Common Elements of a Pre-employment Physical Ability Test

Pre-Employment Physical: A Complete Guide for Employers

Employers are struggling with the current job market to find the right candidates. Someone looks good on paper, but then they can’t climb a ladder or wouldn’t be able to do another physical element of the job. Now you have wasted both your time and the potential hire. Save time and be safe by learning the common elements of the pre-employment physical ability test.

Pre-employment testing gauges the strength of job applicants and serves as the initial step in the hiring process to ensure that only qualified and capable candidates are selected.  Research shows that 71% of companies use pre-hiring assessments as part of their process, according to the Talent Board’s 2018 Candidate Experience Research report.

Physical ability tests

Physical ability tests (PAT) typically ask individuals to perform job-related tasks requiring manual labor or physical skill, measuring abilities such as strength, muscular flexibility, and stamina.

PAT aims to simulate the physical demands of a job description as closely as possible, and qualified medical professionals usually administer the tests and interpret the results accurately.

The top industries in construction, public safety, and emergency services, as well as the manufacturing and warehouse sectors, often require workers to perform a variety of physical tasks on a daily basis.

What are the methods for PAT?

Like aptitude tests, physical ability tests vary by function and include the following:

  • Cardiovascular endurance tests assess the ability to walk, climb, or run for extended periods (e.g., climbing stairs)
  • Muscular tests measure the ability to move/lift objects or use certain tools (e.g., remove objects from belts)
  • Balance tests measure the ability to maintain body stability (e.g., standing on rungs of a ladder)
  • Flexibility tests assess the ability to bend, twist, or stretch the body (e.g., when installing lighting fixtures)

Pre-employment PAT can help mitigate risk for both the employer and employee through injury prevention and can significantly reduce the frequency and cost of work-related injuries. 

Get started with your PAT program at MedPhysicals Plus

When setting up a contract for employment physical ability tests, we will work with you to develop an effective test for your team. This test will be kept on-file here at MedPhysicals Plus, and we’ll conduct the test in a manner that is most suitable for your company each time you send an employee our way. Contact us today.