Pre-Employment Testing for Healthcare Workers

One of the best ways to ensure you hire the right candidate is with pre-employment testing. Learn why pre-employment testing for healthcare workers matters here.

The 2021 NSI National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report found that since 2016, the average hospital has turned over about 83% of its RN staff and 90% of its overall workforce. The cost? For a bedside RN, the range was between $28,400 and $51,700 – enough to cause many hospitals to lose between $3.6 and $6.5 million per year. 

In 2020, the percentage of employees leaving hospitals increased by 1.7 percent and more than 37 percent of hospitals anticipated an increase in 2021. If a healthcare candidate is not the right fit for the job or company culture, it can cost a ton of money, the cost of turnover for a bedside RN ranges between $28,400 and $51,700 – enough to cause many hospitals to lose between $3.6 and $6.5 million per year. With job stress and burnout now taking its toll, these costs might be a drop in the bucket going forward.

Finding that job fit is more challenging than ever. Resumes, cover letters, and references just don’t work as well as they used to when evaluating a candidate’s attitudes and skills. Fortunately, pre-employment assessments can reveal candidates’ capacity to do the job as well as align with the company culture.

Continue reading to learn more about pre-employment testing for healthcare workers.

What Is Pre-employment Testing for Healthcare Workers?

Employers use pre-employment assessments to evaluate candidates’ abilities, attitudes, intelligence, personality, and other behaviors and skills. The American Management Association (AMA) reports that pre-employment tests have increased significantly over the last decade. According to the AMA’s analysis, the following have occurred:

  • 70% of companies do job skill testing
  • 46% of companies incorporate personality or psychological examinations on job seekers 
  • 41% of employers examine applicants for reading and numeracy ability 

The assessments determine whether the candidate can perform their job effectively. But it doesn’t stop there. They also reveal how well the candidate will fit on the team and share company and cultural values.

What Kind of Tests Are in the Pre-employment Assessment?

Pre-employment testing for doctors is more accurate than resumes in predicting a provider’s bedside manner and leadership style.  Pre-employment testing for nurses is better than interviews in predicting teamwork, safety attitude, and reliability. Keep in mind that roles and responsibilities vary. What’s best in the operating suite may not be ideal for a primary care practice. There are many versions and variations of pre-employment assessments, including but not limited to:

Customer Service Assessment

Approximately, 27 percent of malpractice is linked to poor patient communication. It doesn’t matter how smart and knowledgeable a provider is. If they have poor patient rapport, physicians and other staff can cost the hospital a lot of money above and beyond their salaries. This customer service assessment helps ensure that your team is caring, empathetic, and courteous to your customers, the patients.

Integrity Assessment

An integrity assessment’s primary value is to help employers mitigate workers’ chance of participating in risky or unproductive work activities. One type of risk assessment that is often used is the Integrity or Honesty test. These evaluations determine whether an applicant will be a dependable employee who will adhere to company policies.

Most integrity exams concentrate on an applicant’s attitudes toward rules and compliance. These tests can predict behaviors related to a range of factors that companies want to avoid, such as tardiness, absence, time-wasting, theft, fraud, drug use, and safety violations. This behavioral risk assessment tool is commonly used for hiring providers for home health aides. These positions, like many others, require the employee to work unattended. Because these home health workers may be a patient’s only contact inside their homes and residences, mitigating the risk before the candidate joins your payroll is essential. Protecting your patients requires an assessment of their trustworthiness, dependability, hostility, and honesty.

Pre-employment Aptitude Test

The most desirable characteristics these days are problem-solving abilities and adaptability. These characteristics are almost impossible to quantify through a résumé or interview. Aptitude tests, sometimes called cognitive tests, assess candidates’ ability to quickly and accurately solve problems, learn quickly, and adapt to a rapidly changing and uncertain environment.

Personality Test

A personality test aims to check if the applicant will fit into the team and culture as well as how well they can perform the job. The assessment test reveals if the applicant has the essential behavioral characteristics and maybe, more importantly, vulnerabilities and weaknesses that might be the difference between a star performer and terminated one. Unlike aptitude exams, personality assessments do not provide correct or incorrect responses. They do not indicate good or bad personalities. But because most hiring mistakes are not the result of a lack of skills but a bad attitude or different behaviors, personality tests are an essential tool in eliminating employee churn and turnover.

