Pre-Employment Testing

Posted by Melissa Hall in #YHSafetyTips, Oct 10, 2018

When it comes to hiring new employees, you want to ensure that you make a wise decision the first time around to avoid the costly mistake of having to rehire for the position. Pre-employment tests including job knowledge tests, skills assessment tests, drug & alcohol screenings, and employee safety risk assessments can all be used to pre-screen job candidates before presenting a job offer.

Job Knowledge Tests

Designed to measure a candidate’s technical expertise in the applied field, job knowledge tests do not factor in a candidate’s learning ability.

Skills Assessment Test

Skills assessment tests pair well with job knowledge tests and give employers a chance to evaluate the job candidate’s skillset, including soft skills (for example, attention to detail) or hard skills.


Drug and Alcohol Screening

Pre-employment drug tests are used to determine if a job candidate abuses drugs or alcohol. The introduction of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 led to an increase of companies that require drug tests for employment. Urine tests are the most common method used, but a drug test can also test hair, blood or saliva. Urine tests show recent drug use, but hair tests can test usage within the last 30 days to 6 months.

Employee drug tests screen for five illegal drugs including:

  • Amphetamines (meth, speed, ecstasy)
  • THC (marijuana, hash)
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates (heroin, opium, codeine, morphine)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

Requiring a drug screening for potential employees helps improve the safety of your workers. Drugs affect an employee’s concentration and judgement, creating a dangerous situation for other employees. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence estimates that drug abuse costs employers approximately $81 billion dollars per year between accidents, injuries, sick days and lost productivity on the job.


Employee Safety Risk Assessment

Consisting of questions that assess reliability, responsibility, rules compliance, and safety, employee safety risk assessments are a helpful tool in jobs where safety is a top priority. While relative to all industries, safety risk assessments are used most often in the manufacturing, transportation, public safety, health care, maintenance, and construction industries. Research has shown that 80% of workplace incidents are caused by human error, making it in a necessity to screen out potentially risky candidates.

Before conducting any pre-employment tests, ask your Human Resources manager to ensure the tests are property administered. All tests must be related to the job for which the candidate is applying, and may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, or age.

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