Job Candidates and Simulated Work?

June 6, 2012

Q: We want to have our final job interview candidates do actual simulated job site and technical work for a couple days prior to making an offer. Can we do that?

A: I just had a great conversation with a workplace safety specialist from a large manufacturing firm asking me the same question. After consulting with insurance experts and with OSHA, my best advice is to say no. It seems like a terrific idea and from a technical point of view makes all the sense in the world. But, like many situations the legal implications make this a risk that just isn’t worth taking. Here’s what just occurred that makes me worry – at a large automotive plant a prospective employee (even after signing a waiver and release form) was asked to take various low-voltage measurements on circuitry to demonstrate proficiency with the device and test equipment. Sure enough, within the same panel the 120 VAC was present. It resulted in a workplace accident report and subsequently, they eliminated this practice. I can envision job site accidents and even a potential for a law suit for not carrying workers comp on the recruit.

In the end, this makes so much sense yet carries risk that most likely isn’t worth taking. CW

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