Pre-employment Psychological Screening
When hiring an employee, you want to make sure they have the experience and skills needed for the job, but for some positions, even more is needed. The inherent responsibilities of some jobs dictate that candidates also meet psychological, emotional, and cognitive requirements. Safety sensitive positions, in areas such as healthcare, security, civil services, executive or high-level management, water and energy management, or positions requiring individuals to deal with or have access to the public, often benefit from pre-employment psychological screenings. This step promotes everyone’s well-being and ensures candidates can safely perform in demanding roles.
Following a conditional job offer, a pre-employment psychological screening can further inform the selection process by assessing psychological, emotional, and cognitive requirements hiring managers are not trained to screen for in the interview process. This helps hiring managers select optimal employees who are equipped to perform in critical positions.
Screening critical positions
“A valid driver’s license with a good driving record. Cardiovascular life support certification. High school diploma. Louis—that doesn’t even begin to cover the requirements for a paramedic job.” Beth Hargan had been standing behind the EMS Operations Manager, watching as he sat at his computer, filling out an online job req.
“I’m looking at the previous job req., Beth. Those are pretty much the requirements it has listed.” Louis Bell was promoted to EMS Operations Manager three months ago, and although he was supposed to supervise Beth, it often seemed to work the opposite. He didn’t mind though. She had a wealth of experience and practical knowledge that hadn’t steered him wrong yet.
“And those requirements are why the last two paramedics quit,” Beth responded. “I’m telling you, we get these kids who come in and think they’re ready for the job and they just aren’t.”
“They meet the job requirements,” Louis said.
“Then those job requirements aren’t accurate. Or at least, they’re not complete,” Beth dropped into a plastic chair across from Louis. “I worked as a paramedic for a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of people come and go. And even though many of them had the specific functional skills, you know what? They didn’t have what it takes to see what we see, day after day. The aftermath of accidents. Of violence. People we try to save and can’t. But before you can even get over it, you go on to the next run.”
Beth shook her head. “Some people can deal with it. And some can’t. And there’s no shame in those who can’t. Maybe the ones who can are just, I don’t know, harder or more removed or something. But the fact is, we lose people who can’t deal with the emotional part of the job. And until you figure out how to fix that, you’re going to keep losing people.”
After Beth left his office, Louis looked at the job description requirements again. Beth was right. There was no mention of mental fortitude. Ability to deal with crises and recover. Capability to work efficiently and calmly under pressure.
But how do you even find out about those capabilities during an interview? Even if someone says they are qualified, how would you know? It would really help if there was some way to determine if a candidate had those nebulous, but essential, psychological qualities.
Psychological screening enhances the hiring process
R3’s pre-employment psychological screening is a specialized examination that determines whether a candidate has the psychological, emotional, and cognitive requirements needed for the position. When you have a critical position to fill, a position that is emotionally or mentally taxing, or a position with a high public profile, a pre-employment psychological screening can offer you the assurance that your candidate has the right requirements for the job.
During the screening, an R3 clinician will complete a clinical interview of the candidate, either in person or via telepresence. In preparation, the clinician will review the position description, work site conditions, and job characteristics, and identify any factors that might impact occupational performance. The clinician will then conduct psychological testing and assessment of the candidate and make an expert determination about the candidate’s suitability for the job.
Making the effort to hire the right candidate
Louis hung up his phone and sighed with satisfaction.
“Yes?” Beth asked from her familiar plastic seat.
“Yes.” Louis confirmed. “I just confirmed the new hire’s start date. I feel good about this one,” he admitted. After his earlier conversation with Beth, he revised the job description to incorporate more of the psychological requirements. Soon after, he interviewed someone he viewed as a strong candidate, made a conditional job offer, then contacted R3 to do a pre-employment psychological screening. According to R3’s clinician, the candidate was suitable for the position and had real potential to be a long-term employee.
Better hiring process leads to better hiring decisions
When you need to ensure that your candidate meets all of the psychological, emotional, and cognitive qualifications a critical job requires, a pre-employment psychological screening can give you the assessment required to make a confident and informed hiring decision.
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