Shopping for effective pre-employment health assessments can be time consuming and confusing. With multiple provider offerings, ‘off the shelf’ products, online questionnaires, specific industry standards, and custom-made assessment programs, there are many things that an employer needs to consider when reviewing or implementing a pre-employment health assessment program.
When reviewing or creating a pre-employment assessment program it’s important to ensure that the program is robust, streamline and evidence based. You need to identify what’s important to your organisation, so that you can build processes that are not only cost effective and easy to apply, but are matched to the risks specific to your organisation. So, if you are currently reviewing your organisations pre-employment health assessment program, or are looking to implement a new recruitment health offering, then here are 3 key things you need to consider:
1. Always ensure the pre-employment assessment is reflective of the inherent demands associated with the role
Pre-employment assessments (like any other health assessment) are invasive, and should only be used to assess what is relevant to each position. Aligning an assessment to the inherent demands of a role (i.e. through the use of job dictionaries or position descriptions) will ensure that an assessment is relevant to the risks and demands associated with the job that the candidate has applied for. Tailored assessments also provide results and recommendations that have greater relevance in the workplace, they reduce legal risk, and often times are cheaper than many ‘off the shelf’ health assessment products. Tailored pre-employment health assessments can range from simple online questionnaires (i.e. for low risk, office based jobs), to comprehensive medical assessments (to determining risk of incapacity in safety critical areas) and comprehensive function evaluations (to determining risk associated with the performance of physical demands). In some cases, less is indeed more, so if your pre-employment health assessments are not reflective of the roles that you recruit for, then this is something to review as a priority.
2. Check to ensure that test methods used in the pre-employment assessment are valid
Pre-employment health assessments can have very real consequences, so it is vital to ensure that the tests used within the pre-employment health assessment itself are valid and are performed in accordance with any governing standards. Pre-employment health assessment providers should be able to demonstrate how they ensure the validity of each assessment, ranging from the clinical screening tools that they use, through to the quality control practices that they have in place. When working with a pre-employment health provider, always complete the relevant due diligence and ensure that the assessment being purchased is designed and delivered in a way that will provide accurate, robust, valid and repeatable results.
3. Look for value for money and an easy to implement pre-employment system
The application of pre-employment health assessments can be a costly process for the employer and in some cases, for candidates (depending on whether the candidate is required to pay for their assessment). The use of tailored and role specific assessments (as outlined above) may seem expensive or time consuming to build, however over time they result in significantly cheaper assessments and much better results for all involved. The use of technology to book and facilitate each assessment can also significantly reduce handling time, resulting in faster and more effective hiring processes, and a better ‘onboarding’ experience for each candidate. The use of technology is rapidly changing the delivery of pre-employment health assessments, with receipt of results within a 24-48 hour time period fast becoming the norm and not the exception. If you currently work with paper based pre-employment system, then the time has definitely come to review these practices as cost savings, improved data storage and faster hiring processes may be just around the corner.
There are many things to consider when implementing or reviewing a pre-employment health assessment program. Always take the time to ensure that your pre-employment health assessment program is evidence based and relevant to the role (and your organisation). If in doubt, perform your due diligence to see which product will be best fit for your organisation.
At Bodycare, we work with some of Australia’s largest and most recognisable organisations to help them to create robust, streamlined and evidence based pre-employment health assessment concepts. Along the way, we identify what’s important to each company and work collaboratively with key stakeholders to create programs that are tailored to the organisations unique needs. Integrity plays a huge role in this process (sometimes we don’t even recommend our own pre-employment health assessments), so if you are currently reviewing your organisations pre-employment health assessment program, we would love to hear from you.