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What is Post-Offer Employment Testing, or POET?

December 25, 2020
June 21, 2023
Woman Athlete Runs on a Treadmill with Electrodes Attached to Her Body

When a famous athlete signs a multi-million dollar contract to play for a certain team, the contract often hinges on the athlete passing a physical, thus ensuring that there are no underlying injuries that might impede them from performing at optimal levels. While this is common practice in the world of sports, other employers can also make use of specific medical examinations to make sure that their workforce is physically capable of performing certain job tasks.

Post-Offer Employment Testing, or POET, is a strategy that thousands of employers in different industries have begun to use to ensure the physical capabilities of their future employees. Below, we look at the benefits and advantages that come with doing a post offer employment test on your workers.

What is a Post-Offer Employment Test?

A “POET” test is a type of medical examination that looks at specific skills of a person you are wanting to hire. POET is used by employers to help better determine if a certain job candidate can securely and effectively perform the physical demands of the job for which they have applied. A post offer employment test will thus measure and test different medical and physical characteristics given the type of job and the physical requirements it entails. Note that most Post-Offer Employment tests include measurements of body fat and weight, range of motion, limb strength, amount of weight that can be safely lifted, among other elements. 

It is important to mention that a post offer employment test is not the same as a pre-employment physical. Whereas a physical is a very generic testing procedure, a POET exam will specifically test for the tasks of the job for which a candidate is being considered. Furthermore, a POET exam can only be processed after an employer has made an official job offer. As with drug testing and other similar tests, the employment opportunity will be contingent on the job candidate successfully passing the post offer employment exam. 

Employers who use POET exams generally hire trained medical professionals to develop detailed and distinctive testing criteria that are specific to the analysis metrics of the job description. Having consistent criteria for a POET exam is important, especially for employers who will be hiring several employees, or who have different job sites. 

How Long Does a POET Take?

Once a job offer has been given to an employee, a POET test generally takes less than an hour to carry out. Ideally, a POET test is tailored to a specific job description, and includes testing abilities in alignment with the physical demands analysis. An employee may be asked to demonstrate his/her ability to safely push, pull, or lift certain weights at given frequencies, squat or reach at given levels. If a candidate does not pass the POET test, the job offer can be rescinded. In many cases, employers allow a candidate to reapply and retake the POET test in a given amount of time. 

Benefits of Post-Offer Employment Testing (POET)

Why exactly should your company consider doing a post offer employment test for your employees? Most importantly, you need to ensure that you have a workforce that is capable of safely and efficiently doing the job tasks for which they signed up. For example, a warehouse worker who is not able to repeatedly and properly lift the 40 pound pallets of merchandise that move through your stockroom will certainly be at risk of injuring themselves as well as reduce the efficiency of your operation. 

Secondly, a POET test can also help your company avoid potentially costly workers compensation fees. According to a 2008 study, newly hired employees who passed a post offer screening test showed a 47 percent reduction in workers compensation injury rate. Furthermore, doing POET tests on all new workers helped to improve retention rates by at least 21 percent. Because losing an employee can cost anywhere between 1.5 and 2 times the employee's salary, reducing turnover can also help improve your company's long term profitability.

Build Your Team With Work-Fit

Work-Fit is an expert in onsite injury prevention and management for your workforce. Our injury prevention, ergonomics, and other services have shown a 98.8 percent injury prevention success rate with early intervention, and a 30 percent decrease in sprain/strain recordables in one year. If your company is considering implementing a POET process for future employees, contact Work-Fit today. We can help your company develop and implement an effective Post-Offer Employment Test. 


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