A primary goal of any employer when it comes to hiring new employees is to hire the right one the first time, a great employee who will become a long-term asset. Of course, achieving that goal is challenging, and no employer gets it right every time. Effective post offer employment testing can help employers get it right more often, minimizing hiring mistakes and the hassles and costs associated with them.
However, just how effective post offer employment testing is at helping employers make more accurate hiring decisions depends on how well testing programs are designed, which makes choosing an excellent provider essential. Here we'll outline some important factors to consider when choosing a post offer employment testing company.
Validity of Testing Methods
The best testing providers will be ready, willing, and able to provide information on and evidence of the validity of their testing methods. A valid test uses science-based, standardized criteria to provide objective evaluations of specific factors related to safe, effective, and efficient job performance. It will evaluate those factors in an accurate, reliable, and clearly defined manner, with clear standards for interpreting results – such as pass or fail standards for physical ability tests. The provider should also be able to present evidence in the form of peer-reviewed research and/or case studies that demonstrate how accurately the protocol can predict a candidate's level of work-related physical ability. In other words, they should be able to show that those who score well on their tests are capable of performing the physical requirements of the job and that those who score poorly are not qualified.
In addition to being accurate, a quality post offer employment test will produce reliable and consistent results. For instance, if an individual is tested more than once, the results of each test should be about the same. If the same individual scores well one day and poorly the next, that test has poor reliability, offering no assurance of accurate candidate evaluation. Asking for proof of reliability and consistency of a provider's testing methodology is an important step in choosing the right partner to design your post offer testing program.
Regulatory Compliance and Legal Defensibility
Once you've established the accuracy and reliability of a provider's testing protocol, it is crucial to determine whether their testing methods are designed to ensure compliance with federal, states and local workplace regulations – and are legally defensible should they be challenged by regulatory agencies or lawsuits. You should make inquiries about their knowledge of workplace regulations, as well as their record of steering companies in the right direction in terms of compliance. Ask about past legal/regulatory challenges related to their testing methods and whether those methods have held up to scrutiny during those challenges.
Once these essential elements are confirmed, there are a few other factors that can help you choose the best post employment testing provider for your needs. Working with a provider who has a solid understanding on the ins and outs of your industry and the type of work you do is important in terms of how effective your testing program will be. Good customer service matters too, so choose a provider who is responsive to your needs, questions, and concerns about the testing process and who is willing to explain things in detail and take your opinions and input seriously as you work together to design a program well-suited to your business and employment needs.
In addition, your provider should be tracking and regularly reporting the pass fail rates of your testing program. If no one is failing, then what is the selection value of the program? And last but not least, choose a provider that will help you evaluate the outcomes of the program on an annual basis. Is the program decreasing injury incidents and costs? Is it reducing lost and restricted duty days? This annual outcomes analysis is the only way you will know that the program is working.