Post-Offer Employment Screening

What is a Post-Offer Employment Screen?

Post-offer employment screening is a valid and reliable tool for identifying applicants’ physical capabilities. The physical capabilities of the applicant are then compared to the essential physical demands of the job. The goal of post-offer screening is to determine if there is a match between the individual’s functional capabilities and the physical requirements of the job. Legally, these tests must be applied consistently to all applicants and applicants must be offered the job, prior to testing, on the condition that they meet the physical requirements of the job (Employees under the American with Disabilities Act, 1990).

A comprehensive post-offer screen includes the following components:

  • Accurate physical demands analysis
  • Clear acceptable criteria
  • Physical screen
  • Standardized objective test
  • Occupational and job specific test
  • Why should we screen our employees?

Work related injuries cost companies billions of dollars each year. The direct cost of employee disability adds up to 6.3% of total United States payroll (WBGH, 2001). Employers are realizing one method of combating these rising costs is to screen prospective employees to determine their suitability for particular work and work environments. The use of this preventative tool has been increasing each year as the benefits have become well known.

Some of the key benefits of a Post-Offer Employment Screening are:

  • Decreased injury risk
  • Decrease cost to employer
  • Improved productivity
  • Increased profit margin

The Evidence:

  • According to Harbin, Olson et al. the application of appropriate post-offer employment testing is shown to be a cost effective method to lower the incidence of work related injuries (J Harbin, G Olson, 2005).
  • A meta-analysis of three predictive validation studies indicated that new-hires who passed the post-offer screen had a 47% lower workers compensation injury rate and 21% higher retention (Anderson C, Briggs J, 2008).
  • The journal Work reported a study showing an 18:1 cost savings ratio after implementing
    post-offer, pre-employment physical testing (Littleton M, 2003).
  • A study in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine reported a 33% injury rate when
    pre-hire applicants are not screened vs. a 3% injury rate when screened (J Harbin, G Olson, 2005).
  • In a study of 18 different industries, a 68.2% reduction in work injuries was reported
    when functional testing is implemented (Bunch R).
  • According to the journal Spine, the average cost per injury is reduced from $1433 to $322
    with the implementation of post-offer employment testing (Nassau DW, 1999).
  • A case study undertaken at a large, multinational, industrial employer revealed incredible savings (Terribilini C, Dernocoeur K., 1991).


Anderson C, Briggs J. (2008). A study of the effectiveness of ergonomically based functional screening tests and their relationship to reducing worker compensation injuries. Work, 27-37.

Bunch R. (n.d.). Pre-Employment (Post-Offer, Pre-Placement) Functional Assessment and Benefits. Louisiana Association of Occupational Nurses.

Employees under the American with Disabilities Act. (1990). Retrieved from ADA:
J Harbin, G Olson. (2005). Post-offer, pre-placement testing in industry. AM J Ind Med., 296-307.

Littleton M. (2003). Cost effectiveness of pre-work screening program for the University of Illinois at Chicago physical plant. Work, 243-250.

Nassau DW. (1999). The Effects of Pre-work Functional Screening on Lowering an Employer’s Injury Rate, Medical costs, and Lost work days. Spine, 24 (3), 269-274.

Terribilini C, Dernocoeur K. (1991). Pre-employment back injury screening. The employer’s crystal ball. JEMS, 34-39.

WBGH, W. W. (2001). Staying at Work: Improving workforce productivity through integrated disability management. Washington, DC: Watson Wyatt Worldwide.