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Why Pre-Employment Functional Assessments are Important

Pre-employment Functional Assessments have become a part of the standard hiring process in some industries as they prove useful in hiring the right candidate. It ensures there are no surprises for the employer or successful candidate when they start their new role. 

Understanding Pre-Employment Screenings

Pre-employment screenings (PEFAs) are tests that employers undertake (or commission professionals to do) to determine the candidates’ abilities and suitability for a role they have applied for. The screenings are usually completed during or after the interview process and before the employer sends a job offer. The screenings, also called a ‘background check’, can include personality, skills, medical, aptitude, knowledge, integrity, and emotional intelligence tests. An employer will decide which screenings are most important for the role.

The Benefits of PEFAs

PEFAs aren’t used just to protect the employer from making a poor hiring decision. PEFAs can also benefit potential employees. 

How Can PEFAs Benefit Employers?

A PEFA can reveal a medical problem a candidate was unaware of or failed to disclose. The pre-existing medical problem could cause the worker to file a worker's compensation claim, which will cost the organisation and its insurer.  

A PEFA can identify a potential problem with a candidate that didn’t come to light during the application or interview process. The screening can prevent the wrong person from being hired, potentially saving the organisation tens of thousands of dollars.

Using an assessment process enables an employer to hire a person with confidence rather than at face value through interviews and a resume. The tests can validate what the prospect has said about their skills and experience. 

PEFAs can contribute to the health and productivity of a workplace. A bad hire who lacks skills or motivation can adversely impact the overall performance of the team. Staff morale can suffer when team members cover a colleague struggling to do their job.

PEFA Benefits for Potential Employees

Some candidates view PEFAs with trepidation and scepticism, but they may not realise that the assessments are designed to protect them as much as the employer. No one wants to start a new job only to find that the organisation is not a good cultural fit for them, the role is too stressful or that the work isn’t suited to their skill set. The assessment may reveal a medical issue they were unaware of and can gain treatment. 

Altius Group's Expertise in PEFAs 

Altius Group is an excellent organisation to conduct PEFAs. Our assessors have a thorough understanding of the physical requirements of each job they need assessment for. A workplace visit is conducted before any candidate assessments to ensure we understand the demands of the job and the environment. 

Altius Group has worked with a wide range of industries over many years. We know what makes an efficient workplace that looks after the health and wellbeing of its workers. We bring that experience and knowledge into the PEFAs we conduct. 

Key Components of PEFAs

A thorough PEFA will include a range of assessments that take around an hour to complete. The components of the PEFA may differ depending on the role, but most assessments include the following:
  • General medical review and health evaluation
  • Range of motion and muscle strength testing
  • Cardiovascular tests to measure heart rate while candidate is active
  • Physical tasks similar to the demands of the job
  • Hearing, vision, lung and drug screening
  • Background checks
These tests will reveal any medical or functional problems that may prevent a candidate from working efficiently and safely. 

Ensuring a Safe and Productive Workforce

Some people might apply for a role thinking they are a good fit, but the PEFAs may tell a different story. A person may not be well suited to working in a high-risk environment because they don’t hold safety in high regard. If employed, their actions could cause an incident that seriously injures themselves or colleagues. A PEFA can ensure that workers have a safety-first approach. 

It can be hard for candidates to read a job advertisement and know they have a strong profile for the role, even if they have the right experience. On the contrary, the recruitment team may read an application and think the candidate can be a valuable team member. However, the screening tests may reveal gaps that could be detrimental to the team's productivity. Based on the results of the PEFA, the organisation may choose another candidate who we have identified as someone who will thrive in the workplace and make a strong contribution to the team.

The next time your organisation needs to conduct PEFAs, consider using the expertise of Altius Group. Contact us online or call 1800 258 487 for more information on our PEFAs.

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