Are you making an expensive hiring mistake?

Skipping this screening step can cost you big

May 17, 2022

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Don’t ever judge a book by its cover. The caveat behind the cliché is real, yet employers who forgo medical assessment screening are doing exactly that. They’re assuming that candidates and employees who appear to be physically and mentally capable of performing a job, are indeed fit…when sometimes, they’re not. And when they’re not, it can cost you big.

Here, we’ll explore the expensive ripple effects this issue can have on the workplace and explain how medical assessment screening can help.


Let these numbers sink in.

The latest data from public and private firms reveal the startling cost of workplace risk related to candidate and employee fitness. A recent PwC report estimates that absenteeism related to mental health issues is costing employers roughly $17 billion. Meanwhile, Safe Work Australia reports the median compensation paid for a serious worker’s compensation claim is $13,500, and the median lost time per serious claim is 6.6 weeks.3

Let those numbers sink in for a minute. Health issues are costing employers BILLIONS of dollars and weeks, if not months, off work. This, at a time when businesses around the world are struggling with unprecedented labor shortages and soaring costs.

What’s more, the Safe Work Australia report goes on to dissect the numbers by “mechanism of incident” (how it occurred) and “nature of claim” (type of ailment). This is where it gets interesting.

Within the category “mechanism of incident”:

    • 37 percent of serious worker’s compensation claims are due to “body stressing”
    • 8 percent are due to mental stress

Within the category “nature of claim”:

    • 38 percent are traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injuries
    • 18 percent are musculoskeletal and connective tissue diseases

Body stressing? Tendon injuries? Diseases? These are exactly the types of high-cost claims and workplace issues that can sometimes be avoided with a pre-emptive medical assessment. Keep reading to learn how.


The power of medical insight.

Just as you verify candidate-provided information during a traditional pre-employment background check, a medical assessment operates under the same premise. That’s because candidates and employees might say they’re healthy when they’re not. Below are a few potential scenarios.

  • Candidates may want or need a job, and as a result, try to conceal a known, job-relevant health issue.
  • Seemingly healthy candidates may have an unknown, job-relevant health issue(s).
  • Some candidates and employees may be at a greater risk of developing health issues based on the job conditions.
  • Some employees may be healthy initially and develop an issue(s) as a result of their working conditions.

In these instances and others, pre-emptive employment medical assessments performed by licensed healthcare professionals can help employers gain vital insight into worker fitness during and after the hiring process. This prescient information can be used to:

  • Better protect workers by placing them in physically appropriate jobs
  • Help employees proactively detect illnesses and diseases
  • Engage and support employees showing signs of physical/mental health issues
  • Decrease workplace injuries and accidents with enhanced safety support and protocols
  • Reduce worker compensation claims and insurance costs
  • Boost productivity, while reducing tardiness and absenteeism

Instead of using the information to eliminate candidates and workers, employers can use the insights gained from medical assessments to create a healthier, more employee-friendly organisation that supports a safe, productive workplace, and more profitable bottom line.

At First Advantage, we can help. Instead of offering one or two types of medical assessments, we offer a full suite of pre- and post-hire solutions to help businesses across all industries proactively support and manage their workforce and workplace. Contact us today to explore the operational flexibility, ease and efficiency of using a one-stop resource and explore our comprehensive list of medical assessments.