How employee recruiting can help reduce work comp claims [slideshow]

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A checklist of best practices for employee recruiting that can help reduce work comp claims


  1. The steps you use for employee recruiting can help reduce work comp claims, helping you hire workers who are not only a better fit, but are also less likely to incur on-the-job injuries.
  2. Clearly define the job role, post the job and establish recruitment procedures. Consistency is key.
  3. Learn additional steps for screening, interviewing and follow-up.
  4. New hire orientation is crucial. Follow these steps.

Did you know that your practices and procedures for employee recruiting can help reduce work comp claims? Recruiting, hiring and training new workers, along with managing and retaining them, is a growing challenge for many employers. Four generations are active in today’s marketplace, from Baby Boomers to Gen Z’ers, each with their own traits, values and mindsets. Your recruitment and management practices should encompass these widely disparate groups. (A bit like herding cats, you’ve no doubt expressed to a colleague.)

Related: How faster workers’ compensation claim reporting can reduce costs

It can be easy to lose sight of how employee selection ties into employee injuries on the job, says Zurich. A bad fit can put both your commercial client at greater risk of workers’ compensation claims and, more importantly, it can affect the safety and well-being of employees.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a high-level list of best practices from various resources. Following these guidelines will help not only with employee recruiting, but will also help limit work comp claims and improve overall risk management.


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Clearly define job requirements
Clearly define job requirements
Define the role’s essential job functions, noting physical job demands.

Define performance requirements, basis for evaluation and salary range.

Identify important values required for culture fit.

Specify the necessary education, skills, certification, experience and equipment required.
Establish recruitment procedures
Establish recruitment procedures
Ensure recruitment practices are consistent for attracting, qualifying and selecting candidates, demonstrating compliance with ADA and other employment laws.

Document procedures for securing confidentiality of private information; restrict access to sensitive information.

Ensure job application forms include appropriate disclosures, acknowledgements and authorizations (permission for background check).

Ensure all screenings and verifications comply with employment regulations.
Post the job
Post the job
Ensure job ads comply with non-discrimination laws.

Include workplace policies (e.g., substance abuse).

First advertise the opening internally, offering a referral bonus.
Pre-screen applicants via 30-minute phone interviews; ensure the same set of questions is asked each time.

Filter down applicants to the top 4-6 that you want to call in for first round interviews.
Don’t skip a face-to-face interview, even if it’s done on Zoom or FaceTime.

Provide a brief but accurate portrayal of the job and its contribution to the organization.

Use behavioral questions and applicants’ past experiences (“Describe a time when you”) rather than hypothetical situations (“What would you do if”). Look for flags like vague answers.

Ensure that all candidates are treated uniformly.
Interview follow-up
Interview follow-up
Never skate over these important steps: testing, reference and background checks, education and employment verifications.

Look for characteristics that can signal a tendency towards insurance fraud: history of firings; an inflated view of one’s abilities, or other patterns of negative behavior.
New employees should sign off on company policies (benefits, attendance and leave, performance standards, substance abuse).

They should also sign off on personal and workplace safety requirements, injury reporting, use of designated medical providers (where permitted) and return to work policy.

Provide training on workplace and materials hazards, safety program and incident reporting, including a visual demonstration of safe work practices.

If the new hire is a manager, provide training on anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and privacy laws and regulations, plus procedures to handle disability accommodation requests.
Assign a supervisor or experienced coworker with time to mentor the new hire until he or she is safely integrated into the workforce.

Ensure management and coworkers share responsibility for new hire safety.
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Including these recommended steps in your practices for employee recruiting can help reduce work comp claims. Be sure to pass them along to your commercial clients.

Related: Share OSHA’s top 10 violations for 2020 with your work comp clients [slideshow]

Please Note: Information contained in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice; you should consult with your own attorneys when developing programs and policies.

Agents, take a look at our Workers’ Compensation Program to add to your portfolio of insurance solutions.


Zurich’s Hiring and Workforce Management Checklist
LC Staffing’s Recruiting Checklist
A Checklist for Success in Hiring Employees