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Job candidate testing program a great ride for Harley Davidson

Launched in 2008, a Harley Davidson post-offer employment-testing program, called POET, has successfully reduced Workers' Compensation claims and helped improve return-to-work rates. The company makes job offers contingent on demonstrating the physical ability to perform job tasks. According to a recent article in Business Insurance, "Job candidate testing program cuts Harley-Davidson's injuries," the company has spent less than $5,000 on musculoskeletal Workers' Comp claims reported by new employees. Prior to the testing program, 43% of employees suffered an injury within one to five years after they were hired. Therefore, the savings have been significant.

The company has tested more than 500 candidates and about 18% have failed the test. Had these applicants been hired and suffered an injury, claim costs would have been much higher.

In the article, Caroline O'Connell, Human Resources Process Improvement Project Manager in Harley Davidson's Milwaukee facility, notes that since 2008 there have been no musculoskeletal-related claims among new hires at her facility where the program was launched. However, there were 516 musculoskeletal claims in facilities that did not apply POET testing.

The system also helps with return-to-work outcomes by matching employees with work restrictions to appropriate jobs. The tests are legally defensible because the company has tested its existing employees as a benchmark.