Does Safety Add Value To Recruitment & Selection?

Posted on 08 Mar

While there is a significant focus on safety in the industrial sector, many organisations continue to ‘struggle’ with how they can predict employee’s safety behaviours before they join the organisation (recruitment & selection).

Safety Pic

“To measure appropriate safety behaviours”

So why use a Safety Assessment?

Improving or developing the safety culture of an organisation involves re-designing systems and changing the attitudes of individuals currently employed, but also in selecting individuals that exhibit attributes aligned with the desired culture.

We have found a safety assessment should differentiate candidates not only on their propensity to abide by organisational rules, but also on their likelihood to ask questions, seek feedback, reflect on results, and discuss errors and unexpected outcomes of actions.

A reputable safety assessment should seek to assess whether individuals are likely to be assertive enough to enforce rules and stick to them when appropriate, as well as whether they will have the confidence to guide others.

What are the benefits?

  • Enhance Your Brand: ‘Safety First – our selection is based on Safety Behaviour data’.
  • Value-add to achieving safety Key Performance Indicators.
  • With the right Safety Assessment you can determine safety training, learning and development opportunities
  • Save costs by being ‘proactive’ as opposed to ‘reactive’
  • Improved selection, recruitment and induction of safety behaviour-focused people
  • ROI – improved safety metrics; employing people with good safety behaviour leads to cost savings and productivity efficiencies

Here is the proof…

A supplier of Gas to a wide range of residential, commercial, automotive and industrial customer, who we will name Company A, arrived at Company B with a wish to ensure the safe and efficient delivery of Gas in accordance to the company and regulatory policies. Not only did their drivers need to follow all schedules in an efficient and safe manner, but they must do so in compliance with the relevant transport regulations practices.

Company A already had a strong focus on safety. They ensured that all drivers understood that they have a level of decision making responsibility – included in the job description it clearly states ‘The right to refuse to deliver to a customer or operate equipment on the grounds of OHS& E’.

While no major incidents were occurring with Company A’s Drivers it was recognised that a number of smaller incidents were indicative of an underlying problem and a potential indicator of a bigger incident waiting to happen.

As part of a review of the safety procedures and protocols, Company A recognised that the selection of drivers was one area that required greater diligence. They wanted to ensure that not only were the ‘technical skills’ present in respect to driver capability and decision making, but also that the right behavioural traits existed within current and prospective drivers.

A review of all existing psychometric tools was undertaken by Company A and a Safety Assessment was identified as most suitable.

Why? A key ‘pillar’ in choosing a Safety Assessment was in its ability to provide confidence that drivers had a knowledge of what the right and wrong behaviours are in respect to safety. Company A needed to feel confident that drivers would go beyond employees simply looking for rules and regulations on compliance.

This Safety Assessment has been successfully utilised by Company A as part of the selection process for all Drivers. Company A had identified that many of the attributes measured by the Safety Assessment would not only provide a better understanding of each individual’s safety behaviours, but also their ability to question, think outside of the square and raise concerns!

Company A has been applying the Safety Assessment to all driver recruitment for the past 4 years and use the tool as a critical component of the recruitment process. Potential drivers complete the Safety Assessment and their results are used for both interviewing and reference checking purposes. It forms part of a highly diligent recruitment program and ensures that key messages are applied at the time of application including:

  • That safety is important to this organisation and,
  • Your safety performance and behaviours will be measured as part of your performance.