Pre-employment Skills

As important as attitude and behaviors are, jobs still require proficiency in specific skills. Skills exams might include basic skills like typing, data entry, and math skills to digital and computer literacy, such as Office 365, Word, or Excel. Skill exams also test for clinical skills, safety, medical terminology, pharmacology, and HIPPA.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) has become even more important than IQ when it comes to people-facing jobs. Often called emotional quotient (EQ), it has been linked to leadership effectiveness, teamwork, motivation, and decision-making. High emotional intelligence is most common among people who experience career satisfaction and life-work integration. That is why employers are becoming more interested in evaluating EI throughout the recruiting process and during the employee journey.

Emotional intelligence is measurable. This enables the measurement of EI using an employee assessment test. For example, EQ Profile is a 10-15 minute online assessment that reveals an individual’s ability to recognize and regulate emotions within themselves and in others.

Why Should You Conduct Pre-employment Testing?

For starters, pre-employment testing helps avoid hiring mistakes as well as identify high-potential candidates before they join your payroll. You want to know if your employee will perform the job as you expect or pose any possible risk to patients. For instance, a certified nursing assistant or licensed practical nurse often works unattended. A lack of attention to details – intentional or otherwise – may deliver the wrong medication. A provider with the best clinical skills but an aggressive attitude has been proven to affect outcomes.

But job fit and accuracy aren’t the only reasons to add pre-employment testing to your healthcare hiring process.

Gallup found that talent evaluations boosted productivity by 10%. They also found that it reduces the turnover rate by 10%. Because of these findings, here are the reasons why pre-hire evaluations should be added to your employee screening:

Reduce Employee Turnover Rate

Pre-employment evaluations assist healthcare organizations to improve employee retention. These assessments ensure that new hires have the skills and a caring, empathetic personality for the job. The evaluation reduces the chance of involuntary and voluntary terminations due to poor performance or team conflicts.

Reduce Time Spent on Candidate Screening

Recruiters spend 63% of their time reviewing candidates. Adding pre-employment assessment tests early in the recruitment process can screen out high-risk candidates and help meet with high-potential candidates as quickly as possible. In a red hot labor market with skilled worker shortages, quick responses are critical. Pre-hire testing frees up the recruiters’ time and allows them to meet faster and spend more time with the right candidates.

Successful Team Building

To deliver high-quality care, teamwork is essential. The delivery of healthcare requires that all workers share a common goal and purpose. It takes teamwork to care for patients with decency, empathy, and respect. This shared purpose starts with successful team building inside a healthcare business. Personality tests assess the candidates’ ability to perform well in a team-oriented environment. For example, how a healthcare candidate approaches people and job-related tasks can be the difference between patient compliance and morbidity. Strong communication skills and empathy matter.

Identify Strength and Weakness

From bedside manners to technical competency, employers need to know. Assessing strengths and weaknesses may assist human resource professionals and hiring managers in the following ways:

  • Recognize applicants with a strong work ethic
  • Assess if applicants will take initiative but still follow the rules
  • Expose untrustworthy and dishonest candidates  
  • Remover the possibility of employing the wrong person and squandering training resources
  • Develop personalized training programs for existing workers 

Pre-employment screening quickly identifies which areas the candidate will shine. It also reveals skill sets that require more training and helps avoid different communication styles before they become conflicts. Companies can then tailor training towards specific deficiencies and accentuate strengths.

Where Can You Get Pre-employment Testing for Healthcare Workers?

Healthcare worker tests can help you hire the right candidate more efficiently. A character profile test will reveal candidates’ job fit, team fit, and culture fit. Assessments can save you the hassle and costs of terminating a worker which just creates one more position. In today’s tight labor market, that’s the last thing any organization can afford.

If your organization is experiencing high turnover rates, high absenteeism, or poor patient satisfaction scores,  Success Performance Solutions can help. Contact us today to learn more about using pre-employment testing for healthcare workers.