The WorkSTEPS test is an objective assessment tool; either a candidate can perform the job safely or they cannot, or they have a medical condition that makes them at imminent risk if placed. However, there are other reasons a candidate may receive a less-than-flattering report that results in the employer rescinding a job offer. These include Uncooperative Attitude and Falsification or Withholding of Information.
Attitude is not a frequent problem in post offer testing (since most people want the job!) therefore, the really rude candidates tend to stand out. The concern is that if post offer candidates are uncooperative, threatening or belligerent during the testing, how will they interact with others on the job? Sometimes candidates walk in the door with an “attitude”. For example, one candidate came in and immediately let out a giant sigh for everyone to hear including other testees. He stepped up to the sign in sheet, a couple of feet away from one of our staff members, and audibly said, “This is such a waste of time.”
Other candidates are pleasant until something displeases or startles them. One candidate, after being told that his blood pressure was greater than our safe testing limits and that he would need to see a physician to get it evaluated, began raising his voice and stating that we were causing him to lose the job that he really needed and that the employer needed him to start that afternoon so they wouldn’t wait for him to see a doctor. He was so loud and upset that when he left, the staff was visibly shaken.
Every candidate who is tested by Job Ready is told that ‘falsification or withholding of information can result in withdrawal of the offer of employment’ before answering the medical interview questions. They are then asked to sign their initials on the statement that was just read to them and that they understand the statement. At the end of the medical interview, they are asked to sign a statement that all the information they provided during the medical interview is true and complete to the best of their knowledge.
We understand that occasionally people forget things – “oh, I did have stitches when I was a toddler” when asked about a scar. But there have certainly been others that deliberately leave major medical procedures out until confronted during the exam. One candidate denied having had any surgeries, but when asked to remove his shirt during the exam, he hesitated. When he finally removed his shirt, the therapist later described his shoulder as “looking like a patchwork quilt” – there were multiple scars which indicated more than one surgery.
Other candidates will give us just as much information as they feel we need to know. For example, the gentleman mentioned earlier, who said the testing was a waste of time, revealed he had had a head injury 5 years ago, but when asked how it affected him currently, he said, “I’m not comfortable discussing that without my attorney present.”
Job Ready therapists are thorough and will ask candidates as many questions as they feel appropriate until they get the information they need to make an informed decision about whether a candidate is physically safe to participate in the lifting and job specific tasks. It may seem invasive to some candidates, but it is our role to make sure that the candidate is both safe to participate in the testing process and is safe to work in the job offered by the employer.
Our first response to these situations is to attempt to explain to the candidate that their participation is part of the employment process and their cooperation is needed. Our second response, if the behavior continues, is to stop the test and contact the employer concerning their candidate’s behavior or lack of truthfulness. The final decision regarding employment is always the employer’s.
Happily, many times those candidates who started with an “attitude” issue when informed of a medical concern end up coming back and thanking us for caring enough to keep them safe and improve their health. The gentleman mentioned above, who was yelling about needing to start work that afternoon, came back in the following day very apologetic and embarrassed. He said once he spoke to the supervisor that he was assured that he was not the first candidate to have to see a doctor, and the supervisor wanted him to get evaluated and seemed to really care about him. He said he was not used to employers caring about the health of their workers and felt a lot better about the position he was about to start because of this process.
As for falsified information, it is always the employer’s decision and their policy that determines how we handle those situations. Some employers stop the test immediately and withdraw the offer as a matter of policy. Others ask for us to complete the test and document as much as we can throughout the entire process so they can make the decision based on all of the information. In either situation, Job Ready Services gives the employer a thorough and detailed report for their employment records and makes sure that any medical issues are well-documented and quantified as pre-existing.
If you are not currently testing with WorkSTEPS and would like more information, please call Job Ready Services at 919-256-1400 for more information or visit our website at www.jobreadyservices.com .
-Submitted by Kathryn Willamor, Office Administrator