Simplifying Pre-employment Health Assessments

Pre-employment health screenings can cause anxiety for prospective employees, not to mention added stress for human resources staff who have to arrange them. The process of setting up these assessments can go much more smoothly when you adopt a standardized and positive approach. 

Have a consistent procedure.

Any staff member who handles informing applicants about and scheduling health screenings should have a checklist that makes the process consistent and straightforward. This ensures all prospective employees get the same information and instructions, as well as making the process easier for HR staff. Knowing exactly what they are expected to say and do when setting up health screenings will help your staff maintain a professional and positive attitude, even when applicants raise objections or concerns.

Mention the health check early.

When posting a job opening, mention in the job ad that you require occupational health screenings for the position. This way, prospective employees are not surprised when the health check is mentioned once they are offered the job. If the need for a health screening isn’t disclosed until later in the hiring process, it can worry or frustrate applicants and make explanations and appointment-setting more uncomfortable for your staff.

Explain the benefit to the applicant.

When talking about the need for a health screening with applicants, managers or HR personnel should emphasize that the health check serves the interests of the worker as well as the company. Nobody wants to get hurt on the job or have their work requirements be beyond their ability. Getting a health screen before starting work can protect the employee’s health, and possibly identify a very minor adjustment or accommodation that will allow them to do the job productively and safely.

Respect privacy and the law.

When talking with an applicant or employee about their health, you can expect people to have concerns about how this highly personal information will be handled. The first step will be making sure that all relevant staff understand what protections and restrictions have been enacted by federal and state law. Next, you must explain these protections clearly and simply to applicants so they understand that there are safeguards against their health information being misused. You can also reassure them by directing them to sites such as to get a sense of how thorough and careful providers of these services have to be. 

You don’t want to expose either your company or a potential employee to unexpected risk due to a mismatch between their physical condition and the demands of a certain job. Occupational health checks are an important tool for minimizing that risk.