Testing to Get the Job - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Testing to Get the Job

Updated: May 1, 2013 05:47 PM CDT
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It's a program that could save companies thousands of dollars in workers compensation costs.

Now - Louisa County is thinking of using it too.

The "Worksteps Program" puts applicants through physical tests to make sure they'd be just right for the job. 

They have to actually do the activities for the job - from heavy lifting to fine motor skills.

Now local companies hope this can help save major money down the road.

"It allows employers to hire smarter," says Barry Pence.

His job is simple.

Finding out if someone can actually DO a job - physically.

"We've had people that have gone through the tests and within 15 to 20 minutes of the job specific tests, they say this is crazy, I'm not doing this and they stop the test."

Barry works at Muscatine Physical Therapy Services.

He has been working with  over 40 companies - mostly in manufacturing who want to know if applicants can turn valves - or haul loads up stairs - without getting injured.

Now - Quad City counties are starting to get involved.

Using the worksteps program to cut down on workman compensation claims - which can be very costly.

"If you have a claim then you are paying high premiums for a long time," says Louisa County Board Supervisor Paula Buckman. "This is a preventative insurance policy."

Louisa County is considering adopting the program - while Henry and Des Moines Counties are already using it for hiring at all positions.

From road maintainance to jailor to clerical positions.

But Pence says - hiring the right employee can be a challenge. 

But breaking it down into physical abilities can make it a lot easier.

"You can be visually looking at somebody and they look strong enough based on appearance but when you actually put them through the tests - you can spot abnormalities or limitations that are directly needed for that job."

The average cost for an employee test is $130 which the potential employer covers.

Nearly 10% of applicants that go through the program, fail.

Showing they are now able to do the job they are seeking. 

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