Filling open positions can be a time-consuming challenge, especially when the job has significant physical requirements such as heavy lifting, carrying, or even climbing. While you don't want to turn away qualified candidates, everyone wins when a new hire can safely and ably perform the job's physical tasks. Workers avoid pain and injuries, and organizations benefit from higher productivity, fewer claims, and lower turnover.
During the hiring process, organizations must adhere to federal guidelines such as ADA and EEOC (U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission) regulating who to hire and what policies to follow. But while these agencies require equal consideration for all applicants, they also allow organizations to hire those who can safely perform the job's essential duties.
Use Post Offer Employment Testing (POET) to Hire the Best Fit for the Job
Physical evaluations are appropriate tools to help place qualified individuals in the right work environment. The Post Offer Employment Testing (POET) is a legitimate and reliable tool used to measure an applicant's functional capabilities based on a functional job description versus the job's actual day-to-day demands. The applicant must first be offered the position before testing, contingent on their meeting its physical requirements. The POET evaluation helps screen out those new hires who aren't capable of safely doing the work.
Legally, POET screenings must be thoroughly documented, EEOC and ADA compliant and legally defensible, and applied consistently to all candidates. Consider hiring an experienced testing company with expertise in POET processes to ensure your programs accurately measure the job requirements and reduce liability risks.
Five Tips for Better POET Processes and Results
While POET screenings can be complicated and may not be suitable for all positions, there are several ways to strengthen and improve your POET program.
Keep Functional Job Descriptions (FJD) Updated and Accurate – If your FJDs don't correctly describe the latest physical job requirements, you could hire someone unable to perform the duties, even with a POET process.
Document Everything – Be sure to establish internal processes to define and communicate your organization's POET policies and procedures, where they are stored and updated, and who has access. Create a manual to house these policies, along with your organization's current FJD's and scoring guidelines for pass/fail hiring decisions. Also, document how to identify applicants who need reasonable accommodations and how you adjust your POET accordingly.
Confirm the Requirements- By law, a POET cannot exceed the job's physical demands, so make sure the POET requirements are valid and applicable to the role. Management and existing employees can substantiate the actual physical demands of a specific job.
Use POET Screenings Only as Needed – POET can't always simulate the physical requirements of every job. For example, it may not capture the eventual impact of performing frequent low-weight, repetitive motions daily. Evaluating your claims history and associated costs can highlight specific jobs where POET may prove valuable.
Choose the Right Partner – When selecting a third-party POET provider, you should look for someone with extensive POET experience and proven expertise. The right partner can optimize hiring outcomes and reduce costs with a well-designed POET program tailored to your specific situation's needs.
WorkWell has helped hundreds of businesses objectively assess and enhance their POET programs, helping clients avoid common mistakes and achieve better results.
Learn more about Workwell's hiring services, Post Offer Employment Testing, and Functional Job Descriptions in the following posts: