As we have talked about, an effective first step in controlling your Workers Compensation premium is hiring the right people. But what are you hiring them to do? Most employers think that when they lose “Joe” they are looking for his replacement. Employers who have a hiring process in place focus on replacing the vacant position. That position is defined by the job description.
Having accurate and effective job descriptions in place will ensure that you are focusing on the requirements of the job and not the personality of a candidate or what the departing employee brought to the position. Job descriptions are also required to help you comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws.
You should be able to define the most important functions of a job, the physical or technical requirements, and pre-requisites and incorporate them into the description. Jobs requiring physical stamina or strength should have those requirements measured with metrics that include time, weight and frequency measures.
As an agency providing Chicago workers comp insurance, we have coached numerous companies with regards to their hiring process. We find that for many, the job description piece seems to be the most daunting. There is help; on line resources abound! The Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) has outlined many jobs and duties and will give employers a good start. Microsoft Office On line has several templates available.
For some positions, a Functional Capacity Evaluation might be required. This is an assessment tool performed by a physical therapist to determine the physical demands of a specific job. It can be used to screen employees in conjunction with a post-offer exam. Importantly, if a FCE is in place before a work related injury, a doctor or therapist can evaluate an injured employee’s ability to return to work when given these very specific, measured job requirements. This can help get a worker back to work when they are able and ultimately have an impact on your Workers Compensation Experience Modification. It can also be used to determine if a reasonable accommodation can be made pursuant to the ADA.
Getting job descriptions in order is a good start to developing a hiring process that will lead to the best hires and lowering your potential for work comp claims!