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Why Do You Need a Pre-Employment Psychological Screening? (Part 1)


When you’re trying to fill a job opening, you already screen resumes, conduct interviews and check candidate backgrounds. Why would you need to do a Pre-Employment Psychological Screening too?

When the wrong person is in the wrong seat, they can’t do the job effectively. This costs your company money, from the start of the pre-hiring process to related issues of termination or resignation. Along the way, the wrong person in the job can create safety and health concerns. How do you manage costs—and risks—prior to hiring?

The PEPS offers value to the company because it helps you ensure the candidate is the right fit for the company and team and is capable and suitable in performing essential job duties.

Compare the PEPS to a physical pre-employment test. A physical pre-employment screening process ensures the candidate has the physical capability to perform the job. For example, a retail employee may need to be able to stand for a certain number of hours or lift a specified amount of weight. If these aspects are core functions of the job, and the candidate cannot perform them, the candidate will not be effective in the job.

The PEPS is not a different concept, but is a different way of addressing psychological well-being and characteristics. As of 2013, California legislation included psychological and psychiatric disorder claims for work-related specific injuries; whereas, traditionally, an active claim requires a physical work-related injury to be the primary cause. Although this legislation takes place in California, in any state, there is often a relationship or a link between resilience factors and management of work-related stress and coping.

Think of a candidate who is seeking a position in security, first response, or emergency/healthcare setting. The PEPS can screen for psychological well-being and assets for a job that are considered to be highly stressful. Most jobs are not high-stress in every aspect, so how does an individual compensate under those conditions that are not predictable?

What assets or characteristics would the candidate need to possess that help them to be effective in those situations that are dire: requiring a quick assessment of a situation, requiring mental stability, and requiring the ability to use their knowledge without being frozen or reactionary?

These are not answers that are easily extracted in an interview, but a PEPS can screen well known and well documented personality assets that lead to success on the job, as well as identify risk factors that an individual may have that can be a detriment to specific occupations.

Next: not all positions require a PEPS. What types of positions do?

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