As every business owner and human resources professional knows, hiring is always a gamble. No matter how careful or thorough you are in gathering and validating candidate information, things can be missed, and those oversights can be costly. It's a perennial problem, and why pre employment testing—especially physical abilities testing, which gives employers a clear picture of a candidate's physical ability to safely perform their job—has become a popular addition to the hiring process. If you haven't yet added this valuable tool to your arsenal of employment screening practices for physically demanding jobs, read on to discover the ways pre employment testing, especially physical abilities testing can positively impact the corporate bottom line.
The High Costs of Hiring Mistakes
Great employees—people with the right combination of experience, physical ability, intelligence, integrity and commitment—are among the most valuable assets of any corporation. An unsuitable hire, on the other hand, can be a substantial liability in a number of ways. Every employer knows that a hiring mistake wastes time, money and resources. In 2009 alone, companies in the US spent nearly $126B just on training and development. The cost of a single “false start,” depends on your organization but some estimates indicate that they can cost as much as $8,000/hire. Other estimates suggest that the employee you just had to let go cost you anywhere from 15-150% of their annual salary.
And as much a bad hire hurts, there are other, more subtle (and not so subtle) consequences that compound the impact of these errors on the corporate bottom line. For instance, an employee who is ill-suited to your workplace may require more time and attention from management during his or her time with the company—time and attention that you'd probably like to be spending on other, more important aspects of business. Morale suffers and turnover increases when other employees have little choice but to pick up the slack left by an incompetent new hire. Last, but not least, an employee who struggles to fulfill the physical requirements of his or her position is an injury waiting to happen., And when 10% employees account for 75% of injuries – and the costs that go with them – it’s a problem you literally cannot afford to ignore. If you don’t already track your cost of turn-over, HR World provides a bad hire calculator to show you exactly how it impacts your bottom line. (Click here to check it out.)
Physical Abilities Testing: Decreasing Risk of Bad-Hire Losses
When you add up the costs, it becomes quite clear that minimizing hiring mistakes can have a significant positive impact on your bottom line, and that is exactly what pre employment testing that includes physical abilities testing can do for your company.
There is only so much you can learn about a potential employee via resumes, interviews and reference verification, and these standard practices are not very good predictors of physical performance in the workplace. Additionally, even the most honest and forthright candidates often overestimate their own physical abilities or underestimate the demands of the job you're offering them. Well-designed, evidence-based pre hire testing programs that include physical abilities testing offer employers the means to accurately and objectively assess a candidate's ability to meet the physical demands of the specific position for which he or she is applying. Look for a provider that offers tests finely tuned to the specific demands of the job at hand to get the most accurate look at precisely who is capable of performing the job safely and effectively, and who might be a liability or accident waiting to happen, all before a hire becomes a risk, becomes injured, or leaves the job prematurely.
Pre Employment Testing: Worth the Cost?
If you’re still wondering whether pre hire testing programs can have enough impact on the bottom line to justify the additional costs, studies show they absolutely can. For instance, in research conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago, implementation of a pre hire testing program to ensure that candidate's physical capabilities were well-matched to job demands yielded a savings of $18 dollars for every dollar spent on testing.
So, the real bottom line? Pre employment testing can have significant positive financial impact, create a more accurate, streamlined and cost-effective hiring process. Hiring will always be a gamble. Pre employment testing helps put the odds in your favor.