help You Hire the Right Person the First Time

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 22, 2015 10:30:00 AM / by Deborah Lechner

Hiring the right person the first time is the ideal for every employer, and if you're in human resources, the ball is in your court and it’s “match point” every time you make an offer. Of course, “match point” is an ideal, so getting it right every single time isn't a realistic expectation. However, you can significantly increase the odds of finding the right applicants for physically demanding jobs when you implement pre employment Physical Abilities Testing as an integral part of your hiring process.

True Cost of a Bad Hire

Everyone talks about the expenses associated with a bad hire but few have really quantified all the costs. The reason?  Many of the costs are hidden or indirect. Some examples include:  

 Decreased productivityEven if the job tasks are farmed out to other existing employees, they likely won’t be done to the extent and quality they should be.

Overworked remaining employeesAs the quality of work goes declines so does the morale of the remaining employees. They will be more likely to leave - and even if they stay and you re-hire for the vacant position, it may take a while for their morale to improve.

Lost expertiseEven though you hire the replacement, it will be a while before the new person acquires the knowledge of the former employee and performs up to speed.

TrainingTraining can include formal courses or in-house training. In-house training can be even more costly than a formal course as it affects not only the new employees’ productivity but the trainer’s productivity as well. Paying two people to do one job is nobody’s idea of enhancing productivity.

Recruiting and Interviewing.  It takes time to place ads, go through resumes, conduct formal interviews, speak with references, and, finally select the candidate.

Some sources estimate that these costs are as high as 150 percent of the employee’s annual salary.  This figure may be less for entry level positions, but it’s still enough to make retention a high priority. 

Pre Employment Testing: Adding Accuracy And Efficiency To The Screening Process

Identifying the best candidates from a pool of applicants is a painstaking proposition: while it may seem there’s never enough data to make a decision but always enough to create confusion, it doesn’t have to be that way. As an HR pro, it’s your job to build in as much accuracy and efficiency into the  hiring process as possible. In  a way you’re serving two masters. Your  employer needs – and expects – you to find the best possible candidates for the job, but there is generally a limit to how long a position can be left vacant without affecting the bottom line. If recruiting and onboarding takes too long, operations will start to scream for more associates.  They may even pressure human resources to cut corners, sacrificing quality for quantity. So time is of the essence. Balancing these two competing objectives is among the more challenging aspects of the hiring process.

But how, exactly, can adding more steps – in the form of pre employment testing – to an already complex process help? The reality is, those extra steps can actually save you a lot of time and energy, improving the quality of the hires you do make by significantly decreasing the time you spend weeding out unqualified candidates.

If you're hiring for physically demanding jobs, such as health care, transportation, warehousing or construction, Pre employment Physical Ability Testing can significantly streamline the process of identifying viable employment candidates. A Physical Ability Test, tailored to objectively assess a candidate's ability to perform the specific job tasks and functions , can help you  eliminate candidates applicants who appear qualified look good on paper (resume and work history), but aren't able to meet the physical demands of the position. Since the those physical demands are a primary contributor to high turnover rates in critically understaffed industries – an average of 50 percent among nursing staff, 20 to 30 percent in manufacturing, and more than 17 percent in construction – ensuring that potential hires are capable of performing their jobs safely is crucial to finding people who are a good fit, which increases the odds of them staying employed with the company. 

Additionally, well-constructed personality and behavior assessments can help ensure that you're quickly screening  out candidates who may have reliability and/or integrity problems; skills tests can help identify those who might have overestimated or exaggerated their level of competence. These factors, of course, are essential to successful hiring in virtually any industry.

Identifying and eliminating unsuitable candidates early on in the hiring process reduces the total amount of time you’ll waste and money you'll spend hiring (and subsequently replacing) candidates who cannot do the job. A formal and objective pre employment testing program can help you strike an effective balance between accuracy and efficiency in the candidate selection process.

When are Physical abilities test best performed

Topics: Pre Employment Screening

Deborah Lechner

Written by Deborah Lechner

Deborah Lechner, ErgoScience President, combines an extensive research background with 25-plus years of clinical experience. Under her leadership, ErgoScience continues to use the science of work to improve workplace safety, productivity and profitability.

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