ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Types of Pre-Employment Testing

Updated on April 4, 2017
There are strict laws surrounding polygraph tests.
There are strict laws surrounding polygraph tests. | Source

Companies often use testing as a condition of employment or for internal promotion. The various procedures can be very effective employers. This testing allows employers to quickly find out whether or not an individual is suited for a particular task or position within their company.

Different procedures obtain different information about an individual, so many employers use a number of different tests to gather the information they deem necessary.

While companies find testing procedures effective, they must be careful not to violate federal anti-discrimination laws. These laws are set in place to protect employees from potentially invasive and/or unethical hiring procedures. In addition to this, some pre-employment tests are controversial.

Drug Tests

Drug testing is perhaps the most commonly used pre-employment testing procedure. Many employers only hire on the basis that employees aren't under the influence of illegal drugs. Some tests even test for alcohol consumption.

There are different laws in each state surrounding drug testing. In Canada, drug testing as a condition of employment is illegal under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Medical Screening/Physical Exams

Another common pre-employment test is a physical exam. A physical exam can legally only relate to whether or not an individual is physically suited to a particular job.

The physical exam will usually cover a check-up of specific groups of muscles that will be used for a specific task. For example, if a job requires heavy lifting, the doctor will examine the muscles commonly used when lifting.

If an employer also requires drug screening, this is usually done at this time.

Polygraph Tests

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act prohibits the usage of polygraph tests in most of the private sector. However, there are a few situations where private companies can legally require polygraph testing.

Testing can be required for individuals applying for positions at companies such as security firms, pharmaceutical companies, or weapons manufacturers.

Another case where testing is legally allowable is where an employee is suspected of injuring another person (when acting on behalf of the company) or a crime that resulted in economic loss for the company.

Polygraph testing is more commonly used in the public sector, particularly for jobs in security such as a position with the secret service.

Positions which require working with large amounts of money generally require credit checks AND background checks.
Positions which require working with large amounts of money generally require credit checks AND background checks. | Source

Genetic Testing

Genetic testing can be used to find whether or not an individual is genetically predisposed to particular health issues. This form of employment testing only recently became illegal in the United States. When this law came into effect, a number of US states already had laws in place preventing employers from genetically testing their workforce.

In 1991, Wisconsin was the first state to make it illegal for employers to genetically test their staff.

Quick Poll

Have you ever been subject to a pre-employment testing procedure?

See results

Background/Criminal History Check

As with drug testing, a huge number of employers run criminal history checks. Employers cannot legally run a background check without the applicant's written consent.

In many states, applicants also have the right to request a copy of the background check. This allows the applicant to check and see if there are any discrepancies in the report.

What's contained in a background report varies from state to state. In some states, certain information "expires" and does not show up in reports.

Credit Checks/Financial History

Credit checks are becoming an increasingly popular tool for companies when hiring new employees. According to a study done by The Society of Human Resources Management, 60% of companies check the financial histories of some applicants.

Positions, where an applicant is most likely to be subject to a credit check, are those where the individual would have access to large amounts of money (or valuable assets.) For example, a bank teller position would likely require a credit check.

Sample Job Tasks

Sample job tasks are a screening method used to see how a potential employee handles real work tasks.

Not only is this a way to allow employers to quickly tell whether or not an applicant can perform tasks required of the job, but can also help place applicants in a position better suited for their abilities.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 

      3 years ago

      I have never had genetic screening or the polygraph but I certainly have had the rest of it.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      6 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      With the exception of drug and genetic testing, I had all of the other tests before I was hired by the federal government in 1980. The polygraph was an experience because it was repeated three times while I was strapped in a big chair sitting motionless. Voted up and sharing.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)