Preemployment Testing: What They Are and What They Can Do for Your Business

There are different types of preemployment evaluations conducted on job applicants. They can range from basic drug tests and interviews to more comprehensive health screenings and cognitive tests. The type of preemployment test you implement will depend on the nature of your operations and your employment needs. Here are four significant ways that preemployment tests can help improve your business.

Prevent Accidents

Drug testing has been standard practice in the workplace since the 1980s, when then-president Ronald Reagan required federal employees to pass this type of screening. This procedure is commonly part of a company’s preemployment hiring process and helps employers identify which job candidates are at risk for drug abuse. Drug use on the job can have serious and life-threatening consequences not just on the affected employee but also on coworkers. Depressants like morphine and alcohol can cause drowsiness and may affect an employee’s movement and ability to concentrate. Likewise, stimulants like cocaine and marijuana can cause insomnia and increased blood pressure.

In addition to drug screenings, other preemployment tests like cognitive exams, physical-aptitude tests, and skills evaluations can help employers make sure that their employees have the ability necessary to perform tasks and operate equipment from simple medical equipment to sophisticated machinery. This is very critical especially in high-risk industries like healthcare construction, transportation, and manufacturing. Workplace accidents not only endanger your workers’ lives; they can have devastating consequences on your reputation.

Improve Productivity

Preemployment tests are designed to evaluate whether a job candidate is suited for the job and whether any additional training is required to help him become effective at work. Without this process in place, employers may end up with workers who are not only incompetent but also hazardous to their colleagues. Blood and urine drug tests, for example, will help employers identify users of illicit substances and prevent them from getting hired, especially in positions that are safety sensitive.

Second, preemployment screenings help employers hire candidates who are motivated to work. They can determine this through interviews in which applicants are asked for the reason why they are applying for the job and why they left their previous employer. Motivation is key to employee productivity. When employees are satisfied with their jobs, they work harder, and they become more proactive in helping the business achieve its goals.

Promote Long-Term Employment

Companies should prioritize employee engagement if they want to prevent high turnover rates in their workforce. High turnover is costly for employers, especially if they have already invested skills in training the job candidate who has suddenly decided to leave. When employers implement effective preemployment testing, they help ensure that a candidate is fit for the position, and this is an important ingredient for job satisfaction and engagement. Employees feel more satisfied and motivated to work if they feel that they are a useful part of the organization.

Employees who are highly engaged perform better than those who are not. Aside from being focused and productive, engaged employees become valuable brand ambassadors for the company. They may refer job candidates to apply for work and build connections with potential business partners. On the other hand, employees who are disconnected from their jobs experience burnout frequently, and they may leave the company as soon as a better opportunity comes up.

Protect Company Image

Preemployment tests are not just useful for achieving your goals as a company; they are also beneficial to the people you deal with. First, your employees will feel more secure and dignified to work, knowing that you invested time and resources to select the labor force that you have. Nobody wants to work in a company that feels unsafe because of a faulty hiring process and workers who have no idea what they are doing. Employees who do not feel secure at their workplace may become demotivated, and this can result in absenteeism and high turnover.

Furthermore, business partners will feel more confident building a relationship with you if they know that you have integrity as an employer. Investors will feel more confident in your relationship knowing that you are careful about the people you hire to be part of your operations. Finally, customers will trust in the quality of your products and services more, knowing that the people who created them are qualified.