As a home care provider, you’re being hired to care for someone who matters a great deal. If someone is going to give you their business, they want to know you’ll take good care of them or their loved one. It’s not uncommon for prospective clients to ask for details regarding the hiring process you use to screen your employees, and you should be able to ease their concerns and demonstrate how serious you are about the steps you take to hire the best caregivers. As long as pre-assessment tests don’t discriminate (i.e., ask questions about race, ethnicity, religion, etc.), employers are well within their legal rights to perform background checks, personality tests and any other test they deem relevant. Many home care providers administer tests such as DISC®, Care Profile®, Kolbe®, and TTI®, which are all nationally acknowledged and accepted.
Here are a few tests you may want to consider implementing into your hiring process. Use this as a guide to create your own thorough screening process.
Criminal Background Checks
If you have an employee with a criminal record who then harms a patient, whether by accident or intent, your company would be held liable for employing that individual and allowing them to interact with clients. That should be reason enough to run a background check on all new hires. Unfortunately, potential employees have been known to lie on applications, leaving felonies or a criminal record unmentioned. By running a background check, you protect your company from liabilities and ensure you have staffed the right people.
Oh, the controversial drug screening. Go ahead and Google the topic and just glance at all the vicious comments from people who are either for or against it. And if you have a lot of time on your hands, check out “drug screening in high schools.” People get especially heated with that topic. Some argue that it goes against a person’s rights to test them for drugs; others argue that it is a company’s job to make sure their employees aren’t under the influence. Another argument is the trust factor: “If I test my employees for drugs, they’ll think I don’t trust them.” But did you know that less than half the companies we interviewed performed drug testing after a problem was reported? That means half either fired the employee or, more likely, ignored the problem.
You have the right to protect your company from those who are unintentionally or intentional destroying its reputation–and that includes your employees. Think about the elderly who are being cared for. They deserve a caregiver who can physically and mentally take care of them.
Even though it can be expensive, the risk of someone getting caught caring for patients while under the influence will create a domino effect of lost money, far exceeding the cost of a simple drug test.
There are so many tests to determine a prospective employee’s competence: personality evaluations, talent assessments, physical exams, sample job tasks, English proficiency exams, and of course, criminal background checks and drug testing. There are tests that assess attitudes, behavior, cognitive abilities, job skill aptitude, workplace motivations and more. Employees should take some sort of pre-employment test to make sure they are ready and fit for the job.
Pre-employment assessments can be time consuming and expensive, and it really comes down to your budget and your priorities. What regulations or requirements do you want for your company? There are benefits to all testing, but not every option will work for every business.
Ultimately, it is your responsibility to make sure your employees are acting intelligently, representing your company well, and ready to take on the job–before you send them to care for your clients.